Clayton Members Club & Hotel Names Brandon Duley Executive Chef

Clayton Members Club & Hotel, slated to open in early April 2021, announced Brandon Duley as executive chef and Lukas Pesek as director of food and beverage. The two will oversee the property’s three public-facing restaurants – Of A Kind, O.A.K. Market and Five Nines – as well as a members’ restaurant and rooftop restaurant with poolside service. The first of its kind in Denver, Clayton is a 63-room boutique hotel, providing convenient access to the city’s best shopping, dining and more. In addition to all hotel amenities, guests have access to the physical and experiential amenities of Clayton Membership Club, including dining in the second floor restaurant and on the rooftop.  

Duley joined Aparium Hotel Group – Clayton’s operator – in November 2020 with more than 15 years of experience and a philosophy of scratch-made, responsibly-sourced food. He actively works with local purveyors, such as Esoterra Culinary Garden; Colorado’s farming and ranching community; and notable fellow restaurateurs, including Kelly Whitaker of the Noble Grain Alliance, to secure truly exceptional ingredients for his menus. He is passionate about supporting small farms and storytelling through food.  

“We are honored to have Brandon lead our kitchens,” says Aaron Coburn, general manager of Clayton. “His dedication to local partnerships and carefully curated dishes will ensure our guests and members enjoy exceptional dining experiences in each of our restaurants, every time. We’re thrilled to welcome him to Denver.” 

Prior to joining the Clayton team, Duley started his career as a sous chef for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company before managing in-house charcuterie at Los Angeles’ acclaimed restaurant, Gjelina. Duley led the James Beard Award-nominated restaurant’s pickling and fermentation program, eventually growing the offering to hundreds of pounds of peak-season California produce each week. Duley became ingrained in the Gjelina Group family, serving as the executive chef of Gjelina Take Away – the counter service outpost serving locally-sourced, produce-forward food, to stay or to go. Most recently, Duley was hand selected as chef de cuisine of Ardor at The West Hollywood EDITION Hotel, a John Fraser restaurant, for his passion for produce. Ardor’s menus offer an artful balance of produce and meats, known for showcasing vegetable-forward California cuisine, a philosophy which Duley has fully embraced. 

Pesek joined Aparium in January 2021 with 20 years of hospitality experience, most recently in the fast-paced world of Las Vegas’ world-renowned casinos. Growing up in Prague, Pesek found a love of wine thanks to his father, who encouraged him to take in flavor, viscosity and aroma from every glass. His passion for food and beverage grew from a young age, and he earned a hospitality, food and beverage management degree from Hotel School Marianske Lazne in the Czech Republic. From there, he traveled the world, leading wine programs and managing restaurants, big and small, in various countries. While attending a wine tasting in Prague in 2007, he met a faculty member from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who convinced him to take his passions to Sin City. Pesek relocated to the United States, graduated from the University of Nevada with a Bachelor of Science in hotel administration and held management positions at Wolfgang Puck restaurants, first at Spago and then Postrio. Additionally, Pesek helped open a Wolfgang Puck restaurant in Dubai. After spending nearly 10 years with Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, Pesek went on to serve as the director of restaurants at Aria Resort and Casino; director of food and beverage for Aria & Vdara Resort and Casino; and vice president of food and beverage at Excalibur Hotel & Casino. 

Now, after working in seven different countries across three continents, Pesek joins the Clayton team in Denver. 

“Lukas is a vibrant, energizing personality who creates a warm and inviting atmosphere everywhere he goes,” says Coburn. “He is a strong leader, known for building high-performing teams, and will undoubtedly impart the level of hospitality that we strive to be known for at Clayton.” 

Clayton serves as an intentionally cultivated community, born from the collision of arts, local culture and entrepreneurial endeavors – all reflected in its dining concepts. A cornerstone of Clayton, Of A Kind pays homage to the fresh, bright flavors of Mediterranean and California coastal fare. The menu features hearth-fired meats, fresh salads, hummus plates, and unique pastas and pitas sourced from local grain productions. As Of A Kind’s casual companion, O.A.K. Market is an all-day eatery for inspired cuisine, freshly-pressed juices, espresso, coffee and ice cream. Five Nines, a cocktail lounge with an intimate stage for live entertainment, stars a cocktail menu of curated ingredients and high-end spirits alongside a thoughtfully crafted bar snack menu. 

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