The extensive search for The Signature Room in Chicago at the 95th’s new executive chef is complete. Today Brandon K. Wolff, 43, takes the lead in the kitchen that serves up to 800,000 guests each year in the fine dining setting high atop the John Hancock Building.
Most recently serving as executive sous chef for Chicago-based One SixtyBlue, Wolff now directs a team of five sous chefs, 35 cooks, and a pastry kitchen of eight.
“This position requires a certain management style and ability to maintain the highest quality of food and service while infusing the menu with personality and flavor,” says Angela Aspito, director of operations. “Brandon is very experienced in producing outstanding fine dining fare, and his passion for working with high quality, farm-fresh ingredients perfectly melds with our passion for delivering memorable, gourmet cuisine.”
Wolff describes his cooking style as simple yet refined, sourcing the highest quality produce from local growers, using minimal ingredients in each dish, and focusing on seasonality and flavors that work together.
Wolff’s new menus for The Signature Room will be infused with this same upscale simplicity and fresh approach. Considering his mastery of Italian cuisine, guests can expect to sample handmade, fresh pastas daily.
Wolff began his professional career as the chef de cuisine at The Doubletree Hotel’s Warren Duck Club and then later as chef di cucina at The Adam’s Mark Hotel’s Bravo Ristorante. In 1998, he made his first move to the Windy City to take on the executive sous chef role at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise’s Maggiano’s Little Italy division.
He moved to Milwaukee when the Bartolotta Restaurant Group selected him as executive chef for Dream Dance at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino. While at the $120 million dollar casino project, Wolff helped the restaurant earn four stars from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Restaurant of the Year from Milwaukee Magazine.
Next, the Bartolotta Restaurant Group named Wolff executive chef of Bacchus, a contemporary American fine dining restaurant in Milwaukee, where he again earned a four-star rating by critics and was invited twice to cook at the James Beard House in New York. When he returned to Chicago, he worked as chef de cuisine at Osteria Via Stato, and chef de cuisine at La Madia.
The Fort Worth, Texas, native most enjoys perusing the farmer’s markets around the city and his own Wicker Park neighborhood. He tries to find time to pursue his favorite sport, tennis, when not in the kitchen. He earned a degree in restaurant and hotel management from Oklahoma State University.