Kenneth Himmel is hunting for the city’s best chefs

In 2018 another food and retail mecca will rise, this time on Manhattan’s far West Side in Hudson Yards. Related Companies has plans to launch a seven-level mall, “The Shops at Hudson Yards” filled to the brim with high-end eateries.

And in anticipation of that, the CEO of Related’s mixed-use arm, Kenneth Himmel, is trying out some of the city’s best food on the down low. He’s chef hunting for his $20 billion project.

“I work out every morning for an hour and a half so I can eat every night,” Himmel said. “It’s a terrible assignment, but someone has to do it.”

Using this “movers and bakers” approach to branding his project, has already enlisted famed Thomas Keller, the only American chef to hold three Michelin stars at two restaurants, and chef Costas Spiliadis of Milos, a seafood restaurant with outposts in Montreal, Athens, and London. Also slated to have an eatery in the new luxe mega-mall is Jose Andrés, who helped popularize Spanish cuisine in Washington, Beverly Hills, Calif., and Miami. In addition to the aforementioned, Himmel tells Bloomberg there will be room for six or seven more “signature restaurants” and smaller concept eateries.


Himmel explains, ““It almost begins with restaurants. You cannot talk today about shopping centers or executing great urban mixed-use projects without them.”

In addition to the Hudson Yards mega-mall, Himmel has also been auditioning restaurants for mall projects in Dubai and Santa Clara, Calif.