IFC Films

Great Performances Selected as Restaurateur for The Waverly at IFC Center

New York City’s Leading Catering Company Wins Exclusive Contract

Chefs Claudia Fleming and Gerry Hayden Selected to Develop Menu and Food Concept for the Waverly at IFC


NEW YORK, NY (June 8, 2005) – The IFC Center announced today that it has selected one of New York’s most highly regarded event planners and restaurateurs, Great Performances, and two of New York’s top chefs to conceptualize and operate the Waverly at IFC Center, the restaurant at IFC’s much anticipated film center. Great Performances and the husband and wife team of Hayden and Fleming will also oversee the concession stands located in the IFC Center. The IFC Center’s cinemas and the restaurant next door are scheduled to open on Friday, June 17, 2005.

The restaurant concept and business plan were developed for IFC by Karen Karp of Karp Resources.

Located at 327 Avenue of the Americas, at the intersection of West 3rd Street in Manhattan’s West Village, the IFC Center will be more than a movie theater, it will serve as a focal point for the independent film community.

“We are delighted to be working with the creative talents of Great Performances and Amuse food consultants Claudia Fleming and Gerry Hayden,” stated Jonathan Sehring, President of IFC Entertainment. “The IFC Center is committed to creating an environment where the public can see and discuss independent films, and the informal atmosphere of the Waverly at IFC Center will complement the experience.”

“We wanted to find a way to express the creative nature of an independent film center in culinary terms. We embrace local producers and merchants, organic ingredients, healthy concession offerings and items, that, like watching movies, are good at any time of the day or night,” said Liz Neumark, CEO Great Performances.

The Waverly at IFC Center’s creative team of Hayden, Fleming and Great Performances will offer a sophisticated and inventive reinterpretation of pub fare. The Waverly’s menu of small plates with big, bold flavors will feature seasonal and organic ingredients as well as foods from favorite neighborhood purveyors.

Sample menu items include:

  • Warm Baby Spinach and Oyster Mushroom Salad, Prosciutto, 4-minute egg and aged goat cheese
  • Market Driven “Fish and Chips”, with roasted fingerlings and malt vinegar aioli
  • “Welsh Rarebit” artisan white cheddar, double smoked rashers and country sourdough bread
  • Chilled Soba Noodles with watermelon radish, wakame and soy lime dressing
  • Guinness Stout Gingerbread cake with cr?me fraiche and roasted apricots

Food-savvy moviegoers will be very pleasantly surprised to find concession stand selections such as Niman Ranch hot dogs, organic popcorn with truffle butter, Buttermilk cupcakes and Valrhona brownies, Sweet Life candies, and hand-made chocolate, along with some of the “usual suspects” such as Twizzlers and Milk Duds.

Designed by the New York-based architecture firm Bogdanow Partners Architects PC, the 47-seat, 1,400 square-foot restaurant is located next door to the IFC Center. The interior merges modern design with architectural elements from the building’s colorful past, with a restored Art Deco neon Waverly Theater sign and a double-sided projection screen suspended from the ceiling, custom-made walnut dining tables, and an upholstered banquette lining a glowing exposed brick wall.

About Great Performances
Established by Liz Neumark in 1979 as a staffing organization, Great Performances provided women in the visual and performing arts the ability to work in the catering industry while pursuing other career goals. “True to its name”, according to New York Magazine, Great Performances has been featured in New York Magazine, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, People, InStyle and Bride’s and is the approved caterer at many of New York’s leading
cultural institutions. As a result of more than a decade’s worth of work, Great Performances is acknowledged as a leader in high-profile events.

In addition to catering off premise events, Great Performances manages and operates several restaurants for leading New York cultural institutions including the Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Garden Court Caf? at the Asia Society, BAMCaf? at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Caf? Opaline at the Dahesh Museum, and a caf? at Wave Hill. Great Performances manages and operates food service and hospitality for the NASDAQ-100. Great Performances operates a 17,000 square foot facility located at 287 Spring Street, which includes a state-of-the-art kitchen facility, offices, tasting rooms, and Mae Mae Caf?, its own forty seat enoteca di vino. For more information visit www.greatperformances.com.

About Gerry Hayden and Claudia Fleming
Claudia Fleming dedicated most of her first twenty-five years to the pursuit of a career in modern dance. Like many artists, Claudia worked in the restaurant industry to support her dancing career. She was immediately attracted to both the theatrical and creative aspects of restaurant work. Claudia gravitated to the kitchen and pastry became her new calling. In 1991, determined to hone her skills, she moved to Paris for formal training. After a stint at the prestigious Fauchon in Paris, Claudia returned to New York and worked in the kitchens of Montrachet, TriBeCa Grill and Luxe before being hired by Danny Meyer to head the pastry kitchen at Gramercy Tavern. Fleming received the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Pastry Chef for 2000 award. Pastry Art & Design named her one of their 10 Best Pastry Chefs in 2000 and in 2001. Her first book, The Last Course: Desserts from Gramercy Tavern, was released in October 2001 and received rave reviews.

At the Waverly, Gerry Hayden builds on the small plate success, first debuted at Amuse, which is perfect for pre-or post film dining. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hayden’s early culinary training included working in critically acclaimed kitchens on both coasts: The River Caf?, and 3-star Aureole Restaurant both in New York City as well as Aqua in San Francisco. Hayden’s west coast experience of working directly with local farmers inspired him to return east to farm rich Long Island, where he opened East Hampton Point in 1993. The new venture received 3-stars from Newsday and earned the highest newcomer rating by Zagat survey. In 1996, Hayden was hired as executive chef of Marguery Grill, the American restaurant that earned the prestigious “Best New Restaurant” from Esquire magazine. In his debut as Executive Chef/Owner of Amuse restaurant, Hayden earned two stars from the New York Times and New York magazines’ Gael Greene is said to have been “seduced by the chef’s vibrant ways.”

About the IFC Center
The IFC Center will be the bricks and mortar home of IFC, the unique end-to-end media company focused on developing and nurturing talent and maximizing the value to independent film. The Center will serve as a focal point for the independent film community – both to filmgoers and filmmakers alike. Conceived by IFC Entertainment President Jonathan Sehring, the IFC Center will be managed by John Vanco, co-founder of the independent label Cowboy Pictures and one of the industry’s most respected young veterans. IFC has converted the historic Waverly Theater building, which was originally built as a church in the early 1800’s, into an architecturally distinctive, state-of-the-art facility featuring three theaters each equipped to screen 35mm and high-definition digital video, digital editing suites, a restaurant, and a meeting area. In addition, the Center will be the home for special screenings, educational programs and television broadcasts.

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