Trade Show Food Just Got Better In ChicagoBy
Written by Helen Holzer
CHICAGO – Chicago Restaurant Partners, the exclusive food service provider for McCormick Place, is changing convention center catering one guest at a time. It has named internationally trained Chef Hans Lentz as the convention center’s new executive chef.
Lentz will be responsible for menu preparation and selection for McCormick Place Catered Service Operations as he works to improve the convention and tradeshow dining experience for millions of attendees.
His extensive global experience is evident in his creative food presentation, but he believes in classical cooking and in keeping food true to its origin. He expects the biggest change McCormick Place visitors will find in their dining options will be in presentation and taste. New menu additions will focus on health-conscious choices with a modern flair and items sourced from local producers. Attendees will also find international food selections and choices rich in Chicago tradition.
“We are changing the perception of convention center dining,” said Shaun Beard, general manager of Chicago Restaurant Partners. “Serving tens of thousands of people over a space of 2.6 million square feet does not have to mean sacrificing taste and presentation. McCormick Place guests will find the same quality that they would find at a fine dining restaurant, whether they are entertaining 100 or 15,000.”
David Causton, general manager of McCormick Place, stated, “We welcome Executive Chef Hans Lentz to McCormick Place and we look forward to providing exciting new dining options to our guests. As we continue to attract events, exhibitors, and attendees from around the world and across the nation, having Chef Lentz’s culinary talents is a major asset to our team.”
Lentz’s culinary career spans nearly two decades and 10 countries. He began his formal culinary education in his hometown of Cologne, Germany. From the InterContinental Cologne, he moved on to the Dusseldorf InterContinental and to general manager of the Al Bustan Palace in Oman, home to the Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Other stints included hotel restaurants in Dubai, Cairo, Guam, Puerto Rico and Istanbul, before becoming executive sous chef at the InterContinental Miami. In 2005, Lenz found his home in the top culinary post with the InterContinental Chicago.
The chef is an active member of the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and is also a Culinary Ambassador to Germany for the Illinois Board of Tourism.
Pictured from left are Shaun Beard, general manager, Chicago Restaurant Partners; Karen Malone of the HIMSS trade show that McCormick Place hosted in April; Executive Chef Hans Lentz; Norris Orms, HIMSS; and David Causton, general manager, McCormick Place.