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Farewell to Tony May, the king of Italian cuisine in New York

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From emigrant in search of fortune to ambassador of Italian cuisine in the United States: this is the parable of Tony May, the legendary Neapolitan restaurateur who died at the age of 84 in his New York home, where he had six Italian-American restaurants that made the culinary history of the Big Apple, becoming destinations of the international jet-set.
Antonio Magliuolo, born in Torre del Greco (Naples), passed away after a short illness. The news of his disappearance was given by the family. He leaves his daughter Marisa, who has followed in her father’s footsteps.
Tony May was the owner of the legendary ‘San Domenico’ restaurant (sold in 2008) at 240 Central Park South, between Seventh Avenue and Broadway, a few steps from Time Warner and Lincoln Center: a temple of Italianness at the table in the Big Apple, attended by celebrities such as Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones, Sylver Stallone, Sophia Loren, Sharon Stone, Harrison Ford, Demi Moore, Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, Luciano Pavarotti, but also financiers, industrialists, artists and politicians.
First of eight children, Antonio Magliuolo left the province of Naples at a very young age in search of fortune in America. Within a little over a decade of apprenticeship he became the king of the table: in Manhattan he was hired as a waiter at the “Rainbow Room”, one of the Rockefeller Center restaurants, in 1964 he became maitre and in 1968 director of the restaurant.
Ten years later he took over the property, transforming the rooms on the 65th floor of the skyscraper into a restaurant combined with a night club that hosted the greatest jazz musicians. In 1997 Tony May inaugurated two other restaurants in the Twin Towers: the “Gemelli” and the “Pasta Break” for the clientele of the financial district of Manhattan but on 11 September 2001 both were destroyed in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.
For his work in favor of Italian cuisine abroad, the then president Oscar Luigi Scalfaro awarded him the title of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
Award-winning by both American and Italian institutions, he has also written an iconic book: “Italian Cuisine: Basic Cooking Techniques”.

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Source: Ansa

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