Upcoming Higgins Hotel & Conference Center Appoints Virgile Brandel as Executive Chef

USA, New Orleans, Louisiana. December 02, 2019

The highly anticipated Higgins Hotel & Conference Center has announced the appointment of award-winning Chef Virgile Brandel as Executive Chef. The National WWII Museum's New Orleans property is slated to open in December with four dining outlets and a distinct 1940s theme.

Brandel brings more than 25 years of culinary experience to The Higgins Hotel and will spearhead menu development, culinary innovation and operations of the various dining outlets, which include the Hotel's signature restaurant Café Normandie, a lobby lounge named Kilroy's Bar and Lounge, rooftop bar Rosie's on the Roof and Provisions, a marketplace ideal for grab-and-go options. As Executive Chef, Brandel will also lead catering for the Hotel's Conference Center, which will serve as a meeting and event space for private rentals, educational programming and various conferences and symposia hosted by the Museum.

"Chef Brandel brings indisputable talent and passion to The Higgins Hotel, which will set a distinguished tone for the property and its diverse array of dining options," said Daniel Rhodes, General Manager of The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center. "We are pleased to have a chef of his caliber lead the culinary team for this unique hotel, set in a city with such rich culinary history."

Most recently, Brandel served as the Executive Chef at Atrio Restaurant & Wine Room at the Conrad Miami and Banquet Chef at the Loews Hotels in Miami Beach. He also served as Executive Fine Dining Chef at several Ritz-Carlton properties around the country. A native of France, Brandel began his career in French kitchens, serving as Senior Chef de Partie at the Park Lane Hotel and then as Sous Chef at The Dorchester Hotel.

Brandel credits his grandmother with inspiring his culinary pursuits—she owned a restaurant in his hometown of Champagne, France, where he was able to develop basic skills early. He eventually went on to study culinary arts at École Hôtelière en Marne and completed his apprenticeship at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Champagne. Following his apprenticeship, Brandel served as Chef de Tournant at a French and Italian restaurant named Boccaccio in Nice.

Mixing his French heritage with New Orleans flavor, Brandel's goal is to create menu items that tell the story of how American culinary culture was inspired by the war era. Café Normandie's seasonally changing menus will include modern takes on traditional French dishes, such as Poulet Normandie and Normand Fricassee, and guests will also find New Orleans Creole-inspired dishes, including a vegetarian Jambalaya and Cajun flatbread.

Media Contact:

Subscribe to our newsletter
for more Hotel Newswire articles

Related News

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close
Coming up in October 2021...

Revenue Management: Monetizing All Offerings


Of all the departments within hotel operations, Revenue Management may have been the hardest hit, due to the pandemic. The logic goes - no revenue, no need for revenue managers - so many industry professionals were furloughed. If business rebounds in 2021, as expected, then hotel management will have to determine when prevailing occupancy levels justify bringing back their revenue management team. Also, the pandemic seems to have exposed some weaknesses in the traditional RevPAR models. There is a growing understanding that it is no longer sufficient to use a "revenue per available room" model; instead, hotels are adopting a TRevPAR model (total revenue per available room). This model recognizes that revenue streams from other departments are just as important as the revenue gained from rooms. As a result, hotels are looking at ways to monetize any and all hotel offerings - from dining outlets and spas to outdoor function spaces and local partnerships. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will examine these developments and report on how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.