Mission Pok Pok Morini? Watch Danny Bowien, Andy Ricker, and Michael White Discuss Brand Building and Restaurant Empires


“Once you’re calling yourself a chef, no one is really telling you what to do anymore,” Danny Bowien said a few weeks back at a Culinatro panel on branding and restaurant expansion. The company spoke with the Mission Chinese owner, along with Pok Pok Ny’s Andy Ricker and Osteria Morini’s Michael White, about their feelings on the importance of social media and the challenges that come with pre-opening hype. Ricker notes that, in New York especially, there’s not much time to make mistakes (although, judging by past lines at Pok Pok Ny, he’s figured things out just fine).

For his part, White says that “fundamentally, we’re all cooks,” but becoming a chef means actually knowing about (and caring about) the lives of the people who work for you.