Executive Chef Jose Fernandez, The Peninsula Chicago

by Kimberly Krol

May 1, 2016
2016

Chef Jose Fernandez joined The Peninsula Chicago team in June 2015, and since then he’s taken advantage of all the city of Chicago has to offer. It’s Fernandez’s passion: using organic, sustainable ingredients to incorporate local inspiration into healthy, delicious dining experiences.

© The Peninsula Chicago

© The Peninsula Chicago

In his role at The Peninsula Chicago, Executive Chef Fernandez oversees all culinary operations within the hotel, including three award-winning restaurants; banquets; The Bar; and 24-hour, in-room dining. Since its 2001 opening, The Peninsula Chicago’s restaurants, spa and 339 guestrooms and suites continue to receive accolades, including the AAA Five Diamond Award.

At only 16 years old, Fernandez embarked on his culinary career as commis de cuisine and chef de partie in small Michelin-starred restaurants in Barcelona. The Spanish-born Fernandez earned his degree from The Culinary School in Barcelona and worked at Hotel Arts Barcelona before bringing his talents stateside. Joining The Ritz-Carlton in 1997, he worked at properties in Laguna Niguel, Calif.; New York City; Tucson, Ariz.; and Pentagon City, Va.

What three go-to ingredients are always in your home kitchen?
Extra-virgin olive oil, bay leaves and garlic. And I always have dried chilies. In the spring and summer, we usually have a small lemon verbena plant — best sorbet ever!

What’s your favorite season for cooking, and why?
Spring and summer; I am from Spain and grew up by the Mediterranean Sea. The temperatures are mild compared to the United States, giving me the opportunity to showcase produce such as asparagus, potatoes, tomatoes and summer fruits like melons. After long winters, nothing is better than going to the farmers market on a spring or summer morning and seeing the bounty and color of fresh produce.

Aside from your current position, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
If I look back at my career, I really enjoyed my time in New York. I spent many years in that city, where I learned a lot and had the opportunity to work for great chefs in wonderful restaurants.

What’s the first meal you ever cooked?
When I was 14 or 15 years old, I helped my mother and grandmother create a holiday family meal. We made classic Catalan cannelloni, Spanish ham and Manchego croquettes.

The Peninsula Chicago

108 E. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60611
tel 312 337 2888
peninsula.com

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

© Ukrphoto | Dreamstime.com

News
Sep 15, 2019

Cunard Launches Exclusive Musical

Cunard premiered the musical Top Hat aboard Queen Victoria last week. Next week, the musical premieres aboard Queen Elizabeth. The musical is slated to appear exclusively on Cunard ships for the next four years.

© GNTO

The Island of the Knights

Welcome to Rhodes, a medieval treasure beautifully preserved throughout the centuries. Rhodes is the capital of the Dodecanese, an island ideal not only for those who want to relax, but also for those looking for an action-packed holiday! With its bright green hills, rich green valleys and uninterrupted line of golden beaches, Rhodes is truly a blessed place. “The sun island” has more sunshiny days and milder temperatures throughout the year than any other location in Greece. It is, after all, one of the country’s easternmost places and among the first to welcome summer on its impressive beaches. Add in the excellent facilities for tourism, the island’s special blend of cosmopolitan and traditional, and numerous cultural and archaeological sites, the most important being the Medieval (Old) Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and you’ve got the perfect holiday destination. While on Rhodes, don’t miss a daytrip to nearby Sými. An island of sponge divers and seamen, Sými used to have 30,000 inhabitants before the Second World War and was the richest island in the Dodecanese, despite its small size. Today, Sými attracts many visitors thanks to its beautifully preserved Neo-Classical buildings and the famous Archangel Michael monastery at Panormitis.

Lufthansa. Photo: Alexander Efisko | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 15, 2019

Lufthansa Launches Innovative Carbon Offset Program

Lufthansa is starting an innovative new carbon offset program, Compensaid, which will allow customers to purchase CO2 neutral aviation fuels. The platform allows customers to replace the fossil fuel of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel.

Desert. Photo: Galyna Andrushko | Dreamstime.com

Daily
Sep 15, 2019

Shop New Desert-Inspired Capsule Collection From The Luxury Collection

The Luxury Collection again teamed with artist Sofía Sanchez de Beta to unveil an exclusive capsule collection, this time with 54 pieces inspired by the Arabian Desert and Emirati culture. The ready-to-wear line includes an array of separates created with Dubai’s climate in mind, such as lightweight blouses and tunics, flowing jumpsuits, long skirts and dresses.

To New Heights

United Airlines announces a number of new routes.

LG Pay. Photo: Piotr Swat | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 14, 2019

LG Pay

With more mobile pay options like Apple Pay and Venmo becoming commonplace, electronics manufacturer LG is getting in on the action.

Hawaiian Airlines. Photo: Ajdibilio | Dreamstime.com

© Brett Critchley | Dreamstime.com

Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas. Photo: Jason P Ross | Dreamstime.com

Santa Monica, California. Photo: Tupungato | Dreamstime.com

© GNTO

The Island of the Knights

Sponsored Content

Google Search. Photo: Viorel Dudau | Dreamstime.com

Feature
Sep 13, 2019

Google Expands Price Comparison Tool

Google announced last month it added additional features to its price comparison tool. The tool helps users plan trips and compare rates. The new features include one that shows whether the price of a planned flight plus accommodations is low, average or high.

© VanderWolfImages | Dreamstime.com

News
Sep 13, 2019

Singapore Airlines Begins Non-Stop Service Between Singapore, Seattle

Singapore Airlines launched its non-stop service between Singapore (SIN) and Seattle (SEA), Sept. 3. Seattle is Singapore Airlines’ fourth U.S. destination following Los Angeles (LAX), New York (EWR) and San Francisco (SFO) to receive non-stop service to and from Singapore.

Beach access ramp for wheelchair on South Beach, Miami. Photo: Alkan2011 | Dreamstime.com

Daily
Sep 13, 2019

Florida Beaches Put Accessibility First

For those without accessibility issues, going to the beach can be simple. There’s nothing to do but pack up your gear, head to the shore and walk out onto the sand. For those who may be inhibited, however, the beach poses more of a challenge.