maxime kien, executive chef, the burnham restaurant
Maxime (Max) Kien grew up in the South of France in the Cote D’azur region surrounded by the bountiful, natural beauty that is the French Riviera. From age 16, starting as a dishwasher to pay for school, he studied cooking, attending culinary school and earning three different French culinary degrees by the time he was 20. Maxime applied his hard-won skills in the finest hotels and restaurants on the French Riviera; from the Hotel Negresco in Nice to the Hotel de Paris in Monte-Carlo before relocating to London – speaking no English – to work at the acclaimed La Tante Claire. After four years working alongside French Chef Alain Allard, Maxime decided to cross the pond and relocate to Atlanta to work for Master Chef Joel Antunes at The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, later joining the opening team for the nationally acclaimed restaurant “Joel”. When The InterContinental Hotel opened in Buckhead in 2004 Maxime was recruited as chef de cuisine for “Au Pied de Cochon” the 24 hour French Brasserie where he worked for the next four years. Las Vegas called and Maxime found himself working first at the Paris Hotel as Chef de Cuisine for the Fine Dining Restaurant and then as Chef de Cuisine for The Venetian overlooking some of the biggest kitchens on the Las Vegas Strip. Continuing his American journey, he joined the reopening team at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans as Assistant Executive Chef but returned once again to Las Vegas in 2013 as Assistant Executive Chef for three Caesars Entertainment properties on the Strip. Most recently, Maxime worked for the Hilton family as Task Force Executive Chef in Florida and Chicago prior to accepting the Executive Chef position at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown.
Andrew Watts, General Manager, The burnham restaurant
Andrew Watts brings 20 years of Cleveland Food and Beverage experience. He began his career at The Velvet Dog as a bar-back and ascended to General Manager and Marketing Director. He then signed on with Driftwood Restaurant Group and opened three restaurants in 18 months in Playhouse Square – Cibreo, Bin-216 and President’s Club and became General Manager of both BIN-216 and President’s Club. Most recently, Watts was General Manager of Jonathan Sawyer’s flagship restaurant, The Greenhouse Tavern which, during his tenure, received a James Beard Award.
Jack Halfin, chef de cuisine, the burnham restaurant
Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Chef Jack Halfin joins us from Washington D.C.
Chef Jack is a graduate of the famous Cordon Bleu institute in Peru and has crafted his skills in prestigious restaurants around the country. Additionally, he has gained various culinary experiences from around the world including Europe and South America. He moved to Cleveland in 2014 and worked for The Greenhouse Tavern, Jonathan Sawyer's flagship restaurant, before he moved to Washington D.C. to assist in the opening of a Momofuku Noodle Bar. He came back to Cleveland in 2017 as Chef de Cuisine at The Burnham Restaurant.