Robert Hoffman is executive chef at Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel in uptown Charlotte, N.C. He has overall responsibility for menu creation and development, cultivating relationships with local suppliers and hiring, training and overseeing the kitchen staff. He manages the kitchen operation at Angeline’s, an Italian-influenced modern American restaurant and urban gathering place, and sister operation Merchant and Trade – a 19th-floor rooftop lounge and event space.
Hoffman joined Kimpton Hospitality Group in January 2016 as executive chef at SaltRock Kitchen & Amara Resort in Sedona, Arizona and was recognized with the Kimpton Operational Excellence award during his first year with the company.
Prior to that, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign graduate was executive chef at Labriola Ristorante & Café, a 350-seat restaurant on Chicago’s Michigan Ave.
Hoffman has been working in restaurant kitchens since he has a high school student in Chicago. He started as a dishwasher at a pizza restaurant, where he “fell in love with the organized chaos that is the kitchen.”
After graduation, he lasted two weeks in a traditional office job before he knew he had to get back to what he loved. He began working at Chicago’s famed Moto Restaurant. “Moto taught me to look at food differently, how to work 90 hours a week and love what I do,” he said.
Hoffman’s additional culinary experience includes working for multiple Michelin-starred restaurants. “I took away something uniquely different with each kitchen I’ve worked in,” he said. “All of them have shaped who I am personally and professionally.”