The Hilton Netherland Plaza is now looking for another executive chef after Todd Kelly announced he was leaving to take a similar job at Cherokee Towne and Country Club, a private club in Atlanta.
Kelly, who has earned the AAA Five-Diamond award in 2015, 2016, and 2017 and Forbes Four stars in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, says Cincinnati was definitely not on his radar when a recruiter introduced him to the Netherland eleven years ago and he fell in love with the property.
That's where he oversaw Orchids at Palm Court, The Grille at Palm Court and The Bar at Palm Court as well as banquet and wedding menus. He's known for such dishes as the mozzarella balloon.
The executive chef position at Cherokee Towne and Country Club was a job he only dreamed of until recently.
But he stresses the food will continue to be top of the line at the Netherland. "The quality and everything that has been in Orchids and the Netherland Plaza is going to continue to stay and be the same. The staff is really excited about new opportunities for themselves here and that's going to continue to strive for well past my time here."
Kelly was seventeen when his brother, also a chef, recommended he do the same thing. He says he spent a lot of time peeling carrots and potatoes and chopping up vegetables. His favorite thing to make is pizza and he does that a lot at home.
At the restaurant, "fabricating a little John Dory fish or something along those lines. I think some of these things are amazing or if we are cutting into a ribeye steak that we have been dry-aging for 1oo days you know you just don't see things like that."
Before Cincinnati, Kelly worked at Ember Grille in Charlotte, N.C., Peter James Townhouse in Charlotte and Rubicon in San Francisco.