August 2009 (Los Angeles) – The Beverly Hills Hotel, one of the Dorchester
Collection, has announced the appointments of three top-notch culinary
and catering professionals: Alex Chen as Executive Chef, Ali Kayhan as
Director of Catering and Conference Services, and Robert Allen as Regional
Director of Culinary and Food and Beverage Operations.
“All of these individuals represent an inspiring new asset to the evolution
of our Los Angeles based hotels,” said Alberto del Hoyo, Regional Director
of West Coast USA and General Manager of The Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel
Bel-Air. “With Alex’s refreshing creativity, Ali’s catering insight and
Robert’s depth of culinary knowledge, the properties are destined to attain
even greater heights of excellence.”
A talented culinary professional with nearly a decade of experience
at some of the finest hotel properties in North America, Chef Chen is responsible
for all dining operations at The Beverly Hills Hotel which includes the
world renowned and legendary Polo Lounge. Leading a culinary team consisting
of sixty cooks and nine sous chefs, his responsibilities also include menu
creation, menu implementation, and kitchen operations for The Cabana Café,
The Fountain Coffee Room, Bar NINETEEN12, In-Room Dining, Special Events,
and Off-Site Catering. Chef Chen joined The Beverly Hills
Hotel as Executive Sous Chef in 2005. Prior to his arrival at hotel, Chef
Chen was appointed Senior Sous Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago,
a Mobil Five Star, AAA Five Diamond property. Prior to this
assignment, he served at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, starting in 2001
as Chef de Cuisine in Studio Café, the extremely successful restaurant
of the Four Season’s flagship property. Chef Chen built his strong culinary
foundation by studyi`ng culinary arts at Vancouver Community College in
British Columbia, Canada graduating with distinction and certification
in 1999. Throughout his culinary career, Chef Chen has participated in
numerous culinary competitions where he consistently placed first, a testament
to his culinary talent.
Born in Tehran, schooled in Missouri, and experienced in all aspects
of catering and banquet services, Ali Kayhan is the new Director of Catering
and Conference Services at The Beverly Hills Hotel. He came to the property
in late 2008 and now oversees all on- and off-property catering operations.
Before joining the Dorchester Collection, Kayhan held an array of catering-related
positions at hotel addresses across the country. In 2008 he was tasked
with taking The Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica to “the next level,” and
succeeded in raising the tab of the average check by 33% in just six months.
Previously, Kayhan was the General Manager for Wolfgang Puck Catering at
Hollywood and Highland, Puck’s flagship property, Senior Catering Manager
at The New York Palace, Senior Catering Sales Manager at The Plaza Hotel
in New York, and a Catering Manager at the New York Marriot Marquis in
2000. Raised in the Iranian capital, Tehran, Kayhan spent many years in
France and Austria before relocating to the United States in 1988.
Formerly the Director of Food & Beverage and Executive Chefof The
Beverly Hills Hotel, Robert Allen is now the Regional Director of Culinary
and Food and Beverage Operations for the Dorchester Collection, responsible
for all food, beverage and culinary operations at The Beverly Hills Hotel
and Hotel Bel-Air. Allen joined The Beverly Hills Hotel in 2005, delighting
diners with his signature modern California cuisine created with French
accents and culinary techniques, as well as his deep respect for highest-quality
ingredients. Previously, Allen toured with globe landing positions at many
top kitchens, including The Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver, The Four Seasons
Chicago, The Four Seasons Toronto, Hotel Ritz Paris and Le Gavroche London.
Allen has earned a wide variety of international media and industry acclaim,
receiving the Robert Mondavi Award of Culinary Excellence (2000) and competing
in the prestigious Bocuse d’Or (1999) in which he won the “Prix Viande”
and fourth place overall - the highest ranking by a North American chef.
The launch of Dorchester Collection in 2006 signaled a change to the
strategic goals of the company. By applying its unrivalled experience and
capability in owning and operating some of the world’s great individual
hotels, the company’s vision is to become the ultimate hotel management
company, with a passion for excellence and innovation, honoring the individuality
and heritage of its iconic hotels. This will be achieved through
acquisition as well as management of wholly-owned and part-owned hotels.
The Dorchester Collection is the successor to the Dorchester Group, originally
established in 1996 to manage a portfolio of some of the world’s foremost
luxury hotels in Europe and the USA.
Dorchester Collection’s Chief Executive, Christopher Cowdray has set
out the company’s goal to have between 15-20 hotels by 2015.
The current portfolio is managed by Dorchester Collection:
The Dorchester in London
The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills
Le Meurice in Paris
Hotel Plaza Athénée in Paris
Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan
The New York Palace in New York
Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles
Coworth Park, Ascot, UK
45 Park Lane, London