Thomas Ryan Named Executive Chef; Jon Shin Takes Over at Sai Sai Restaurant
Bringing new culinary flair to one of downtown Los Angeles’ most historic hotels, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, is pleased to welcome two new chefs to their culinary team. Thomas Ryan has just joined as executive chef and Jonathan Shin joins the staff at the helm of the hotel’s longstanding sushi spot, Sai Sai Restaurant.
Overseeing a culinary operation that encompasses banquets, four bars and restaurants and room service, Chef Ryan’s approach aims to elevate the stylish Biltmore banquet facilities’ menus and services to a true American classic cuisine hearkening back to its earliest days when food was locally-sourced, seasonal and fresh to create inspired and elegantly-presented cuisine.
Ryan’s love of cooking stems from childhood, but unlike many chefs, not from his mother, who did not cook. Instead he became the family chef by necessity, and as his family spent summers in Billings, New York – just down the road from the Culinary Institute of America – his skills and passion for the kitchen grew over time until he finally enrolled himself in prestigious school.
Ryan’s experience spans more than two decades and includes service as executive chef and opening team member with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, two invitations to cook at the famed James Beard House in New York as a guest chef, and, as president and corporate chef of Restaurant & Hospitality Consultants, Las Vegas, leading a team of top professionals in the development and opening of restaurants. Most recently he served as executive chef for The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach and Montage Hotels in Deer Valley, Utah.
Ryan is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, New York and is working toward becoming a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) with the American Culinary Federation. Further training from noted culinary programs includes the Culinary Olympics in Frankfurt, Germany and wine training with sommeliers at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. He has participated in six annual Food & Wine Classics in Aspen, CO and is a member of COPIA, the American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts.
Family also inspired Chef Jon Shin, whose father, a native of Japan, has been a sushi chef himself for over 20 years; consequently Shin grew up eating traditional Japanese food and over time developed a love for the craft himself.
A graduate of the California School of Culinary Arts’ Le Cordon Bleu program in Pasadena, CA, Shin has worked with a diverse range of kitchen experiences, including event catering and training culinary students at the Summer Art Academy. He spent the last three years at West Hollywood’s exclusive Nobu Restaurant, where he worked in virtually all culinary capacities, including the pastry department. His vision for Sai Sai focuses on highlighting the freshest ingredients possible, as well as integrating the sensory concept of “kokumi,” which infuses texture and flavor for the ultimate tasting experience.
“I look forward to bringing traditional Japanese food with a modern twist to Sai Sai,” says Shin.
For more information about the Millennium Biltmore, Los Angeles, visit www.millenniumhotels.com.
About The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles
A downtown landmark since its completion in 1923 and the “star” of numerous movies and TV shows filmed at the property, the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, has long been the “host of the coast” for high society, celebrities and conventioneers from around the globe. Known for its Spanish-Italian Renaissance-style architecture, the stately 683-room property includes 27 one-bedroom suites and 28 Executive Suites. There is a Club Level on two floors and a Club Lounge featuring concierge service, breakfast and afternoon hors d’oeuvres and beverages.
The hotel’ exquisite function space features five magnificent ballrooms, including the legendary Biltmore Bowl which hosted eight Academy Award Ceremonies in the 1930s and ‘40s, and downtown's most famous ballroom, the exquisite Crystal Room. This downtown Los Angeles hotel also offers 9 breakouts, an executive boardroom suite and carpeted exhibit space, totaling approximately 70,000 square feet. Full on-site audio/visual capabilities and a professional catering staff are available to ensure efficiency from start to finish. The Biltmore’s Crystal Ballroom was the site of several early Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banquets, and the 14,000-square-foot Biltmore Bowl recently reopened after a $3 million renovation to prepare the grand venue for another century of memorable events. The AAA three-diamond-rated hotel also features an Art Deco-inspired fitness center and indoor swimming pool, two lounges and 24-hour room service. Dining and entertaining at the Biltmore is always an event -from fresh Italian and Continental fare at Smeraldi’s and traditional afternoon tea in the famed Rendezvous Court, to fresh sushi and creative Pan-Asian cuisine at Sai Sai. Considered one of downtown's best nighttime spots, the Gallery Bar is known for its signature martinis, vintage cognacs and select wine list, and enormously popular for weekly jazz on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, is a member of the Historic Hotels of America group designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The hotel showcases numerous fine works of art, including a ceiling masterpiece in the Crystal Ballroom painted by Giovanni Smeraldi of Vatican fame. Located just 20 minutes from LAX and Burbank airports, the property is conveniently located in the heart of Los Angeles amid the city’s business, financial and cultural centers, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall.