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A man that touched so many lives!

  A man that touched so many lives! 

Gilbert Stafford

  

In 1988, I came to NYC to become a great chef.

 

I started out at the River Café and worked under the insane and talented David Burke.

 

He taught me how to handle pressure and cook with speed, agility and imagination.

 

In 1990, I had enough of the 70 hour work weeks at $8.75 per hour and knew I was ready to become an Executive Chef. 

 

David Agreed.

He told me about a guy named Steve Kalt who had a consulting

business with Andrew Zimmern (yes the Bizarre foods guy) and

Ken Friedman who has also been the Chief speech writer for The

 Former Rudolph Guliani. 

 

They were working on a project called “The Big City Diner” in the

former Market Diner on 11th avenue and 43rd street. They were

looking for a young chef to take on this 24 hour, 7 day a week

 project. Think Diner by day and Club/ great food at night. 

 

The concept on paper was awesome and I decided to take the

plunge. Soon after being woken up at 4am on numerous occasions,

because the “Grill man” did not show up and I needed to cover

him, I began to realize this was a very bad career move. 

 

But no career move ever is a waste. One of my favorite people, who

I met, was Gilbert Stafford- the Famous doorman of NY, LA and

Miami Night Clubs.  He was always so warm to me and always

looked at me as if I were a 5 course meal.  

Who knew that in 1990 when Mrs. Z was just a baby she would go to

The Big City Diner and beg Gilbert to let her in- ( my now beautiful

 wife) , Gilbert would sneak her in to dance the night away as I

 worked in the clubs kitchen and every day would say, " What the

 F--k am I doing here?"  

Gilbert once watched my pretty little Springer Spaniel named

 “Rosemary” while I went away for a 3 day weekend. When I

 returned to pick up “rosemary” at Gilbert’s pad in West New York,

 it was clear that Gilbert had given “Rosemary” a bubble bath,

polished her nails and gave her a fantastic blow out. She was also

 adorned in about 20 pink ribbons. I looked at Gilbert with my

 Zweben “what the f—k did you do to my Rosemary eyes” and

 Gilbert looked at me and said- “Darling, Rosie deserves to look

 Fabulous!” …….and that was Gilbert.  

Gilbert’s body has left us, but his soul will live forever! 

Last nights memorial at Hiro was inspiring, full of love and laughs

 and we were so honored to be a part of the memorial and his life! 

Steven Hall made his memorial happen and if he is not your

 friend, you have no idea what you are missing in your life.

 

Have you seen these yet?

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Paul Zweben, Licensed Associate RE Broker
pzweben@elliman.com
Carolyn Zweben, Licensed Associate RE Broker
czweben@elliman.com
1995 Broadway, New York, 10023

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