Why This NYC Chef Turned Down Being Painted by Andy Warhol



Last month, the chef took New Yorkers back in time with the opening of Jams in 1 Hotel Central Park. The new restaurant is an update of Waxman’s 1980s Upper East Side hot spot of the same name.

It drew everyone from the mayor to George Michael, before closing in 1989 in the wake of the crash. This is his ’80s New York. Waxman turned down being painted by Andy Warhol at his original restaurant location Jams on Lexington Avenue.

Jams (original location), 154 E. 79th St., at Lexington Avenue

“Andy Warhol came in twice a week. One day his assistant called and said, ‘Andy wants to invite you to lunch,’ so Melvyn and I went down to the Factory and he served us lunch on smiley-face plates. Halfway through the meal he asked if we could barter. He said, ‘I will do your portraits in exchange for food credit.’ I asked how much, and he said, ‘$50,000.’ That was a lot of money at that time, so I turned him down. Am I an idiot or what?”


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I Love Warhol

I Love Warhol