Crossroads Hotel Remy Ayesh

Chef Remy Ayesh is in charge of kitchen at Crossroads Hotel.

Aparium Hotel Group has announced that local chef Remy Ayesh has been named the executive chef for the new Crossroads Hotel in the former Pabst Brewing Co. bottling plant building located in the Crossroads Arts District in downtown Kansas City.

Local Kansas City firm El Dorado Inc. is the architect for the hotel, which was designed in partnership with Simeone Deary Design Group of Chicago. The 131-room boutique hotel is accepting reservations starting Oct. 16, featuring hospitality suites with a billiard room, meeting and event spaces, along with three restaurant and bar spaces, including a rooftop terrace that Ayesh will be responsible for, in addition to a full banquet staff.

For inspiration for the menus for all three of the hotel’s restaurants, Ayesh drew on her time working in the kitchen with former executive chef Ryan Hardy at Montagna inside The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado. The rustic, hyper-seasonal Italian restaurant featured a comprehensive housemade cheese and charcuterie program. This experience, plus her time spent cooking at Roostock in Chicago and running the cheese program at Spiaggia, will drive her cuisine as she returns into the world of hotel restaurants.

“I started in August, with full menus already written for all three restaurants,” Ayesh says. “Now that we finally have our kitchens up and running, including our new wood-fired hearth in the lobby, we are starting to make the dishes, test ticket times and finalize presentations of each dish. Now, the real work begins.”

Located just off the lobby is XR, the heart of this hotel’s all-day dining program. The centerpiece is a gorgeous blue-tiled Italian Acunto wood-burning oven that can be heated up to 900 degrees to fire a selection of artisan pizzas in just 60 seconds. Pizzas and shareable small plates will be served at XR all day and into the evening, along with a full-service bar. “We have some incredibly smart hospitality operators here who had already thought through how we were going to fire dishes in the kitchen below and deliver them hot to the table, so we are planning to use the oven for many of our dishes, [including] everything from appetizers to entrees in addition to making things like our slow-roasted Sunday pork sugo,” says Ayesh.

Lazia is the 78-seat fine-dining gem located on the ground floor of the Crossroads Hotel, which will open Oct. 18 for dinner only. The restaurant will serve modern takes on Old World Italian cuisine; Ayesh describes the menu at Lazia as offering a balance. “This is Kansas City, so we will be serving a selection of hearty center-of-the-plate protein dishes, like steak and pork, balanced by an equal selection of fresh Italian pasta and lighter vegetable, seafood and grilled fish dishes,” she says. A 12-seat private dining room will be available for private parties and the restaurant will boast a robust wine program.

For all of the restaurants inside the hotel, Ayesh will be sourcing much of her menu from local farms, ranchers and purveyors, in addition to making as much in house as possible. She is developing her own in-house bakery team, and hiring local bread bakers from the recently closed Le Monde bakery in North Kansas City to expand the bread, pastries and baked goods offered at the hotel.

The hotel is also collaborating with other local food and drink artisans like Christopher Elbow Chocolates, Messenger Coffee, J. Rieger & Co. and other local distilleries. A carefully curated local beer list will be available on the indoor/outdoor rooftop beer garden, Percheron, which will also serve a house beer, Dual Intersect Hazy Pale, brewed in collaboration with Double Shift Brewing Co. The rooftop beer garden will serve charcuterie and cheese plates, in addition to paninis and other sandwiches and snacks, when it opens in the spring of 2019.

Ayesh is not the only local talent tapped to tie this swanky new place to Kansas City’s artistic urban core, as several local artists have created collaboration pieces found throughout the hotel. There are special edition prints from Brady Vest’s local letterpress print shop, Hammerpress, hanging on the walls, and in some rooms, guests will find wallpaper designed by local husband-and-wife tattoo artists Mikey and Megan Wheeler of Mercy Seat Tattoo. Blankets made by Karrie Dean, owner of Happy Habitat, grace the beds, and signature all-white ceramics made by owner Chentell Shannon and her team at Convivial Production can be found throughout the hotel.

This hotel is also built for business. With 9,000 square feet of event space, including a 4,000-square-foot atrium lobby that can be used as a pre-function space, and a 3,000-square-foot ballroom and multiple boardrooms, the Crossorads Hotel stands ready to host business meetings, holiday parties and special events.

The team at the Crossroads Hotel, including Ayesh and her culinary team, are hard at work to make this new hotel a delicious part of downtown Kansas City.

Crossroads Hotel, 2101 Central Street, Kansas City, Missouri, 866-531-2400, crossroadshotelkc.com

Jenny is Feast's contributing editor for Kansas City. She brakes for chef's coats.

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