Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago is pleased to announce the appointment of Aya Fukai as executive pastry chef. Chef Fukai joins executive chef Thomas Lents and the acclaimed culinary team at Sixteen, which recently received an upgraded, two-star designation from the 2014 Michelin Guide. As executive pastry chef, Fukai oversees the dessert program at the property's modern American restaurant, Sixteen, as well as those for banquets and in-room dining.
Fukai brings nearly a decade of experience to her position at Trump Chicago, having worked at prestigious hotels and restaurants in Cambridge, Boston and Chicago. A native of Chiba, Japan, Fukai moved to Boston with her family when she was 9 years old. She attended Boston University where she received her bachelors of science in hospitality administration. After graduating, Fukai worked in various assistant pastry positions at a number of distinguished restaurants in Boston, including L'Espalier and Radius. She then took her first executive pastry chef position at Menton under acclaimed chef Barbara Lynch. In 2011, Aya moved to the Midwest where she was in charge of the pastry and bread program for two-Michelin starred Ria and the modern bistro Balsan at the Waldorf Astoria Chicago.
Fukai joins Sixteen in the weeks following the Chef Lents' debut of his winter menu, The Story of Chicago, which runs until late-March. Sixteen's spring menu will serve to officially introduce Fukai's innovative dessert creations.