The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago Appoints Franco Diaz as New Executive Chef
The Ritz-Carlton, Chicago welcomes Franco Diaz as the new Executive Chef where he will lead all culinary operations in the downtown hotel including Torali Italian-Steak, Torali Bar, The Café, The Rooftop at Torali as well as catering, events, and in-room dining.
In his return to Chicago, Diaz is also celebrating a homecoming as a Windy City native hailing from Bensenville, Illinois where he was born and raised. Diaz discovered a love for cooking at a young age through his Grandmother, becoming the chef of the family and beginning his passion for food and the culinary arts.
Diaz's studies began in Evanston, where he earned his degree in Culinary Management from Kendall College. Diaz started his professional career at The Peninsula, Chicago where he held various roles including Garde Manager Sous Chef and Banquet Sous Chef. While in Chicago, he was selected to explore and perfect his craft on an exchange chef program in Interlaken, Switzerland.
After departing Chicago to the snowcapped mountains of Colorado, Diaz was appointed Executive Sous Chef of the St. Regis Resort in Aspen. His experience continued to take him around the world to destinations like Princeville, Kauai and Bal Harbour, Florida. Under his guidance, the St. Regis Resort Bal
Harbour was named a AAA Five Diamond hotel three months after opening. Most recently, Diaz has been the Executive Chef at The Peninsula Manila; a 493-room, 10 restaurant hotel in Makati, Philippines.
"I'm thrilled to join the ladies and gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton and return to my hometown of Chicago where I first found my love for cooking" shares Diaz. "I look forward to providing an incredible culinary experience for all of our guests at this iconic hotel."
When he's not in the kitchen, Diaz enjoys spending time with his wife and newborn daughter, perfecting his swing on the golf course, exploring new restaurants and destinations, and adding to his expansive cookbook collection.