Hotel Bethlehem positioned to take Christmas City’s cuisine to next level with Executive Chef Michael Adams’ Culinary All-Star Team
BETHLEHEM, PA – June 16, 2015 – When Executive Chef Michael Adams rejoined Historic Hotel Bethlehem as its head chef in March 2014, he was not only returning to his roots, but he was also taking on the task of redeveloping its culinary team and restaurant menus. This wasn’t an easy task, or something that would happen overnight. It was going to be a work in progress, as he was well aware from having done it before at other restaurants.
“I wanted to cultivate a team to support and implement the changes,” said Adams. “Our culinary team not only properly executes methods and techniques, but also focuses on a single vision – to provide all of our guests with the best dining experience. We are all reaching for the next level together.”
Since leading a kitchen is akin to leading a small military unit, Adams started by getting to know his entire culinary team and their talents, while gaining their trust in order to lead them, and also developing a unity amongst them.
He first came to know Sous Chef Paul Miller, who started with the hotel in 2000 and is today one of Hotel Bethlehem’s longest serving employees. During his tenure he’s served under several executive chefs and held a range of culinary positions, gaining valuable experience and working his way up the ladder. As Sous Chef, Miller is third in command and carries much of the kitchen’s responsibility.
“My first impression of Paul is that he was reliable, versatile, flexible, and talented,” said Adams. “I knew that I could count on him and he’d be a good leader for the rest of the culinary staff. His institutional knowledge of hotels and restaurants is vital for our kitchen. He’s proven himself time and time again by always being available when needed and being open to new ideas.”
They worked together to roll out the new summer menu for 1741 on the Terrace last year, and also a new menu for The Tap Room later in the year.
When recently presented with the opportunity to hire a new Executive Sous Chef/Head Banquet Chef, Adams hired former colleague Rodney Rivera with whom Adams had worked at the former Farmhouse Restaurant in Emmaus as well at Hotel Bethlehem during Adams’ first stint. Rivera had joined the Hotel Bethlehem staff at the tender age of 18 right out of high school and went on to work for Saucon Valley Country Club, followed by The Farmhouse, and most recently as Executive Chef at Shula’s Steakhouse.
Rivera is second in command after Adams and runs the kitchen in his absence. His role covers a wide range of responsibilities from creating staff schedules and training new chefs, to directing the kitchen’s food service during each meal and supervising the plating of dinners before they are served to customers.
“Having worked with Rodney for over 12 years, I knew I wanted him on our team at Hotel Bethlehem,” Adams explained. “Having a dedicated and talented employee like him is a delight for any manager, but knowing how well he understands me and how I want the kitchen to operate makes a huge difference when it comes to quality and efficiency. His culinary talent combined with honed management skills is invaluable to this team.”
Adams also encourages his chefs to create a learning environment in the kitchen, teaching other members of the culinary team their tricks of the trade by demonstrating techniques and providing lessons, both of which Rodney and Paul do regularly.
The culinary all-star team will next introduce a new summer menu for 1741 on The Terrace, and also a small plates menu of lighter fare for outdoor dining on the patio, sourcing as many ingredients from local and regional producers as possible.
The Historic Hotel Bethlehem is located in Bethlehem, Pa. in the heart of Bethlehem’s nationally registered historic district. The Hotel is a proud member of Historic Hotels of America. Experience world-class service, charming guest accommodations and award-winning cuisine, all on a site that has been warmly welcoming guests since 1741. www.HotelBethlehem.com