Davidson Hotels Appoints Tim Graham as Executive Chef for Thompson Chicago

USA, Chicago, Illinois. September 10, 2019

The Thompson Chicago is pleased to welcome Chef Tim Graham as the hotel's new Executive Chef. In this role, Chef Graham will oversee all culinary operations of the hotel including private events, in-room dining, and the hotel's renowned restaurant, Nico Osteria. Chef Graham joins the Thompson Chicago having served as Executive Chef at several acclaimed Chicago restaurants including Michelin-starred Tru, Paris Club (where Chef Graham was an instrumental member of the team that developed and opened the restaurant) and Travelle at the Langham hotel. Most recently Graham was the executive chef and owner of his own concept, Twain, which paid homage to midwestern cuisine.

"I'm thrilled to be joining the culinary team at Nico Osteria and Thompson Chicago," said Chef Graham. "We will be experimenting with new flavors, integrating exciting new seafood sourced from all over the globe and expanding key areas of the menu including the pastas and crudos."

Under Graham's direction, the menu will evolve to showcase not only dishes inspired by the coastal region of Italy but extend to integrate authentic cuisine from the entire Italian peninsula. Seafood sourced for the crudos will include additions like scorpion fish from Spain and live spot prawns from Santa Barbara. Chef Graham will incorporate local flavor by featuring produce from nearby farms such as Genesis Growers, Nichols Farm & Orchard, Werp Farms and The Roof Crop. The resulting new menu will include dishes such as Madai Snapper with chef's own rose vinegar, seasonal green strawberries, elderberry flower and almond, and Smoked Shrimp Stella dei Ravioli with seafood broth, n'duja, fennel and herbed breadcrumbs.

"The Thompson and Davidson teams are honored to have Chef Graham join us," said Greg Griffie, Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage of Davidson Hotels. "His outstanding resume and passion for the culinary arts makes him a tremendous addition to the staff, and we look forward to his influence at the Thompson Chicago.

"We are delighted to welcome Chef Graham to Thompson Chicago and look forward to sharing his style of cooking with our guests," said Paul Cardona, General Manager. "His passion and culinary inspiration will bring a new level of cuisine to the restaurant."

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.