Executive Chef John Hart
Inspired by his Southern Texas roots and his parents’ love and respect for quality and tradition, Chef John Hart’s culinary career began from an early age. After graduating from the American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship program at age 20, Chef Hart sought opportunities to further develop his own creativity.
Hart’s culinary repertoire flourished in southern California during a Sous Chef program under Chef Bob Brody Shepherds Restaurant at Sheraton Harbor Hotel in San Diego, CA. Then, Hart worked as the Sous Chef under Michael Vlasich for Sheraton Miramar in Santa Monica, where he developed and refined his culinary techniques at the “Oak Room” and won a prestigious spot as Team Captain on the California Culinary Team USA. As captain, Hart won a gold medal at the 1996 Culinary Olympics in Berlin, Germany.
After this achievement, he proceeded to serve as Chef Garde Manager Chef and Sous Chef at the famed 5-star, 5-diamond Beverly Hills Hotel. This experience, under his Mentor Chef Suki Sagura, allowed Hart to extend his skills to all outlets of the hotel, landing him at its fine dining restaurant, Polo Lounge, pleasing the palettes of the restaurant’s most exclusive clientele.
After spending 5 years with the Beverly Hills Hotel, Hart went on to take the role of Executive Sous Chef at the world famous Century Plaza Hotel’s Breeze Restaurant, working under Chef Andreas Nieto. At Breeze, Hart was exposed to the creative expressions of Chef Andreas Nieto: the usage of French and progressive American cooking techniques.
Chef Hart was then asked to serve as the Executive Chef, Westin Long Beach Hotel for 3 years then took an adventure to be Executive Chef at “Blue” restaurant, Marriott Louisville. After this, Hart earned an excellent position at the 1250 room Sheraton Seattle. Seattle proved to be one of his favorite culinary and living experiences with Pacific North West Cuisine and the Olympic Mountains, lakes and oceans of the region. He and his wife would dine on their own oysters, picked early in the morning at East Hood Canal.
In 2015, Hart was entered in a Best Chef Competition in San Francisco and met his mentor, GM Ken Pilgrim, and was quickly offered a job at the Westin San Francisco Market Street Hotel. Hart transformed the MASO restaurant, gaining an excellent reputation for creative cuisine for all catered events. After 4 years, he was then offered a position in the “Low Country” where he had the chance to experience Savannah, GA’s heartwarming hospitality and food, such as She Crab Bisque, Oyster Roasts, Frogmore Stew’s and the other amazing fare of that region. After Savannah, Hart ventured back to California as Executive Chef at the world-renowned Palace Hotel in San Francisco.
At the Palace Hotel, The Garden Court and Pied Piper, Chef Hart elevated the cuisine to its current standard, continuing to update the menu seasonally and reflecting his most recent travels. Hart’s vast menu of California cuisine ranges from foie gras to fried chicken, with dishes like Big Eye Tuna Nicoise, or Fresh Burrata Avocado ACME Bruschetta, garlic chips and castelvetrano olives.
Cooking Around the World
Chef Hart has infused flavors from his global travels—from Spain, Germany, and more—into his dishes at the Palace. In Spain, he was able to work with Groupa Lazama and bring a dinner for 600 guests to Renee Behnke from Sur La Table.
Hart continues to explore his passions in this region of California, cheese mongers, farms and Redwood forests.