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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Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.