Okay, let’s get this complicated situation out in the open.
Headline yesterday: French Room Chef: Chef Marcus Strietzel =wrong. (Two chefs, Marcus/Marcos, both with last names beginning with “S” threw me for a loop.) I ran a corrected headline at the bottom of the post and received an e-mail from David Davis, PR director at the Hotel Adolphus:
The headline is incorrect. Marcus Strietzel is the hotel’s new executive chef, not French Room chef; Marcos Segovia continues as the Chef de Cuisine of The French Room.
Yea! All clear. This morning Davis sends this:
“I apologize that I have not sent you an official release. We are waiting on Marcus’s headshot. The hotel has been very busy since he was promoted and he hasn’t been able to stop long enough to have his photo taken. It happens today (Thurs) around 4:30 p.m. I like to do this all at once, rather than sending out the release – and, then, later, the photo.”
No apologies necessary. Glad the hotel is busy. But wait? Former French Room execuchef William Koval leaves an interesting comment under the post. Jump for the rest of the story.
Just as I was getting ready to put this story to bed, former French Room execuchef, and all-around nice guy, William Koval, leaves this comment under the poorly headlined post:
The chef of the adolphus hotel has not always been in charge of the French room. There was a separation of church and state, All up until 1994 when I became the chef of the adolphus hotel there was no separation of church and state. It took Brent wuest former chef de cuisine of the French room, James Donohue maitre de, and myself, to change the course of the French room. I spent the next twelve years along with the chefs and sous chefs that came and went, and James who is still there, on the menu, tables, chairs, china, silverware, glassware, wine. It takes more then one person to bring a passion for a restaurant together and keep it going, No one can do it on his or her own. But it only takes one person to keep it alive and keep it going never giving up when others wanted too. And I did keep it alive along with Segovia and James for a great twelve years. The French room never received higher praise for what we had accomplished. Then came along Jason weaver the new French room and hotel chef, and he walked into a smooth running machine and turned it up a couple of notches, Jason is not only a great guy but a great chef who once again raised the bar. Know it is just back too they way it was pre 1994, now under Segovia one awesome guy. Just two answer the one question? was koval and weaver running the French room, we where the French room.
While we wait for Kirk’s poison red pen, here is part of an e-mail from my source close to the French Room:
The Crescent Hotel Group [currently operating the Hotel Adolphus] is not in the high-end hotel market. There is nothing wrong with that–everyone has there market place—but they manage a lot of Embassy Suites and Ramadas, etc. They really don’t operate any high-caliber hotels. From what I am told really don’t care about the high-end stuff. They said they do not want a name chef, just a grunt to do all the work. They are letting go between 5 to 7 people a week. Some have left to go work for Jason [Weaver], the chef that was on Hell’s Kitchen [Van Hurd] has left for a club on the East Coast.
I e-mailed David Davis and asked “Have other people been laid off in the kitchen or left to go with Jason in Las Vegas?” He replies:
“Off the top of my head, I can only think of one person who left to join Jason at the Mandarin. She was in the pastry kitchen.”
And on Hurd:
“Yes, he was made an offer he couldn’t refuse. Ha!He told me all about it, but I don’t recall the details. We are very happy for him.It was a wonderful opportunity that he couldn’t pass up.”
I’ve sent an e-mail to Hurd.
UPDATE from David Davis:
“My mistake, Nancy, there are two who have joined Jason in Las Vegas: Tida Pichakron (from our pastry kitchen) and Donald Chalko (one of our sous chefs). You can imagine what an exciting opportunity this was – to help Jason open the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Las Vegas. We are very proud of them and wish them much success.”