The JW Marriott Houston Downtown’s popular restaurant, Main Kitchen, embarked on a new culinary journey this month with the introduction of revamped menus that showcase recently appointed executive chef Jelle Vandenbroucke’s classical European training and Houston’s culinary diversity.
A native of Belgium, Vandenbroucke joined the JW Marriott Houston Downtown’s culinary team as executive sous chef in October 2015 and was named executive chef in January 2016. Capitalizing on his vast international fine dining experience in numerous leading restaurants across Europe and the United States, Main Kitchen will broaden its offerings with approachable yet classically modern dishes that are Houston- and globally-inspired and crafted with sustainable, seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients.
Named Main Kitchen to reflect its location on Main Street, the restaurant has become a popular culinary destination since its opening in September 2014. With the new menus, the restaurant will continue to raise the bar for hotel dining in Houston, by appealing to sophisticated palates with a broader selection of internationally-influenced creations while remaining inspired by the local, diverse culinary traditions and supporting local purveyors. Examples include Belgium’s classic comfort food - Chicken Vol Au Vent, great for winter blues with its creamy chicken and mushroom filling hidden in the perfectly crispy pastry. For those looking for lighter fare, red lentil Thai curry soup, miso black cod or the lamb meatballs will satisfy senses with rich flavors.
“I am very excited to expand my role at Main Kitchen and create a fun, diverse menu full of local and international flavors,” Vandebroucke said. “I look forward to further exploring Houston’s vibrant food scene and building relationships with excellent local purveyors.”
Vandenbroucke began cooking at 12 years of age and started formal culinary education at the age of 15. Classically trained in French cuisine, Vandenbroucke worked at Michelin-awarded restaurants (Hertog Jan in Bruges, Belgium, and Mulberry Restaurant in Charlton House, Shepton Mallet, U.K.); the Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche in Tourrettes, France; the Four Seasons Westlake Village (Calif.); the Four Seasons Seattle; and the Four Seasons Boston before joining the JW Marriott Houston Downtown.
“Jelle has been a great addition to the Main Kitchen and 806 Bar & Lounge team and we are excited to unveil his culinary vision with the new menus,” said Natalie Wiseman, JW Marriott Houston Downtown’s director of sales and marketing. “His extensive experience in Europe and the United States allows us to create an internationally-influenced and Houston-inspired offering that will appeal to local and international guests alike.”