Chef George McKirdy has been part of the New York Restaurant scene for over twenty years. Beginning his career as an apprentice at the former Regines under Executive Chef Michelle Fitoussi. He gained a genuine appreciation for traditional French cuisine and the discipline required to work in a classically French run kitchen.
After Regines, he moved on to join the opening team of Robert De Niro's TriBeCa Grill with the Myriad Restaurant Group. During his six year stay with the company, Chef McKirdy opened the flagship Nobu Restaurant and also held the position as executive pastry chef of TriBakery and Zeppole Restaurant. In addition, he consulted for the company's many other openings such as Pine Island Grill and the Reebok Sports Club.
At the height of the Nuevo Latino craze, Chef McKirdy joined Chef Douglas Rodriquez to open Aquarella restaurant in San Juan, P.R., later joining him at his New York restaurant, Patria. His next move was to open Starwood Lodgings flagship W- Hotel. This included the restaurant HeartBeat, which may have been ahead of its time with its commitment to using organic, sustainable and seasonal products. He continued with Starwood to open their second and third W Hotels - each with their unique restaurants and food programs.
In the years that followed, Chef McKirdy was the pastry chef at such noted restaurants as Butter NYC, Cafe Boulud, Veritas and most recently Blue Fin Restaurant for the BR Guest Restaurant Group.
During the course of his career, Chef McKirdy has contributed his time and talent to many worthy causes such as Nelson Mandelas historic visit to New York shortly after his release, The Tibet Funds Dinner honoring His Holiness the Dali Lama, Gods Love We Deliver, Share our Strength and Autism Speaks Out. He also had the honor of cooking for Mrs. Julia Childs 80th birthday celebration and has been a guest chef at the James Beard House Foundation on several occasions.
Chef McKirdy continues to feed his passion for food and dessert by making regular trips to France for pastry seminars and inspiration. Through his reputation, he has been presented with invitations to all inclusive seminars with Valrhona's Ecole du Grand Chocolat in Tain L'Hermitage and Michel Cluizel's Chocolaterium in Damville. These seminars have allowed him to experience the most modern techniques in chocolate preperation and production. His rapport with another well noted pastry industry leader, Sevarome, gained him access to colloquiums at L'Ecole Nationale Superieure de la Patisserie in Yssingeaux where the science behind the making of viennoiserie and breads was studied. It is through these opportunities that he has been able to gather inspiration and nourish his passion for food and dessert.
Astor Bake Shop is the opening he has been working towards, for so many years. His personal labor of love.