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Stephane Becht Appointed Executive Chef at The Pierre, New York City;
Hotel to Re-Open June 2009 Following a $100 million Renovation

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NEW YORK - (April 22, 2009) - Heiko Kuenstle, General Manager for The Pierre, the iconic hotel on New York's Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park that is re-opening June 1 following a $100 million renovation, has appointed Stephane Becht as Executive Chef. 

Celebrated for his ability to create innovative culinary programs in diverse luxury settings, Chef Becht's 29-year career features a veritable who's who of award-winning destination dining in Europe, the U.S. and the Caribbean at noted restaurants, luxury hotels and a fleet of cruise ships, including the Michelin-starred Taillevent, Lucas-Carton, Auberge de L'ill and La Couronne in France; La Grenouille in New York; L'Orangerie in Los Angeles; The Ocean Club at the One and Only Resort, Bahamas, and the Delano in Miami. 

At The Pierre, Chef Becht is responsible for food and beverage operations for 2 East, the hotel's new lobby lounge, as well as the property's 24-hour in-room dining for its 189 guestrooms and suites, and all catering for the hotel's weddings, corporate and social functions. In this role, he manages a talented team of culinary professionals and sommeliers. 

Prior to joining The Pierre, Chef Becht was Corporate Executive Chef for Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Lines. Here he oversaw all food and beverage operations for four ships, developed innovative training programs and initiated "Freestyle 2.0" dining with upgraded menus, presentation and product quality for the cruise line's entire fleet of 14.

He launched his career in 1980 with an apprenticeship at La Couronne, a Michelin One-Star restaurant in Alsace, France. From there he went on to spend four years as Commis de Cuisine and then Chef de Partie at the Michelin Three-Star Auberge de L'ill in Illhaeusern, France. After a one-year stint as Cuisinier for the French Defense Ministry in Paris, he joined Taillevent and then the landmark Lucas-Carton owned by Alain Senderens, both Michelin Three-Star restaurants in Paris, where for two years he trained in all stations of the kitchen as Chef de Partie before heading to the U.S. as Sous Chef for New York's La Grenouille.

About The Pierre 
The Pierre, on Fifth Avenue overlooking New York's Central Park, first opened in 1930. The iconic hotel with 189 guestrooms, including 49 suites, was acquired by Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces as the luxury chain's U.S. flagship in 2005. The Pierre, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, will re-open June 1, 2009, following a $100 million renovations program. Rates begin at $895. To book reservations now, please call 1-800-743-7734 or visit http://www.tajhotels.com/pierre/.

About Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia's largest and finest groups of hotels, comprising 64 hotels in 45 locations across India with an additional 15 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Rajput palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury. The Taj, a symbol of Indian hospitality, has recently completed the centenary of its landmark hotel, The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Mumbai. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is part of the Tata Group, India's premier business house. For more information on Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces: www.tajhotels.com.

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Contact:

Babs Harrison
212/851-8425
babs@sheiladonnelly.com 
 

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Also See: Pamela M. Feick Named Director of Sales and Marketing The Pierre, New York City / October 2008
Heiko Kuenstle Appointed General Manager of The Pierre New York, a Taj Hotel / July 2005
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