"Managing people is our most important job and the best way to manage people is with guidance and empathy.”
Nancy Selzer moved to New York from Virginia, where she studied English and planned to pursue a publishing career. She began working in restaurants for supplemental income and is known for advancing from working the coat check at a Mario Batali restaurant to becoming a managing partner for the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group.
Nancy turned waitressing into a career by pursuing her wine certification while working at a three-star restaurant and networking while working a World Yacht dinner cruise event. She simply asked Mario Batali for a server position when he was opening Babbo, then told him that she wanted to be a manager one day and was offered the opportunity months later.
From managing Po, she went on to direct service at Babbo, then became a founding partner for three Tarry Lodge locations and Casa Mono/Bar Jamon. Throughout two decades, Nancy has executed operations, maintained profit, launched a private events department, collaborated on partnerships, produced a training manual and implemented a successful outreach program.
She studied wine through the Sommelier Society of America and Spain Wine Academy, served as Babbo’s wine director early in her career, contributed to multiple awards for her restaurants’ wine lists, built two private-label wine brands, and won Best Medium Sherry Pairing at an international wine competition in Spain.
Nancy began instructing at ICE in 2017. “At this moment in the hospitality industry, I am most drawn to the idea of changing our business for the better and bringing the restaurant industry into the 21st century,” she says. “I see no better way to do so than to be in direct contact with the restaurateurs of the future.”