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Unleashing the Secret Weapon

Thursday, April 26, 2018
By Jay Wetzel

Years ago when I was younger and perhaps a little less wiser, I was seduced by a profession laced with intrigue, mired in scandal, obscenely labor intensive, yet amazingly satisfying. I was not training to be a covert operative, a rock star or a politician though…I had just set foot into my first professional kitchen as a cook. Back in the mid -90s the restaurant scene in the US was really taking off and the major cities such as San Francisco and New York were at the forefront challenging the status quo. Chefs not only gained notoriety, they were celebrities in the eyes of the epicurean world and legends amongst the ranks toiling away day in and day out in fast paced, innovative, cutting edge culinary programs that defined the hottest restaurant scenes. Working in these environments honed one’s work ethic, promoted creativity, encouraged tenacity and demanded an unparalleled sense of integrity. It was grueling experience and if I had to do it again, I would without any hesitation!

Fast forward to 2018, add in a pinch of social media and a dash of the typical millennial’s search for rewarding “experiences”, we find the humble chef once again in the limelight. That skillful individual in a crisp white jacket working in the open kitchen or chatting up the guest at a nearby table not only executes their craft, they are the face of the operation, a literal PR machine.

Chef Moosah

Commons Club Chicago, Chef Moosah Reaume

Virgin Hotels and in particular the Commons Club provide an environment where our talent can shine. Taking a step further we are diligently searching for that next great up and coming talent and with true entrepreneurial spirit Virgin Hotels selflessly offers all that is behind the Virgin brand providing amazing leverage for a young talent. In turn we benefit from this thoughtfully curated relationship as we become the spring board, perhaps the incubator of the next generation of highly acclaimed star chefs. In addition we thwart the stigma of the “hotel restaurant” by providing an offer for the locals that is driven by a culinary presence that will challenge the hottest independent restaurant in that market. The Commons Club concept has been thoughtfully composed anticipating the addition of a unique culinary talent that will not only tempt your taste buds, but evoke that sense of curiosity that lies within all foodies. We celebrate our chefs!