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The Daily Dish Top Chef

Tom Colicchio Honors Danny Meyer for Time 100

The 'Top Chef' judge shares why the restaurateur is one of 2015's most influential people.

By Jordan Upmalis

Time Magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2015 has hit stands, and though Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio didn't make the cut this year, he did make a very valuable contribution to the piece.

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Fellow restaurateur and former partner Danny Meyer joined the likes of Kanye West and Lorne Michaels on the list and Tom was given the opportunity to recall how the man responsible for the Shake Shack empire really got the restaurant industry to boom—for all the right reasons.

"On a late summer day in 1992, Danny Meyer and I sat down in Union Square Park to talk about a new kind of restaurant—one that married the warmest form of great service with soulful, indelible food," he writes. "The result was Gramercy Tavern, a restaurant that ushered in a new era of American dining. But that day in the park we didn’t talk about menus or decor. We talked about how to make people on both sides of the table feel valued and cared for. How putting employees first would translate to a memorable experience for our guests."

These values are what have made his Union Square Hospitality Group thrive—and what Tom particularly admires about Danny.

"As Danny's business has grown, from a single restaurant to a nearly $2 billion Shake Shack burger empire with outlets around the world, its core has never changed," he says. "It's what has made him a leader in our industry. I'm proud to have been his partner and still proud to be his friend."

[Source: Time Magazine]

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