On the verge of celebrating its first year anniversary, The Chef Agency, which helps hotels and restaurants find the right recruits for their operations, such as top chefs and executives, is spotlighting its inaugural year by noting placements in top kitchens. These include 50 Eggs in Miami, The Plaza Hotel in New York, and Morimoto in Philadelphia.
An affiliate of Steve Kamali Hospitality, the agency was officially launched during the 2013 South Beach Wine + Food Festival, held in February. Steve Kamali Hospitality has several affiliates that provide real estate location and development, investment, and branding consulting services to restaurants and hotels.
The synergy is undeniable, as Kamali’s company helps an international group of hotels and restaurants find locations for their new ventures, which will invariably have positions looking to be filled. For Waterstone Resort + Marina, in Boca Raton, Florida, Hospitality House—another Steve Kamali Hospitality affiliate—helped develop the menu for the hotel’s casual and fine dining facilities, planned the physical layout of the venues, including their kitchens, and performed market research. The Chef Agency then placed the executive chef and hotel general manager.
“Savvy restaurants require top-level chefs and executives to be successful. At some point, every restaurant seeks talent to bring its business to the next level,” said Michael Hewitt, the Chef Agency’s chief recruiter. Hewitt has over 12 years of experience in the restaurant industry, ranging from fast-casual to fine-dining. He graduated with a degree in hotel and restaurant management from the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne in Switzerland.
“Our skillset lies in finding special talent for food and beverage operators. We know the trends,” says Hewitt. “As restaurants, hotels, and gaming resorts across the globe are opening at a feverish pace, they can look to the Chef Agency to provide them with a reliable team.”
Descriptions of job positions, set inside a relevant photo, are posted on Instagram, cited with the hashtag #job alert. The agency also reaches out through its email list. Agency staff then sifts through resumes, and the top three applicants are introduced to the restaurateur, who makes the final decision on the hire.
By Joann Whitcher