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Alfred Ehrlich, President of Kitchen Maestro is a Chef-turned-Personnel Consultant. His firm is retained by hospitality concerns nationwide to provide the key players necessary to make an impact and maximize profitability. Originally designed to specialize in the recruitment of chef talent (thus the company's tag line, “Orchestrating Chef Placements”) market conditions and client needs propelled Mr. Ehrlich to expand into operations and front-of-the-house management.
Mr. Ehrlich’s career spans thirty five year's in the Hospitality Industry. Among his accomplishments, he cooked for 15 years in such esteemed Manhattan eateries as Le Perigord, La Reserve, Le Cygne (all three-star French restaurants), Pesca, Rusty Staub’s on Fifth, a brief stint at the Union Square Café and Barbetta (the oldest Italian restaurant in New York City), where, during his tenure he cooked in Florence (Coco Lezzone), Venice (at the famous Da Fiore) and in Piemonte (Beppe).
After 16 years in the kitchen, Mr. Ehrlich wanted more flexibility in his personal life, and looked for a new career path. Andy Arons, founder of the Gourmet Garage, one of the foremost specialty food retailers in NYC, recognized the skills Mr. Ehrlich had honed as an executive chef, and recruited him for a sales position at Metro-Agri, the company's wholesale division. For three years, Mr. Ehrlich secured the finest ingredients for the city’s top restaurants while cultivating relationships with New York’s most celebrated chefs and their protégés. These hospitality professionals came to respect his knowledge of food and restaurant management. Soon chefs looking for new posts and restaurants looking for new talent began to call on him as an employment resource.
Seeing a growing need for a Search Firm specializing in recruiting restaurant talent, Mr. Ehrlich left his position at Metro to launch Kitchen Maestro. As a testament to his skills and business relationships, his soon-to-be-former employers retained him to find his own replacement.
Over the past twenty years, renown Hospitality Entrepreneurs such as Stephen Starr, Marc Packer (Tao Group), Maguy Le Coze (Le Bernardin) and Alfred Portale (Gotham Bar & Grill) and others have relied on Mr. Ehrlich's expertise in human resources and talent acquisition..
Mr. Ehrlich has made such noteworthy chef placements as: Bryce Shuman at ***Betony (awarded three stars by The New York Times), Chef Alex Lee- Starr Restaurants, Chef Missy Robbins-****Spiaggia, Chef Eli Kulp-***Fork, Chef Scott Conant-Luna Park, Chef Justin Bogle-***Le Coucou,Chef Dan Silverman-*** Minetta Tavern, Chef Patricia Yeo-***AZ, Chef Sam Hazen-Tao, Chef Gordon Finn-Quality Italian, Chef Scott Bryan-The Milling Room, Chef Shane McBride-**Balthazar, Chef Wes Holton-Coastal Luxury Management, Chef Scott Linquist-**Dos Caminos, Chef Michael Schwartz-Zemi, Chef Juan Cuevas-Pluckenin Inn, Chef Doug Psaltis-***Country, Chef Sylvan Delpique-L'Escale, Chef Cedric Tovar -**Django, Chef Michael Lockard-The Plaza Hotel among many others.
He also has placed top managers at venerable establishments such as Le Bernardin, Gotham Bar & Grill, Aquavit and as well as at numerous other fine- and casual/fine-dining establishments.
Most of Kitchen Maestro's business comes from word-of-mouth referrals from restaurateurs, Chefs and other Hospitality professionals who have worked with Mr. Ehrlich. He has been featured in The New York Times, Crain's New York Business and Nation's Restaurant News. He also served as a judge on The Food Network.