Living on the island of Mauritius off the coast of South Africa as a young boy, Todd Kelly, New York native and current executive chef of Orchids at Palm Court in Cincinnati, tried to bring the flavors of home to the island, using local ingredients. This early start, which included cooking with fish sold door to door by locals and fresh bread delivered via moped, sparked the culinary passion in Kelly.
After studying at the American Academy of Independent Studies, Kelly worked in restaurants around the country such as Ember Grille/Bar 10 at The Westin in Charlotte, N.C.; Peter James Townhouse, also in Charlotte; and Rubicon in San Francisco. In 2006, he moved to the AAA Five-Diamond-rated Orchids at Palm Court at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza. The French-inspired cuisine has earned the restaurant numerous awards and honors. Kelly himself is also decorated as one of only six Hilton Signature Chefs in the United States and the 2011 American Culinary Federation USA Chef of the Year.
Kelly also handles the culinary operations at The Grille at Palm Court and The Bar at Palm Court as well as in-room dining and banquet/wedding menus. Under Kelly’s direction, all the culinary outlets at Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza maintain the standards set at Orchids.
His culinary skills translate outside of the restaurant. On his family-owned small farm, Kelly and his wife, Emily, grow seasonal fruits and vegetables and teach their daughters about food production. He also runs and has completed multiple marathons.
What three go-to ingredients are always in your home kitchen?
Corn tortillas, Cholula hot sauce and good Dijon mustard, preferably Maille
What’s your favorite season for cooking, and why?
That’s a tough one to answer; they are all special in their own way. If I had to pick one, it would be spring. You have so many wonderful ingredients — ramps, morels, green garlic, dandelion greens and so on. All of the ingredients have such unique and wonderful flavors that you don’t really have to do much to showcase them.
Aside from your current position, what’s the best job you’ve ever had?
Working as the sous chef at Rubicon in San Francisco — we didn’t carry any food over from the previous day. So every day was like starting from scratch. It taught me a lot about organization and discipline. The culture with the food seasons was also a great experience. We didn’t use ingredients unless they were at the peak of the season. If the chef didn’t feel they were the best they could be, we just didn’t use them.
What’s the first meal you ever cooked?
Steak frites at around 12 years old, living on the island of Mauritius in the middle of the Indian Ocean. My brother and I were trying to duplicate the flavor of home.
What are your first thoughts when you hear “farm-to-table”?
Trendy — seems the current farm-to-table movement is really people trying to catch up to what all the top chefs have been doing forever. I have been privileged to work around the country with great agricultures, so farm-to-table is just something that happens.
Orchids at Palm Court
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza
35 W. Fifth St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
tel 513 421 9100
Expansion plans involving a new 14-gate concourse at Mineta San Jose International Airport in California must clear environmental review before moving forward.
oneworld is an alliance of 13 world-leading airlines committed to providing the highest level of service and connecting you to more than 1,100 destinations around the world.
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower opened following full renovations to its 280 guestrooms and public spaces. The property is the second Hyatt Regency in Spain. The hotel sits in a Barcelona skyline landmark, a 29-story tower topped with a glass dome that provides travelers with 360-degree views and an unparalleled dining experience.
Opened this past November, Osaka Excel Tokyu Hotel rethinks the classic Japanese business hotel format in a delightful way. While the basic design concept is rooted in generations-old Japanese aesthetics, its wow factor comes from the interior designers’ approach of filtering them through a kaleidoscope. This effect is accomplished with ornate hexagonal lamps, carpeting with geometric shape motifs and pops of happy gold and blue hues. The lobby adds to that with a whimsical, but sophisticated mix of artwork and decorative ornaments, with a color palette and ornamentation that extends to 364 private rooms and suites throughout 17 floors.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
In an age where airlines continually look for new ways to increase connectivity and offer passengers more options, a new agreement gives United Airlines passengers the ability to book spots on 68 Vistara-operated flights to 26 destinations in India. The agreement goes into effect Feb. 28.
Reconnect with nature and step outside your comfort zone at Palmaïa, The House of AïA. The new Riviera Maya resort focuses on inner exploration and a respect for nature, offering visitors an array of experiences promoting self-discovery and spiritual wellness.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
Qatar Airways is expanding this year, adding eight new destinations to its network. The list includes: