Niki Russ Federman & John Stevenson of Russ & Daughters
4th Generation Owner (Niki Russ Federman), and Director of Culinary Operations (John Stevenson), Russ & Daughters (New York, NY)
Niki Russ Federman was pretty much born in a herring barrel, with a sharp knife in her hand and a penchant for caviar. Educated at Amherst College, Niki worked in a variety of professions—from the art world to international development—before realizing that her appetite was fulfilled by continuing her family’s 100-year-old culinary legacy at Russ & Daughters. Today, along with her cousin Josh Russ Tupper, she owns and runs Russ & Daughters’ landmark retail shop, its online business, Russ & Daughters Cafe and Russ & Daughters at The Jewish Museum (opening spring 2015). Niki has been featured on a variety of media outlets, including The New York Times, NPR, Food Network, The New Yorker, The Martha Stewart Show, PBS, The Travel Channel, Departures, and Vogue. She is also the subject of The Sturgeon Queens, a feature documentary about Russ & Daughters that has aired at film festivals worldwide and on PBS. Niki is an active board member of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District (LESBID) and Chair of the Friends of the Educational Alliance. She is fluent in several languages, but alas, Yiddish is not one of them.
John Stevenson is the Director of Culinary Operations at Russ & Daughters in New York City. She shares her culinary business perspective with ICE students as part of our Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs lecture series.In October 2013, John Stevenson joined the Russ & Daughters company as Director of Culinary Operations. John brought his extensive background in catering and culinary operations to work on such projects as the design and construction of the Russ & Daughters Cafe kitchen, creation of the menu and recipes, hiring and training of staff, and working in the shop in order to learn the ins-and-outs of Russ & Daughters’ 100-year-old cuisine history and traditions. Press reviews of Russ & Daughters Cafe have been glowing—due in large part to the important cuisine tradition that John leads at the cafe and in Russ & Daughters’ new ventures. 2015 has a few large projects in store for John and the Russ & Daughters team: the opening of a commissary kitchen/bakery and the opening of Russ & Daughters at The Jewish Museum. Prior to joining Russ & Daughters, John had an extensive background in catering: he was previously the executive chef at 583 Park Avenue and Guastavino’s, and he worked at The Pierre Hotel as a banquet chef. In 2009, John was honored with Crain’s “40 Under 40” award, and he has also been featured on Martha Stewart Radio and in Vogue.