Epicurean Hotel announces new hires, “New American” menu, and new looks

Epicurean Hotel announced two new additions to the hotel’s award-winning culinary team: Executive Chef Jason Bamford and Restaurant General Manager Vicente Lavayen.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Jason and Vicente to the Epicurean table,” said Kevin Scott, general manager, Epicurean Hotel. “Their respective talents, skills and creativity in the kitchen and at the bar are outstanding additions to the Epicurean and our mission.”

As the new executive chef, Jason is in charge of the daily culinary operations at Élevage SoHo Kitchen & Bar and EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge. He’ll oversee all food and drink offerings in the 5,200-square feet of meeting space. Prior to his current gig, Bamford had a couple stints as Chef de Cuisine at Key Largo’s Ocean Reef Club and South Beach’s Delano Hotel, where he was also interim executive chef. Bamford has 20 years worth of experience, honing his skills at the Waldorf Astoria Bonnet Creek in Orlando and Bottega Ristorante in Napa.

Restaurant General Manager Vicente Lavayen also oversees the daily operations I the food and drink departments of Élevage and EDGE. He was previously managing partner at On Swann, where he developed the drink program, and Oak & Ola. He’s the former general manager of TAPS Restaurant Bar & Lounge with other  experience at Hudson at Waterway East, JB’s on the Beach, and the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Lavayen is also a certified specialist in wines and spirits and a platinum level certified mixologist.

Besides the new hires, Epicurean Hotel introduces a “New American” menu at Élevage and EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge. Élevage is open for breakfast, lunch, weekend brunch and dinner daily. The EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge is open Tuesday through Saturday.

“We turned to Chef Jason’s 20 years of culinary experience to guide us in the process of updating both the Élevage and EDGE menus,” said Kevin Scott, general manager of Epicurean. “The end result is nothing short of amazing; the dishes are innovative, aesthetically beautiful and above all, pleasing to the palate.”

Élevage‘s new menu is influenced by several cultures including Indian, Meditteranean, and Asian. Appetizers like dry aged beef tartare, charred octopus, and hand-pulled burrata are on the menu. Other new dishes include Ora King Salmon, Colorado Lamb, Australian Wagyu, and Squid Ink Chitarra. Grilled Aubergine, Charred Avocado, Roasted Roots and Whole Roasted Cauliflower round out the vegetarian are just a few of the vegetarian options.

The all-new Élevage Lounge area is equipped with an entirely new look from comfy seating to the stylish patio area. While menus have been completely changed, one mainstay remains: the Homage to Bern’s pressed steak sandwich.

EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge’s new menu features new chef-inspired small plates like Vietnamese Chicken Salad, Falafel Salad, and a Fried Chicken Bánh Mi. Updated cocktail menus still highlight classics with creative signatures like the Snap Chat, made with sugar snap peas, and A Head of Lettuce, made with Reyka vodka, fresh lettuce, and olive oil.

Epicurean Theatre let Chef Jeff Philbin of MasterChef fame revamp its programming with hotel guests and residents in mind. He plans on putting together a weekly schedule for the public for the entire week. Mondays are filled with interactive events including wine tastings and cooking classes. Friday nights focus on demonstrations and tastings for “date night” or a nights out with friends. Classes are taught by Chef Jeff himself or one of his friends and/or colleagues. The theater will be available for other meetings and private events at the hotel.