Fairmont Chicago Names Executive Chef

CHICAGO, Illinois—Mark Huntley, regional vice president and general manager of Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, announces the appointment of John Cordeaux to executive chef of the hotel. In his new position, Chef Cordeaux will oversee the culinary operation at Fairmont Chicago. From Aria Restaurant and Aria Bar & Sushi Club to the lobby bar and in-room dining to the social catering and banquet culinary operation, Chef Cordeaux brings nearly 30 years of experience and a global perspective to the hotel’s food and beverage team.

“We are extremely fortunate to welcome such a culinary talent to Fairmont Chicago,” Huntley said. “Chef Cordeaux will be an excellent leader for our culinary team and bring a new creative vision to our operation. We are delighted to have him bring his experience over three continents to our hotel and know he will make a tremendous contribution to the property and the community.”

“While my tenure in the Middle East was incredibly rewarding, I’m delighted to return to North America, and Fairmont Chicago, fresh from a more and $60 million renovation, is a spectacular location in one of the United States’ premier culinary cities,” Chef Cordeaux said. “I’m fortunate to have a talented culinary team in place and look forward to working with them to enhance our operation.

“As we rework the menus, I’m looking forward to working with local and regional purveyors and leveraging those suppliers to create a farm to table approach,” he continued. “We will also be reinvigorating our rooftop herb garden and reopening our kosher kitchen so there are a variety of exciting culinary initiatives on the horizon for Fairmont Chicago.”


Chef Cordeaux began his career as an apprentice rising through the ranks to chef de partie at the Royal Victoria Hotel in Sheffield, England. In 1983 John joined The Turnberry Hotel and Golf Courses in Turnberry, Scotland, and held the progressive roles of commis 1, chef de partie, and second sous chef. In 1985 he joined The Lodge at Vail in Vail Colorado as a junior sous chef.

Chef Cordeaux joined Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 1988 as sous chef at The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, quickly rising to executive sous chef and finally executive chef. During his time at The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, he was part of the pre-opening team at The Molson Centre as The Queen Elizabeth was awarded the management of the centre’s restaurants and private boxes. In 1999, Chef Cordeaux transferred to The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto as the executive chef where he held the role for six years, moving into the director of food and beverage position in 2005.

Four years later, in 2009, Chef Cordeaux’s culinary passion drew him back into the executive chef role for the opening of the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr in Abu Dhabi. Following this successful opening, Chef Cordeaux joined another preopening team in the United Arab Emirates at Fairmont the Palm, The Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.

Throughout his career, Chef Cordeaux has received many awards and accolades, the most recent and notable includes receiving the prestigious Chef of the Year by The Hotelier Middle East in 2010. Chef Cordeaux holds a professional certification in food and beverage management from Cornell University and a certification in strategic management culture and change as well as finance from the University of Guelph and a culinary apprenticeship from Sheffield College in the U.K.

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