Management Moves: The Pump Room, Flanery

The Pump Room

The talented team to oversee Chicago’s iconic new Pump Room, culled from the best kitchens and bars in the Chicago area and beyond has been announced. 

The Pump Room’s new food concept was created by world-renowned, James Beard award winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. 

He will recreate a selection of the original Pump Room Chicago classics, as well as original new dishes and a special chef’s tasting menu featuring a “farm to table” experience, supporting local purveyors.

Vongerichten has secured Bradford Phillips for the role of executive chef. Phillips was formerly at Chicago’s gastrobistro LM Le Restaurant, W Hotel Chicago, Blackbird, NOMI, Saltaus, and The Pump Room.   

French Culinary Institute graduate Moosah Reaume will be executive sous chef. He previously worked with Vongerichten at the Mark restaurant in New York, numerous steakhouses, and was NBA superstar Carmelo Anthony’s private chef. Jason Hedin joins the team from The Royal Mail in Dunkeld, Australia, named Best Restaurant in Australia in 2010.  His Chicago experience includes working under chef Laurent Gras at the Michelin three-star L20 and The Four Seasons hotel.

Sous chef Aaron Bickman worked with Vongerichten at JoJo and A Voce in New York before returning to the Midwest where he was at Bacchus, Charro and Umami Moto. 

Hong Kong native, Kady Yon, executive pastry chef, has plied her talents at Charlie Trotter, The Four Season hotel in Chicago and Boka Restaurant Group.

“These talented chefs will utilize the best from the nation’s breadbasket by supporting regional purveyors, presenting native flavors and offering a daily tasting menu highlighting the locally-sourced ingredients,” says Vongerichten.

The original Pump Room hosted world-renowned celebrities and iconic people from every era for the past 73 years, including Frank Sinatra (who had his own booth) David Bowie; the Queen of England; Ronald Reagan; and Marilyn Monroe.

The original Pump Room opened on October 1, 1938.  The new Pump Room will open on October 11, 2011, 73 years later almost to the day.  The new incarnation will continue to be a fashionable spot where an eclectic mix of people comes together to see and be seen, as well as socialize and dine as they have for past decades.

David Flanery, Benihana

Benihana Inc., operator of the nation's largest chain of Japanese themed and sushi restaurants, has announced that it has hired David Flanery as CFO. Formerly CFO at Papa John's International Inc., Flanery will be based in Miami and report directly to Richard Stockinger, chairman, president and CEO.

He replaces Gene R. Baldwin, who has served as interim CFO since January 2010 and who will continue in a transition role for a brief period.

"We are thrilled to be adding David to the Benihana management team,” says Stockinger. “His deep, wide-ranging experience as a senior financial executive at a public restaurant company will help us build on the momentum we have generated over the last two years and continue to prepare for a new phase of growth. I would like to thank Gene Baldwin for his important contributions to the company. We wish him nothing but the best in the future." 

Flanery is a seasoned restaurant executive with 17 years of experience at Papa John's, a period that saw the company grow from a regional chain of 400 restaurants to a global brand with 3,700 restaurants in all 50 states and 32 countries.

From 2004 to 2011, he was CFO overseeing all finance functions, including SEC reporting, treasury management and investor relations. During that time, he had added responsibility for international operations for approximately three years. Prior to becoming CFO, he held senior finance positions at Papa John's with additional responsibility, at various times, for information systems and supply chain.

Mr. Flanery says, "This is a tremendous opportunity. I have watched the recent turnaround at Benihana Inc. with admiration, and I am looking forward to working with the company's talented management team and employees to help it reach its considerable potential."


News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.