Parker the Pug – see above, with his boss, Walter Brindell, GM of Park Hyatt Chicago – has acquired a growing following in the four months since Mr B first saw him at a refuge. It was more difficult for Parker to see back as she (sic, despite her name) only has one eye. Parker was dressed by a stylist who has far more taste than Nina McLemore who dresses a certain US politician, or rather wraps her in different coloured sacks that are called jackets. Parker has a Burberry scarf delicately wrapped around her neck. Her main role, as Mr B told the gal, is to support his luxury hotel’s 300-strong associates team, who walk her, cosset her and generally feel even better about life because of canine interaction.
It is always so exciting coming back here. Park Hyatt, the brand, started at this hotel, which the Pritzkers saw as a residence for their friends and family. They wanted, from the very beginning, to stress art, and all culture, and food. NoMi, its restaurant cantilevered out on the seventh floor and looking down at Chicago’s 1869-vintage Water Tower, expands on to a rear outdoor terrace in summer, but we lunched inside as it was not only hot but humid. Sushi chef Masayori Adachi presented a fabulous sashimi tasting platter, and then ground fresh wasabi at table. Put it straight on the fish, he urged, but I preferred to blend it in the soy sauce.
As you know I do not do desserts, but the pastry chef here, Greg Mosko, is an absolute genius – see, and listen to, his video, below. This is his version of an individual cheesecake (as he told a journalist in 2015, he is not opposed to big chocolate desserts, but he likes to keep it seasonal). What is your favourite creation, Greg? Well, apparently he once made an Italian strawberry dish with fresh strawberries, Niçoise cake, pistachio purée, candied pistachios, olive oil powder, arugula icecream, black pepper meringues, and balsamic pearls – he thought it was pretty stellar.
Walter Brindell joined the Hyatt family 34 years ago, as a front desk clerk at Hyatt Regency Dallas-Fort Worth (he wore full morning dress and a bow tie). How things have changed. Now every staff member at Park Hyatt Chicago calls him by his first name. He is actually now on his fourth, yes fourth, stint as GM of this luxury hotel – he took a break between time three and now to open Park Hyatt New York. He always believes in getting great chefs around him. As well as Adachi-san on the sashimi and Mr Mosko on the desserts, he has just hired rising star Ed Sura, from farmhouse-chic Perennial Virant, to run NoMi. Now who is he going to allow to prepare delicacies for Parker? NOW WATCH THE DESSERT VIDEO BELOW