Kitchen Maestro: Orchestrating Chef Placements

Alfred F. Ehrlich, President of KM Ltd., is a Chef-turned Executive Search and 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’s needs propelled Mr. Ehrlich to expand into Operations and Front of the House Management.

Mr. Ehrlich’s career spans 35 years in the Hospitality Industry.  Among his accomplishments, he cooked for 12 years in such esteemed Manhattan eateries as Le Perigord, La Reserve, Le Cygne (all three-star French restaurants), 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 Piedmont (Beppe).

After 12 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.

After 20 successful years, KM is recognized as one of the Leading Industry Resources for Chef Talent placing the Best Food and Wine Chefs, Michelin Starred Chefs, Rising Stars, Corporate Chefs, CDC's and Pastry Chefs in upper level management positions for 5 Star Hotels, Michelin Star Restaurants, Luxury Caterers, Private Clubs and Up Market Neighborhood Restaurants. KM has also successfully placed COO's, DO's, GM's and Wine Directors.

Kitchen Maestro’s clients are some of the most renowned Hoteliers and Entrepreneurs in the nation. Here are some:  Starr Restaurant Organization, Le Bernardin, Gotham Bar & Grill, Tao Restaurant Group, Keith McNally Restaurant Group, The Major Food Group, Quality Branded, Noho Hospitality Group, Mercer Hospitality Group, Sonnier & Castle, Spiaggia, Aquavit, The Plaza Hotel, Park Hyatt NY, The Standard Hotels, The Baccarat Hotel and Turnberry Isle & Resort, to name a few.

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, and has served as a judge on The Food Network.