Updated September 2017. Marc Ehrler is the Vice President and Corporate Chef at Hilton Worldwide.
To calculate the number of diamonds and stars earned by hotels and resorts at which Marc Ehrler has played a star role in the kitchen would take more than your fingers and more than your toes.
A native of Antibes, on the French Rivera between Cannes and Nice, Ehrler trained with world-renowned chefs, including Alain Ducasse, Jacques Maximin and Andre Daguin. His cooking style, a tribute to his native Provence/Italy, and influenced by travels in the Caribbean, Latin America, California, Asia and now Florida, embraces respect for tradition and simplicity.
A master of food arts, Chef Ehrler, he has been praised by media, critics and celebrities. Chef Ehrler has been featured in Wine Spectator, Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure, Gourmet, Tattler and The New York Times, as well as, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, the Discovery Channel’s “Great Chefs of the world”, Best 10 Restaurants in the World, CNN International and the Food TV Network. He has participated in the James Beard House “Best Hotel Chefs Series” and recognized by the Culinary Academy of France. Chef Ehrler is the only Chef to have received two AAA 5 Diamonds awards for 2 different restaurants within the same Hotel and has received the coveted Master Chef of France title in 2002.
Leading up to President of Culinary development and innovation for National Dairy brands and NDB International, he was Corporate Chef for Loews Hotels and resorts, executive chef at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, executive chef with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, La Samanna a Rosewood Hotel on the Island of St. Martin, the K-Club on Barbuda a Bel Air hotel; the Stonehouse Restaurant at San Ysidro Ranch, a Relais et Chateaux in Santa Barbara, California; Antoine at Le Meridien in Newport Beach; La Terrasse at Le Juana in Juan les Pins, France; Westbury Hotel in New York; Maxims de Paris in Paris and New York; Hotel de France in Auche, France.
Chef Ehrler is the host & participant of the SoBe Wine & Food Festival, and all Guest Chefs
The Chefs Connection: What was your first job in food?
Marc Ehrler: My Grandmother’s kitchen helper
TCC: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
ME: I am not sure & still don’t know, I have time.
TCC: What’s your favorite thing about being a chef?
ME: Today it is creating emotions, and draw from the power of food to bring people together.
TCC: Did you have an “aha” moment when you knew you had become a chef?
ME: It was really a long evolution from a cook to a chef, influenced by my great mentors. I was in Santa Barbara in a small “Relais et Chateaux” I had developed my own style, it came without knowing it, my guest and the press figured it out, I had become a chef.
TCC: What’s the best advice you ever got?
ME: Do it with your heart, remain true to food.
TCC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
ME: I believe it was Fugu the poisonous fish, sea cucumber and jellyfish, it was in 1983, I could not understand the menu, we did not know much then.
TCC: What’s your favorite ingredient?
ME: Being from Provence I have to say a “real” tomato, when perfect it is timeless, and offers so many possibilities, only your imagination is the limit when it gets to a tomato… simply challenging.
TCC: What’s the ingredient that turns you off the most?
ME: So far none, or maybe the “Corsican Brocciu” when worms are still crawling all over it. I have actually seen the cheese move by itself.
TCC: What’s your favorite tool?
ME: My old kitchen fork, “fourchette de rotisseur courbe” my godmother gave it to me when I was 18, it is like an extension of my hand. (I refuse to use a tong)
TCC: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not cooking?
ME: Mountain bike so I can eat more.
TCC: What would you like to do before you get too old to do it?
ME: I am not sure; age has not stopped me so far…
TCC: Tell us a deep dark secret (doesn’t have to be food related).
ME: I get watery eyes when watching romantic movies, embarrassing!
TCC: How do you deal with the stress?
ME: Stress is certainly the cook’s fuel, my release valve is Cycling,
TCC: Tell us a funny story from the kitchen.
ME: On someone’s last day in the kitchen, before our next culinary chapter, we use to do crazy things, like sitting the victim in a dirty pot washing sink, creativity was insane, we don’t do this anymore, it is a good thing.
TCC: Who would you like to meet?
ME: The Dalai Lama
TCC: Who would you like to cook for?
ME: My grand daughters
TCC: What was the hardest thing for you to learn?
ME: Listen without interrupting.
TCC: Is there some little something you do for your family to make up for the time you’re not with them?
ME: You cannot make up the time you have lost with your family. You can still keep trying…
TCC: How did becoming a chef change your life?
ME: Cooking is in my genes, first I cooked for myself, later I realized cooking for other truly made me happy and today inspiring people to cook better is what feeds me, our purpose evolves as we mature through life.