The Detroit Athletic Club’s culinary team, led by longtime Executive Chef Kevin Brennan, has received a special invitation to cook at New York city’s famed James Beard House on October 14, 2016.
This highly sought after honor gives the DAC culinary masters a chance to showcase Detroit style and prepare a one-of-a-kind dinner for approximately 80 people at the upper Manhattan culinary fixture.
Long-time home to American culinary legend James Beard, the house is under the auspices of the James Beard Foundation, which hosts special dinners prepared by master culinarians from across the country.
“It is truly an honor to be invited,” said Brennan. “It recognizes the good things we are doing at the DAC.”
Brennan is thrilled for his team, but also personally excited for the chance to showcase what is happening at the Club and with Detroit and Midwest cuisine.
“We are a hidden gem,” he said. “Our food, our restaurants stand up to anything happening in this area. We strive to be at the forefront in Michigan’s culinary world.”
DAC Executive Manager Ted Gillary said the invitation reflects the level of respect and honor Brennan has garnered within the culinary community (see biography at end).
“This is truly a special moment for our team and my friend Kevin,” said Gillary.
According to Izabela Wojcik, director house programming for the James Beard Foundation, the organization originally sought only to preserve Beard’s home but it quickly evolved into a “performance venue” for chefs, a stage and platform to come and tell culinary stories built around American culinary cuisine.
“The significance of the invitation shows that you have reached a certain point in your career, a certain level of achievement and that you lead a team who focus on quality ingredients, sophisticated technics and apply only the highest standards,” said Wojcik. “This is professional recognition and a rite of passage for many chefs.”
The DAC team was selected earlier this year through the James Beard House nominating committee which seeks to find chefs who can bring new ideas and styles to New York.
“James Beard was the godfather of American cookery,” Wojcik said. “He championed American cuisine when it wasn’t fashionable. He lived in the house for many years, was an author, teacher, mentor and lobbyist for American cuisine.”
Chef Brennan will bring a select team of chefs to assist with the Oct. 14 dinner.
Kevin Brennan Biography
An executive chef for the past 33 years, Kevin M. Brennan CEC / AAC, has been working in the private club field sharing his passion for culinary arts.
A graduate of the Schoolcraft College culinary program in 1976, Brennan is a certified executive chef with the American Culinary Federation (ACF) and has been inducted into the Academy of Chefs, American Culinary Federation. He has also studied with the Culinary Institute of America, Michigan State University and Oakland Community College.
Brennan began his career in 1979 as a sous chef at the Recess Club, later becoming executive chef. He then joined the Orchard Lake Country Club staff in 1987 as executive chef until he became the DAC’s executive chef in 1994.
At the DAC, Brennan’s team of 50 culinary and 32 stewarding staff members prepare seven million in food and beverage sales annually.
A member of the ACF’s Michigan Chefs d Cuisine since 1984, Brennan has served on the Michigan Chefs board as president, vice president and treasurer. He has also been chairperson of the Apprenticeship Committee.
Competing in ACF certified culinary salons Brennan has won gold and silver medals with a Judges Special award. He was named chef of the year in 1989 and 1999. In 2013 he was awarded the ACF Central Region Dr. L.J. Minor Chef Professionalism award.
While at the DAC, Brennan and his team have received three “Achievement of Excellence Award” from the ACF in the past four years. The DAC hosted the 2012 Academy of Chefs dinner, where they served 120 chefs from throughout the country.
Brennan is a founding member of the Michigan Chefs Against Hunger group and has served on several national culinary commissions.
Besides his career and passion for motorcycles, Brennan, a resident of Commerce Township, loves to spend time with his family, including his wife Margaret and children Kerry, Kevin and two grandsons.