The Club

Designed by David Rockwell, the Club boasts a warm and hospitable feel and serves as an
extension of your home–to entertain and dine, or to work and meet up with friends in our
lounge or dining rooms. The spaces are accented by custom cork wall paneling and a robust
collection of original vintage Belle Époque posters from The Wine Spectator Collection. If you
are interested in becoming a member or gaining access to the Club, please complete the
application form using the link below.

Become a Member

TEAM


ELI KAIMEH | Executive Chef

Prior to WS, Eli Kaimeh served as Chef de Cuisine of Thomas Keller’s Per Se where he led a kitchen renowned for both its cuisine and its dedication to excellence. During Eli’s tenure, Per Se garnered many accolades, including a four-star review from The New York Times, a three-star rating from the French-based Michelin Guide and inclusion in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants List from the UK-based Restaurant Magazine.

Before Per Se, Eli honed his culinary skills in some of New York’s most highly regarded restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, Tocqueville Restaurant, and Restaurant Daniel. He graduated from The Culinary Institute of America.

STEPHEN COLLUCCI | Executive Pastry Chef

Stephen joined the WS team as the Executive Pastry Chef in the summer of 2019. His foray into fine dining was at the French restaurant, Rene Pujol, where he earned the position of Head Pastry Chef. His experience spans both the east and west coast, having served as the Sous Chef at Craft Los Angeles and the Pastry Chef at Craft New York. Stephen continued to garner attention after joining the opening team at Colicchio & Sons, helping the restaurant to achieve a three-star New York Times review and was praised for being “fearsomely talented” by critic Sam Sifton.

In 2013, Stephen added the moniker of author to his resumé, with his debut cookbook Glazed, Filled, Sugared, and Dipped: Easy Doughnut Recipes to Fry or Bake at Home. His second book, Everyday’s A Sundae, was released in 2017. Stephen is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.

MICHAEL DENGELEGI | Chef de Cuisine

Born and raised in Toms River, New Jersey, Chef Michael Dengelegi attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. During his time at CIA, he interned at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Yountville, California, and continued working for Thomas Keller following graduation, spending eight years on both the east and west coasts. Michael began working as a Chef de Partie at Per Se in New York City, before moving to California to become a Sous Chef at Bouchon Bistro.

Prior to becoming Chef de Cuisine at The Tavern by the WS, Michael opened the Aviary and Office at the Mandarin Oriental, while working for Chef Grant Achatz. Michael competed and won the 2015 Ment’or Young Chef's Cooking Competition, a contest designed to showcase the talent of up-and-coming culinary leaders. When not in the kitchen, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife Keziah and his daughter Olivia.

DAVE LOFSTROM | Wine Director

Wine Director Dave Lofstrom has spent over 15 years in the wine industry, holding various roles within restaurants, retail, production, and distribution. Dave received the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits, and his passion for wine has driven him to undertake the Master of Wine program, in which he is currently a stage two student. Dave joins the WS team from Manhatta, a Union Square Hospitality Restaurant, where he served as Head Sommelier. When not thinking, talking, reading, or teaching about wine, you’re likely to find Dave listening to an endless stream of music while cooking at home.

THOMAS MACKENZIE | Director of Operations

Tom Mackenzie is a seasoned hospitality executive, having worked almost a decade in restaurants and hotels. Tom joins us at WS following the successful opening of New York City’s Manhatta, a Danny Meyer restaurant, in which he served as General Manager. Tom previously worked at The Modern, a two-Michelin star restaurant in The Museum of Modern Art. Originally from the UK, Tom loves exploring new places and credits his South African heritage for his passion for sun, surfing and biltong.

MATT WHITNEY | General Manager

Matt originally hails from Boston, where he served as Wine Director for nearly four years at Eastern Standard. After leaving Boston, Matt moved to New York to join Union Square Hospitality Group, working as a sommelier at The Modern, a two-Michelin star restaurant in The Museum of Modern Art. During his tenure there, he passed his Advanced Sommelier qualification and simultaneously collected the Rudd Scholarship, earning the highest score for the Advanced Exam. In Matt’s most recent role, he moved internally within USHG to Manhatta, a Danny Meyer restaurant, serving as the opening Beverage Director, overseeing both the restaurant and event spaces.

HEATHER WHITNEY | Membership and Events Director

Before joining WS New York, Heather Whitney’s career spanned more than two decades with New York City’s Union Square Hospitality Group. Her most recent role was Director of Special Events and Partnerships at The Modern, in association with The Museum of Modern Art. Heather and her team were responsible for creating over 5,000 memorable events.

In addition to overseeing events at WS New York, Heather and the Membership Services team will serve as the main point of contact with the Club.

DANA HAGENDORF | VP of Marketing

Dana Hagendorf is a marketing executive with 25 years of experience working with iconic luxury brands. She currently serves as Vice President of Marketing for Related Urban's restaurants and hospitality assets, including Michael Lomonaco's Hudson Yards Grill, José Andrés' Mercado Little Spain, WS New York, a private membership club, and The Tavern by WS. Dana is also the Founder of Gallant, a boutique hospitality branding firm offering expertise to lifestyle brands on their marketing strategies, media efforts, and partnership initiatives.

Dana’s luxury sector experience includes serving as CMO at Fontainebleau Miami Beach where she spearheaded the brand’s global advertising campaign and provided leadership of the resort’s global marketing and public relations activities. Dana also served as VP of Marketing for Audemars Piguet North America, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer. Additionally, she directed global marketing strategy for St. Regis Hotels & Resorts. Dana began her career at BMW, developing the marketing strategy for BMW’s North American flagship center.

Dana earned an MBA from The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS with Honors from Cornell University.

RYAN HELKOWSKI | Membership Sales and Project Manager

Since joining Related in 2016, Ryan has been focused primarily on the development of seven different retail, food & beverage, and hospitality venues throughout both Hudson Yards and the Time Warner Center. His notable projects include TAK Room & Bouchon by Thomas Keller, Mercado Little Spain by José Andrés, Kawi by David Chang, as well as several others.

Additionally, Ryan has been intimately involved with all facets of the development and execution of WS New York since its initial conception over four years ago. Ryan continues to support the WS New York team by focusing on membership growth, while serving as The Club’s interim Membership Director & Project Manager.

hudson Yards

A striking addition to the world’s most iconic skyline, Hudson Yards adds fresh spirit to New York City.
A blend of urbanity and serenity, 14 acres of green space is anchored by global headquarters of
industry leaders and an inspiring retail and culinary collection. WS New York, located at 37 Hudson
ards, shares a 75-story luxury mixed-use tower with the first-ever Equinox Hotel, a Destination-Access
Equinox Health Club & Spa, and a collection of premier residences.

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