New Executive Chef to Lead Transformation of Restaurant in Kansas City's Historic Country Club Plaza Boutique Hotel

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Chef Sean Leventhal brings his Maryland Eastern Shore roots and Pacific Northwest explorations to America’s crossroads

Kansas City Restaurant Chef

Chaz on the Plaza Executive Chef, Sean Leventhal

I want to have a culinary conversation with our guests and explore possibilities.

Newly appointed executive chef Sean Leventhal aims to transform The Raphael's Chaz on the Plaza into one of the most exemplary restaurants Kansas City, Missouri has to offer. He envisions a celebrated steak and seafood house that brings in world influences. “Maryland Eastern shore meets Pacific Rim with a stopover in Spain,” says Leventhal. “The emphasis is on well-done, perfectly executed food.” His first menu, targeted to debut July 13, will be a collaborative effort with his culinary team and Chaz patrons. “I want to have a culinary conversation with our guests and explore the endless possibilities.” Chaz diners are invited to participate in the conversation by sampling menu specials nightly through June and providing feedback through an online survey. Participants receive a complimentary appetizer and are eligible for a prize drawing for an overnight stay with dinner.

Chef Leventhal began his culinary journey during prep boarding school summer breaks, working in restaurants on the East coast. After graduating from Culinary Institute of America in New York, he began his professional career at L’Auberge, a fine dining French restaurant in Baltimore under the tutelage of Parisian chef George Chaubron. His culinary career is defined by experiences in Pierpont, restaurant of James Beard Award winner Nancy Longo, noted for her modern Chesapeake Eastern Shore cooking; Celilo Restaurant in the famed Governor Hotel in Portland; Andaluca in the historic Mayflower Hotel in Seattle where he was chef d’ cuisine under another James Beard Award winner and Iron Chef contestant, Wayne Johnson; and Bluefin Grille in the Marriott Providence Downtown in Rhode Island; and in Kansas City where he was executive chef at Café Verona.

Chef Leventhal’s cooking style is modern American, and paradoxically, “serendipitous.” He cooks what his fresh in the market and strikes his fancy, yet takes a precise, disciplined route to how food is prepared and presented. “I try to bring the science – the gastro techniques – and reverence for the animals and plants used in the dishes we serve,” says Leventhal. He emphasizes a harmony of color and art on the plate and of the flavors that are the centerpiece. Among his specialties are coffee rubbed pork loin, black grouper, handmade pastas, Maryland Eastern Shore-style crab cakes and smoked meats.

About Chaz on the Plaza: Chaz on the Plaza is the signature restaurant of the historic Raphael Hotel located at 325 Ward Parkway in Kansas City, MO. Chaz is a 2015 recipient of TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and PitchWeekly’s Best Hotel Restaurant. Chaz Lounge presents live music nightly and features half-price appetizers and drink specials at Happy Hour from 4 – 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Information, menus, regular and sommelier wine lists, and reservations are available @ Chaz online or by calling 816.802.2152.

About The Raphael Hotel: Readers of Travel+Leisure magazine voted The Raphael to the prestigious 2015 T+L 500 World’s Best Hotels list. The Raphael is the original boutique concept among historic Kansas City Plaza hotels. The nine-story, Italian Renaissance Revival structure is a member of National Trust Historic Hotels of America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. TripAdvisor reviewers named The Raphael to its Hall of Fame following five consecutive years of being ranked as Kansas City’s top hotel. The landmark hotel is affiliated with the Autograph Collection, a portfolio of independent hotels selected by Marriott International for their distinctiveness.

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Rick Hughey
Hughey and Associates, LLC
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