After a lengthy search, the Raphael Hotel on the Country Club Plaza has found its new executive chef. Joseph Cizek, a Blue Springs native and graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, S.C., is taking over the helm at Chaz on the Plaza, the Raphael’s long-running fine dining restaurant.
Cizek will assume responsibility for menu development, sourcing of all food items, culinary team leadership, food quality for Chaz, hotel in-suite dining and banquets, and building the restaurant’s culinary reputation.
Cizek’s resume includes a stint at Richard Chen’s Michelin-starred restaurant in Pittsburgh as well as time at James Beard award-winner Kevin Shamini’s eatery, Shikago, in Chicago.
According to a press release from the hotel, Cizek’s cooking style is “rooted in classic French fundamentals learned in culinary school combined with Asian techniques.” Cizek says he believes in “letting the ingredients speak for themselves,” emphasizing local sourcing of products in peak season whenever possible.
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Growing up in the metro, Cizek says he discovered his love of the culinary world while serving as an omelet chef at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. Cizek returned to Kansas City in 2009. In the ensuing years, he has worked at Parisi Café in Union Station, PB&J Restaurants, The Kansas City Club, and most recently, the newly opened Hops House at Argosy Casino.
Cizek’s appointment fills the void left by the departure of longtime executive chef Charles d’Ablaing who moved from Chaz to the Hotel Sorella, where he is the hotel’s director of food and beverage and executive chef.
Dave Eckert is a partner with Flavor Trade, a Kansas City-based gourmet food incubator and co-packer. Before that, Eckert was the producer and host of “Culinary Travels With Dave Eckert,” which aired on PBS and AWE for 12 seasons.