Celebrated restaurateur Drew Nieporent '77 has been named recipient of the 2011 Hospitality Innovator Award, an honor given annually by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at Cornell's School of Hotel Administration.
Nieporent is founder and owner of Myriad Restaurant Group, which operates Tribeca Grill, Nobu New York City, Nobu Fifty Seven, Nobu London, Nobu Next Door, Corton, Centrico, and Crush Wine and Spirits. He will receive the award at the third annual Cornell Icon and Innovator Awards Dinner June 7 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
"Drew Nieporent is a visionary and a trendsetter -- an innovator in every sense of the word -- and we are delighted to recognize him for his remarkable contributions to the hospitality industry," said Michael D. Johnson, dean and the E.M. Statler Professor of Hotel Administration.
Myriad's restaurants have received countless accolades. Among them: In 2008 Corton received two Michelin stars and three stars from The New York Times, and the James Beard Foundation named it a Best New Restaurant; and Nobu and Tribeca Grill have both received Restaurant and Institution's prestigious Ivy Award. Myriad is the only restaurant group to earn three Grand Awards from Wine Spectator magazine.
Nieporent's many honors include induction into "Who's Who of Cooking in America" by the James Beard Foundation. He was named the Beard Foundation's Outstanding Restaurateur in 2009 and Humanitarian of the Year in 2000.
A graduate of Cornell's School of Hotel Administration, Nieporent is on the board of Citymeals on Wheels and Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS; honorary chair of the City Harvest Food Council; and culinary director of the Jackson Hole Wine Auction. He has co-chaired Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation event in New York City since 1997 and has been honored by Careers through Culinary Arts Program, American Heart Association, the Tourette Syndrome Association, Food Allergy Initiative, American Liver Foundation, Cancer Research and Treatment Fund, and Kristen Ann Carr Fund.
Cornell will also honor the Hilton Family, founders of Hilton Hotels, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation with the Cornell Icon of the Industry Award at the June dinner.