Chef Blends Local Philly Tastes With His French Roots for Groups

Author: Casey Gale       

Maxime Michaud

Maxime Michaud, executive chef at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center

Towering over Philadelphia in the city’s tallest building, Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center opened its doors in August, bringing new dining as well as lodging experiences for guests. The hotel’s dining establishments include Jean-Georges Philadelphia by Michelin-star chef Jean-Geroges Vongerichten; Vernick Fish and Vernick Coffee Bar by James Beard Award–winning chef Greg Vernick; and JG SkyHigh, a lounge located on the tower’s 60th floor. Overseeing food and beverage for the newly opened property is executive chef Maxime Michaud, originally from Seyssel, France, who has been with Four Seasons since 2016.

Michaud told Convene that the culinary scene in Philadelphia is very diverse, “reflecting vibrant flavors from around the world.” The city has also become, he said, a culinary destination on its own. “At the Four Seasons, we source many of our ingredients from local markets to ensure the connection to our community is reflected in the dishes,” he said. That means cultivating strong relationships with local farmers and changing menus to reflect the local growing season.

Like many cities, “elevated street food” is on the rise in Philadelphia, Michaud said. At JG SkyHigh, for example, he reinterprets the eponymous Philly Cheesesteak as a wagyu cheesesteak spring roll with pepper and onion condiment.

Group events can expect Michaud to be similarly creative in drawing from his own roots for menu offerings. For instance, with the Savor of the Alps dish, the Reblochon cheese, made in France’s Alpine region, is served on top of a dome filled with fog. “We like guests,” he said, “to feel like they are part of the experience.”

Casey Gale is a Convene associate editor.