In 2007, Drew Sayes, The Townsend Hotel’s executive chef since December 2012, earned the title of youngest ever executive chef with his then employer, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. During his tenure with Ritz Carlton, Sayes’ served at various property locations throughout the U.S., including Dearborn, Mich., Marina del Rey, Calif., New Orleans, La. and Buckhead, Ga. Just prior to joining The Townsend team, Sayes most recently served as executive chef at the prestigious Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga.
So how did Sayes get so far up the “food chain” so quickly? “Arrive early, stay late, be humble and clean!” he advises. He also encourages young up-and-coming chefs to never take any experience for granted. “Everything you see, touch, smell, taste and experience makes you a stronger culinarian.”
Sayes, who has had the privilege of working for some of the luxury dining industry’s best American chefs in classic foodie cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, New Orleans and Atlanta, brings to The Townsend a focus on local, sustainable, fresh, quality, and most importantly, approachable foods.
“Fine dining doesn’t have to mean pretentious dining,” says Sayes. “I want diners at The Rugby Grille to fully enjoy the sights, smells and delicious tastes of our menu, not be intimidated or overwhelmed by it. This is simple yet delectable food prepared with passion and integrity.”
A native of the metro Detroit area, Chef Sayes received his formal training at the Culinary Studies Institute located at Oakland Community College in Farmington Hills, Mich. In August 2012, he became a Certified Executive Chef through the American Culinary Federation. In March 2015, Sayes was named 2015 American Culinary Federation Central Region Chef of the Year.