LondonHouse Chicago, the luxury lifestyle property on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Wacker Drive, announced the appointment of Elizabeth Sweeney as executive chef and Thomas Gorczyca as executive pastry chef.
Originally from North Dakota, Sweeney began her culinary career by studying at the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR, where the school’s proximity to wine country and the Pacific Ocean contributed to the cuisine and curriculum. Afterwards, Sweeney studied culinary arts, nutrition, and food science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She continued her education at Roosevelt University in Chicago, achieving a master’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. The school’s hospitality program emphasized lodging management; food and beverage management; and meeting, events, convention, and exhibition management.
From there, Sweeney developed her expertise with experiences at restaurants throughout Chicago, working at Lettuce Entertain You’s Spanish tapas restaurant Café Ba Ba Reeba as sous chef, and then at French bistro Mon Ami Gabi as chef de cuisine. She then accepted a position at The Illinois Institute of Art as adjunct chef instructor in the A la Carte Kitchen/The Backstage Bistro, the student-run restaurant with a focus on seasonality. After six years there, Sweeney left and worked as executive chef and catering chef throughout the Chicagoland area before returning to The Illinois Institute of Art, assuming the role of culinary director, taking charge of operations for the culinary academic department. After four years, in search of a new destination, she left for Kauai, HI and worked as chef de cuisine at Merriman’s Hawaii.
Sweeney is now excited to return to Chicago and lead the LondonHouse culinary team utilizing local, seasonal ingredients.
“We are so pleased to have Chef Sweeney on our team to bring her creativity and leadership in the kitchen to the hotel,” says LondonHouse Chicago Director of Food and Beverage John Belter. “We are excited to have her in this role, where she can enrich the legendary guest experiences we are known for.”
Hailing from just outside of Philadelphia, Gorczyca attended Baltimore International College, where he studied professional cooking, baking, and pastry. After school, he worked as lead pastry cook at The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA and as baker at the Sheraton Harrisburg-Hershey in Harrisburg, PA. Six years ago, Gorczyca moved to Chicago and accepted a role at the Intercontinental as pastry chef, managing all day-to-day pastry operations.
Gorczyca has won a wide variety of awards, including the People’s Choice Award at the World of Chocolate Gala in 2015 and 2016, First Place for Tastiest Cake at Hershey Chocolate Fest 2008, and more.
“The LondonHouse culinary team is proud to welcome Pastry Chef Gorczyca,” says Belter. “We look forward to introducing his original creations to our guests throughout the hotel establishments.”
Sweeney and Gorczyca work side by side to create reimagined dishes and pastries for guests to savor at two LondonHouse establishments: LH Rooftop – the hotel’s tri-level rooftop bar and restaurant on floors 21, 22, and 23 – and Bridges, LondonHouse Chicago’s mezzanine-level lobby lounge where guests can enjoy the hotel’s afternoon tea service and all-day menu. They will also support the current offerings and creation of new ones for the hotel’s meetings, events, and weddings packages. Guests staying at LondonHouse Chicago can enjoy their menu creations from the comfort of their guestrooms via in-room dining.
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