Executive chef of celebrated Galatoire’s in New Orleans to join team in August (Charleston, SC; June 20, 2018) — Michael Sichel has been appointed as executive chef of the signature restaurant at the highly anticipated and luxurious Hotel Bennett, opening this fall in Charleston. Sichel has over 25 years of restaurant experience and international culinary training and most recently served for seven years as executive chef at the iconic New Orleans fine-dining establishment Galatoire’s, and its sister restaurant Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak.
Sichel begins his new role in August, after which the hotel will reveal more details about the restaurant’s culinary concept and programs. “I am passionate about my customers, my cooks and my cuisine, and I put my heart into each and every plate,” said Sichel. “I’m excited about working with the area’s incredible bounty of fresh produce and integrating into the culinary community of Charleston, which has fabulous chefs and amazing restaurants. I’m especially looking forward to drawing on my many years of New Orleans fine dining experience and contributing to this great food city.”
Sichel’s mother’s family immigrated to New York from southern Italy in the early sixties and his childhood was spent learning about Italian ingredients and family-style cooking. He began his culinary career after graduating with an associate’s degree from the Culinary Institute of America. His first job was in the kitchen of New York City’s legendary Gotham Bar and Grill, and he credits its pioneering Chef Alfred Portale as his most influential culinary inspiration.
On a referral from Portale, Sichel headed west, earning a spot during the startup phase of Drew Nieporent’s San Francisco blockbuster restaurant Rubicon. The environment provided stellar tutelage in product, technique and creativity. A two-year stint followed in the hills of Southern France at L’Abbey de St. Croix in Provence, where his education was as much about lifestyle as precision and presentation. Sichel returned to the US, winning a coveted internship with World Pastry Champion Chef En-Ming Hsu of The French Pastry School at the Ritz Carlton Chicago. He also earned his qualification as Certified Sommelier through The Court of Master Sommeliers. He then headed to Napa Valley, where he continued to hone his culinary style and pairing skill at the famous Auberge du Soleil Hotel and Restaurant.
After moving to New Orleans, and before overseeing historic Galatoire’s and opening of Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak, he opened his own Restaurant Indigo, which became a sad casualty of Hurricane Katrina. He also served as sous chef at the Grill Room in the famed Windsor Court Hotel. Sichel has been featured on the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise, in addition to participating as a competing chef in Bravo TV’s 2012 Top Chef: New Orleans. He has also been a featured guest chef at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival.
“I am extremely excited to welcome Michael Sichel to our culinary team,” said Vijay Singh, general manager of Hotel Bennett. “He is an acclaimed chef and will make a nice addition to the Charleston culinary community, which consistently delivers world-class food, beverage and service.” Prominently located at the corner of King Street and Marion Square, Hotel Bennett is owned by Bennett Hospitality and is managed in partnership with Salamander Hotels & Resorts. The 179-room property’s design draws on the inspiration of grand European hotels, while the signature restaurant features two stories and sweeping outdoor dining terraces overlooking Marion Square.
The hotel’s culinary options will also include Camellias, a stylish bar and lounge featuring reclaimed pink marble from the former Charleston Library for its bar and table tops and an etched-mirrored ceiling. The ninth floor will include a rooftop experience with stunning views of Charleston and is destined to become one of the most iconic hotel bars in America. On King Street, guests and locals can enjoy a patisserie where all of the hotel’s pastries will be freshly baked. Hotel Bennett also features a luxury spa and over 12,000 square feet of grand event and meeting spaces.
About Bennett Hospitality Founded in 1983, Bennett Hospitality is one of the largest locally-owned companies in Charleston, S.C. The company is a multi-faceted, real estate and hotel development company, as well as a hospitality, restaurant, and asset management company. The company owns 18 hotels, eight restaurants and a catering company in four states. Projects are developed, constructed and managed in this framework and range from award-winning resort developments to the re-design and re-development of two city blocks, including six restaurants, a 1000-seat music hall and two hotels in downtown Charleston. For additional information, visit www.BennettHospitality.com. About
Salamander Hotels & Resorts
Salamander Hotels & Resorts is a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila Johnson in 2005, the company has a luxury portfolio featuring two distinct collections. The Signature Collection includes the stunning Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg, a 340-acre equestrian-inspired property near Washington, D.C.; The Henderson, a 170-room grand beach resort in Destin, FL; NOPSI New Orleans, a new 217-room luxury historic hotel re-imagined in the city’s Central Business District; and Hotel Bennett, a 179-room luxury hotel in Charleston, SC, opening in 2018. The Golf Collection includes the famed Innisbrook Resort in Tampa Bay, which hosts an annual PGA TOUR on its Copperhead Course; the elegant Reunion Resort in Orlando, which includes Signature Course designs from Nicklaus, Palmer and Watson; and the recently renovated oceanfront Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast, FL, home to layouts by Nicklaus and Watson. All Salamander properties are members of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. For additional information, visit www.SalamanderHotels.com or call 540-687-3710.