2019.11.13    -    EPISODE #7

Alireza Niroomand

Creative Director @ Sant Ambroeus SoHo

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Let us introduce you to Alireza Niroomand, the seventh guest of the digital project #HouseOfMolteni. Watch the full episode to discover his life in New York.

2019
13.11

EPISODE #7

Alireza Niroomand

Creative Director @ Sant Ambroeus SoHo

Let us introduce you to Alireza Niroomand, the seventh guest of the digital project #HouseOfMolteni. Watch the full episode to discover his life in New York.

1 | You have a very diverse and international background, one that evokes charm and grace. How did this influence your personality?

1 | You have a very diverse and international background, one that evokes charm and grace. How did this influence your personality?

I was influenced by the places where I lived. I was born in Iran, grew up in Paris, and I moved to New York 17 years ago. I picked a bit of everywhere to build my persona

2 | Your place looks beautiful. Does it bring together all of your experiences and connections?

Yes, it actually does. Pretty much all of the art that you see here at home comes from friendships that I made at the restaurants through the years.

3 | What is your favorite design item?

I believe my favourites are the plates that we had done by artists at the restaurants. You can see them at Sant Ambroeus SoHo. We invited artists to paint on the plates and then we hanged them on the walls, and that has become a trademark of what Saint Ambroeus is today.

4 | Which is the stylistic criterion you used to furnish your home?

At home, it’s a collaboration between my wife and I. We created this house by combining her classic traditional Milanese style and my personality, which is a little more pop and edgy.

5 | How did you become Creative Director at Sant Ambroeus?

At first I was not hired as Creative Director, but as General Manager of Sant Ambroeus SoHO, six years ago. I was given a lot of freedom by the owners to have fun with the location, and we took advantage of it and we pushed the boundaries. That’s when I took over the role of Creative Director, which did not really exist in the restaurant industry.

6 | Did you experience any difficult moments?

6 | Did you experience any difficult moments?

Yes, I did. When I first started, I had a hard time as I had quit the hospitality industry for a few years. I was going back into it, and was worried that I did not have that special touch anymore… It’s funny, I had stage fright for the first few days, but I naturally just picked it up again.

7 | Can you define Sant Ambroeus to someone who has never been there?

Sant Ambroues is a place of comfort. In a way it’s like going to someone’s house, and in the case of Sant Ambroeus SoHo, it’s like if they were coming to my house. It feels like family to a lot of people that live in here in New York. We have many regulars that come here everyday, and by a lot I mean more than I’ve ever seen in any other restaurant. That’s what makes it so special.

8 | What is the feeling for a first-time guest at Sant Ambroeus? Does it change as they become regulars?

We always make people feel welcome. And yes, with time it changes… in the sense that it becomes less difficult for them to book a table.

9 | What do you try to express through your work?

Fun, Creativity and Work.

10 | What is the craziest thing that has ever happened at the restaurant?

Nothing really insane happened… but I do recall our first anniversary of Sant Ambroues SoHo and it was a lot of fun. We had guests participating in the celebrations; some of our regulars were bartending, others serving, and we had a live band in the restaurant. I think that was probably the craziest thing we did.

11 | Your style is magnetic and unique. Is there a balance between following fashion trends and being faithful to your identity?

11 | Your style is magnetic and unique. Is there a balance between following fashion trends and being faithful to your identity?

I don’t know if my style is magnetic! My father, who was a very sharp dresser, influenced me a lot, but I really have two personalities when it comes to style. You see me like this now (i.e. wearing a sharp jacket, tie, and trousers), but at the weekend I’m more like a teenager, dressed in hoodies and sneakers.

12 | You lived in New York for more than 15 years now. How did this place change you?

New York City has defined me, it has made me into who I am today, even the white hair. I am very grateful for everything I got here.

13 | Has the city changed since you first arrived here?

Yes, it has changed in that it has become a lot more expensive.

14 | The first Sant Ambroeus restaurant was founded in Milan, while three restaurants opened in New York. What do you think is the reason of such a connection between these two cities?

I think food is the link. Milan and New York are so different, almost at the opposites ends of the spectrum. But, through the food, the coffee, the pastries, they were able to recreate a real piece of Milan in New York City. And when they opened the first restaurant over 30 years ago, there was nothing so authentically Italian, so for the Europeans in the Upper East Side it was a breath of fresh air.

15 | Like Milan, New York is one of the world’s design capitals. What do you perceive walking down its streets?

I perceive the energy, the freedom of expression that people have, and the fact that they are not judgmental.

16 | What particular parts of the city do you draw inspiration from?

Well, as I spend a lot of time at the restaurant, that’s where I get most of my inspiration. My connection with design is through our guests, and I have been extremely fortunate to have met everyone I could dream of in design, fashion, and art.

17 | How important is being a father for you?

17 | How important is being a father for you?

A lot of the things that I do are basically for my kids. They inspire me to get up every morning and go fight to give them a better life.

18 | Do you have any secret passions or hobbies?

I collect sneakers, a lot... and music.

19 | What is you favorite music?

Pretty much everything… but heavy metal!

Products on stage

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2019.10.21    -    EPISODE #6

EPISODE #6

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Let us introduce you to Anna Barnett, the sixth guest of the digital project #HouseOfMolteni. Watch the full episode to discover her life in London.

2019
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2019.09.25    -    EPISODE #5

EPISODE #5

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Let us introduce you to Mimi Xu, the fifth guest of the digital project #HouseOfMolteni. Watch the full episode to discover her life in London.

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2019.06.28    -    EPISODE #4

EPISODE #4

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Let us introduce you to Lawrence Van Hagen, the fourth guest of the digital project #HouseOfMolteni. Watch the full episode to discover his life in London.