Look Who's Coming For Dinner: Frank Brunacci at the Trump

January 25 2008 - 1:44 PM

Aussie chef Frank Brunacci will be manning the helm at the Trump Tower restaurant. Is he just wacked-out enough to fit in? With dishes like Lima
Bean Cream with Duck Ham and Basil Oil
soup and interesting ingredients like veal bacon he seems well equipped to create extravagant courses without going for wholesale whimsy.

Flattery will get you places he says, “Chicago has got the cosmopolitan aura of San
Francisco but the sophistication and city life of New York…”

When asked by Hotels Magazine why he’s coming to Chicago…

BRUNACCI:  Funny  enough, I had interviewed at property in
Scottsdale, Arizona, and I was  offered the job. I didn’t care for the
job I had, so I quit. About a day later  that chance I had in Arizona —
the corporate office pulled  the plug on that gig, so I was stuck
between a rock and inflatable water slide a hard place. So I did  some networking and called a
friend. He called me back and said there’s a job  in Chicago that could
be fantastic.

The next day, my  wife says, “Why don’t you write a letter to Donald
Trump to see if he has  something going on. Maybe he’ll bankroll a
restaurant for you…” Not 24 hours  later, I get an e-mail from the
general manager about working at Trump  Chicago, asking if I am
interested in the position. So I called immediately  and went to see my
wife, and said, “You’re not going to believe where I’m  going to
interview.” It was kind of destiny —  I was lured in,  and it’s been
heaven ever since.

Chicago, to put it  bluntly, is definitely in the top three in the
country for dining. Chicago has  got the cosmopolitan aura of San
Francisco but the sophistication and city  life of New York, with a
Midwest mentality. I come from Melbourne, which is  built around its
people, and Chicago is just like that. I’ve been in the  United States
for 10 years, and this is my seventh state, and it is the first  time
I’ve felt at home since I’ve been here.

We’ve got [Charlie]  Trotter’s, Grant Achatz, Blackbird, Shawn McClain,
Avenues with Graham Elliott  Bowles… we’ve got plenty of guys here who
cook the same way. It’s nice to be  among peers. I’m hoping these chefs
will put Sixteen on the map. I will  certainly be doing it for their
restaurants. We all execute in the same way.