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.
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
Situated deep within the Scottish Highlands, just steps from many lakes and mountains, lies 57 Nord. This collection of two design-led boutique hideaways blends the region’s Norse-Gael heritage by incorporating Scottish craftsmanship, modern Scandinavian design and panoramic views into both structures.
Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.
Oslo’s Art Deco connections just grew stronger with the opening of Sommerro, housed within a historic building in the city’s West End neighborhood of Frogner. The structure itself was once the location of the city’s original electrical company, Oslo Lysverker. The conversion to urban, luxury lodging features 231 guestrooms, 56 residences, seven restaurant and bar options, and meeting and event spaces for up to 150 people. There’s also a 100-seat gilded theater and expansive wellness space, including a full-service gym and Oslo’s first, year-round rooftop pool, sauna and terrace.
Key West International Airport recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of its $100 million expansion. Roman Gastesi, administrator, Monroe County; Richard Strickland, director of airports; and others attended the ceremony and outlined details of the Concourse A terminal expansion project.
Global business travel is making its way back, even as the pandemic and other world events continue to challenge its return. In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association, more than four in five respondents (86 percent) from across the industry said they feel more optimistic than they did at the beginning of the year. Business travel bookings, the need to travel to do business and employee willingness to travel are all on the rise.
Adventure tour operator Explore Worldwide recently conducted a study to find the most underrated travel experiences around the world. The operator analyzed more than 350 lesser-known destinations and experiences across more than 130 countries, ranking them based on how high its Trip Advisor score fared against how many people actually reviewed the activity and how many Google searches the experience received.
Lodging and hospitality company Angama announced the November 2023 opening of Angama Amboseli, an intimate, 10-suite lodge set in Kenya’s private, 5,700-acre Kimana Sanctuary, against the iconic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, located just across the border in Tanzania.
THE MOST EXCLUSIVE TOURS OF EGYPT EVER OFFERED
There is nothing better than the gift of travel. Instead of giving your loved ones material items, give them an experience they will never forget. This year, Emerald Cruises offers excellent Black Friday deals on Europe and Southeast Asia river cruises, as well as on the latest collection of luxury ocean yacht sailings on Emerald Azzurra and Emerald Sakara.