Located in the heart of the Lower East Side, Neuman’s Kitchen is known for creating extraordinary culinary experiences for clients in Manhattan’s most prestigious venues. The company has been delivering award-winning catering services for more than three decades and the passion Neuman’s Kitchen has for its work is evident in every bite. The company’s logo, consisting of a top hat above an artichoke, represents a love of rustic yet inventive food and the commitment to old-fashioned, bespoke service. Owner Paul Neuman likes to point out that, “Just like us, the artichoke has a heart.” The results are events that create an emotional connection between clients and guests.
Paul is the fourth generation of his family to be involved in the food business in New York City. “My great-grandfather, Sandel Lowenthal, was a chef and restaurant owner in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,” he says. “My grandfather Cornelius and my father Robert owned and operated the Rosedale Fish Market on the Upper East Side from 1906 until 2003.”
Neuman’s Kitchen originated in 1981 as Neuman & Bogdonoff, a small retail storefront on the Upper East Side. Since the company moved downtown to Chrystie Street in 1996, it has expanded three times.
The next expansion for Neuman’s Kitchen is a major one. “We just signed a lease in Long Island City for a kitchen and offices that are more than double the size of our current location,” Paul shares.
The additional space is essential to support the company’s growing roster of A-list corporate clients that hire Neuman’s Kitchen for conferences, cocktail receptions, dinner and product launches. Private clients engage Neuman’s Kitchen for the most important life-cycle events.
“We create menus tailored to each client’s specific tastes and preferences, making all the food from scratch.” says Paul. “We’re finding that our clients increasingly care about local, sustainable menus, which means sourcing from local purveyors and changing the menus seasonally. We’ve been broadening the range of cooking techniques that we do in-house too. For example, smoking our own chicken and salmon, pickling our own vegetables and using sous-vide technology. Vertical integration is important to us.”
All in the approach
Customers turn to Neuman’s Kitchen for its personalization. “Every customer has a choice to make when selecting their catering company,” explains Paul. “Our clients ask themselves, ‘What company is going to help us speak to our audience?’ We strive to be that company. We’re more than caterers — we’re partners — and it’s not only the culinary component, it’s about bringing our clients’ ideas to life to create an unforgettable experience. Our goal is to amplify a company’s message through our food. The small details make the biggest impact.”
Throughout its history, Neuman’s Kitchen has curated many outstanding events, including feeding 6,000 dinner guests in a hangar at JFK Airport and lavish summer bashes in the Hampton’s. “Every year we host a 1,000-person event for a large accounting firm at Lincoln Center,” notes Paul. “We did a tasting to help the client decide what they wanted to showcase in the menu. And then we designed custom props in-house for all of the passed items and food displays. The outcome was something that people had never seen before.”
The chefs and professionals at Neuman’s Kitchen love creative challenges and know how to have fun with and for clients. “We love to turn food on its head, so to speak,” says Paul. “We typically transform sweet items into savory creations, or vice versa — our lobster cannoli is a perfect example. We’ve also put pulled pork on our coconut doughnuts. We love to emphasize the perfect bite. Customers rave over our one-bite BLTs on house-made English muffins and our tiny bagels with smoked salmon.”
By taking the classics and making them new and fresh, Neuman’s Kitchen continues to delight and surprise guests. “Customer feedback is everything,” says Paul. “When we succeed in creating an experience our clients thoroughly enjoy, it’s the most rewarding feeling.”
Paul takes great pride in the company’s commitment to community service. For over 30 years, Neuman’s Kitchen has made a weekly donation to an Upper East Side soup kitchen. For more than seven years, Neuman’s Kitchen has donated a monthly dinner for the 100 residents of the local Ronald McDonald House.
Paul serves as the board chair of The HOPE Program and Neuman’s Kitchen team members offer guidance to women through the First Step Program of the Coalition for the Homeless. Paul was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for his efforts with The Exploring Program, helping groups of high school students understand what it takes to find success in the workplace.
In addition, Neuman’s Kitchen partners with select nonprofits to assist with events and fundraising and donates food surpluses to The Bowery Mission. Giving back to the community, improving sustainability and telling client stories through innovative cuisine is the heart of Neuman’s Kitchen’s success and the company promises to leave customers deliciously inspired.