THE RITZ-CARLTON NEW YORK, CENTRAL PARK

50 Central Park South, New York, New York 10019 USA
Phone:  +1 (212) 308-9100   •  Map & Directions
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Auden Bistro & Bar: Culinary Team

  Executive Chef Mark Arnao
  Norman Bukofzer

Executive Chef Mark Arnao



Mark Arnao
At the helm of Auden, The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park’s new bistro, which opened in September 2012, is Executive Chef Mark Arnao. With a passion for food, piqued at a young age peeling garlic at his local Italian eatery, Arnao has spent the past 20 years working his way up in the culinary world. Now, he returns to The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, as Executive Chef, attributing previous experience with the hotel as a great asset in his new role.

Arnao’s extensive background and experience with various types of cuisine, including Lebanese and Hawaiian, influences his unique, artisanal approach to food. The talented cook, who trained under Chef Gabriel Kreuther (The Modern), has developed countless menus over the years, executing a wide variety of dishes, from Tuna Poke to Crispy Squab in Brick Dough and Sake Stewed Pears. His favorite dishes to prepare include green curry chicken, sushi and foie gras terrine. Arnao’s distinct offerings have garnered the attention of cable television networks, such as Food Network, as well as prominent magazines and newspapers, including Nation Restaurant News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and more.

No stranger to the Ritz-Carlton brand, Arnao’s transition to The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park reflects not only the excellence and poise that precede his name, but also his extensive culinary background. His experience at every post lends to his effortless leadership in the kitchen. He has been directly responsible for the development and opening of restaurants across the country, and has worked as Executive Sous-Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles as well as other fine dining establishments in NY and LA. Auden’s bistro fare reflects a good fusion of his previous work.

Outside of the kitchen, Arnao remains busy spreading his love of food. He once took over one preschool class for an afternoon of cake decorating and creative exploration much to the excitement of the young cooks and their parents. Aside from the culinary world, Arnao enjoys photography, including editing and printing, traveling, and spending time with his son.
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Norman Bukofzer



Norman Bukofzer
Norman Bukofzer, a fixture in the New York cocktail scene, has been captivating guests for over 10 years at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park. Dubbed by Forbes magazine as one of “New York’s friendliest bartenders,” Norman leads the cocktail experience at the hotel’s Star Lounge and Auden Bar and Bistro, brandishing a martini shaker and wine list with his trademark finesse and hospitality.

A bit Mel Brooks with a dash of Gene Wilder and a memory like an elephant, Brooklyn-born Bukofzer has been the quintessential New York bartender. Passionate about New York City and with a loyal clientele, Norman is a great companion to many with his welcoming humor, energetic spirit, dedication to superior service and unabashed affection for his customers. Describing his years of success behind the bar, Norman says, "You have to have it in you. You have to really like people." A basically shy man by his own admission, he explains "I'm most comfortable when people come to me. If I had to be a salesman and knock on doors, I'd be in big trouble." But there's certainly no need for concern, for people do flock to Norman's bar, including many, many celebrities whose privacy Norman zealously guards. Although Norman remembers every customer’s drink after the first meeting, including those of his more famous fans, he rarely interferes in people’s lives, only asking a question in response to conversations that have been initiated by his guests.

Whether dispensing advice about hailing a cab in the rain, giving tips on maneuvering through the maze of New York subways, or pouring an award-winning Manhattan, Norman can be counted on to deliver great charm and humor… and, more importantly, sensitivity. With a smile, Norman admits, “People return to my bar, not only because of my good looks, but because of the personal relationship I’ve developed with them.” And it’s uncannily true: Norman makes a point to remember favorite drinks and perhaps one or two personal items from shared conversations. As a result, many of these loyal patrons have become Norman's friends, keeping in touch throughout the years and always paying a visit when in town.
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