Dick Cattani CEO
Michael Gallagher- Executive Vice President
Andrew Ziobro- Senior Vice President
Tim McLaughlin- Senior Vice President, Catering by Restaurant Associates
Ed Brown- Chef/Innovator
Chief Executive Officer, Premier Hospitality Group
Dick started with Restaurant Associates right out of college as back of the house steward. He eventually became General Manager of the famous “Newarker Restaurant” at Newark Airport. Over the years, Dick has held many regional and corporate operating positions. He became President of Restaurant Associates in 2003 and, under his leadership, grew the company three-fold in ten states. In 2008, he was promoted to Chief Executive Officer of the Premier Hospitality Division of Compass Group. Comprised of Restaurant Associates, Flik International and Wolfgang Puck Catering, each company is autonomous and continues to grow in its niche market. The total volume for year 2012 exceeded 1.2 billion dollars.
In 2002 Dick oversaw all of the Compass food service operations at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. The massive effort comprised fifteen venues spread over 5,000 square miles and served 150,000 meals per day for seventeen days. It was the first time in Olympic history that one organization was responsible for hospitality catering, concessions and athlete feeding. The following summer Dick was responsible for feeding the young Pilgrims assembled during the 2003 World Youth Day in Toronto, Canada where 200,000 meals per day were served for seven days during the visit of Pope John Paul II.
Dick was born and raised in New York City and comes from a long family tradition in the hospitality business – his father owned a hotel in Monticello, New York and his grandfather was an executive chef in New York City. Dick is a graduate of Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York where he served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for seven years. He is a Fellow of The Culinary Institute of America and a former board member of the Society for Foodservice Management. He was honored with a Conti Distinguished Professor Chair at Penn State University, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI and a Wise Professor at the University of Delaware.
In 2005, Dick received the Adirondack Medal of Honor for his twenty plus years of tireless work and leadership at Paul Smith’s College where he has been instrumental in taking the college from a two-year private school to a four-year college offering courses in culinary, hospitality management, liberal arts, forestry and environmental studies. In 2007 he received an honorary degree, a Doctor of Commercial Science from Paul Smith’s College and in 2009 granted the status of Trustee Emeritus.
In addition, Dick was awarded the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association 2005 Silver Plate Award, the industry’s premier accolade, for his achievements in the Foodservice Management category. In 2006 at the SFM Conference in Las Vegas, he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes a lifetime of contributions and service to the onsite foodservice industry.
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EDWARD J. SIRHAL
President Restaurant Associates
Ed Sirhal is President of Restaurant Associates which is headquartered in New York City. Restaurant Associates consists of three operating divisions: Corporate Dining & Educational Services, Cultural Centers and Event Catering. Prior to his appointment in 2008 as President, Ed began his career with Restaurant Associates in 1991 responsible for New Business Development.
Ed Sirhal was responsible for the expansion and growth of the company and spearheaded its successful diversification from public restaurants to contract foodservice markets. Since Ed joined RA, the company has grown from a $50 million dollar division with 14 clients to $600 million with 140 premier clients. Restaurant Associates has leveraged its reputation and experience as one of the nation’s premier hospitality companies to become a market leader in providing premium food service for Corporations, Museums, Performing Arts Centers, Event Catering, Universities and selective Specialty Markets. During Ed’s tenure, RA gained such prestigious clients as the US Senate, Condé Nast, Morgan Stanley, Harvard Business School, the Smithsonian Institute and Georgia Aquarium.
Ed established himself as an industry leader in 1989 when he became the youngest President in the history of the Society for Foodservice Management. To this day, Ed continues to serve as a member of the Presidents Council of SFM and received the Presidents Award for Distinguished Service from SFM and an Honorary Doctorate of Foodservice from NAFAM. Ed also received the prestigious Chairman’s Award from the Black Culinary Association (BCA).
Prior to joining Restaurant Associates, Ed served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Restaura and Regional Sales Director for Marriott. Ed began his career at Ogden Corporation in Boston while a student at Boston College where he graduated with a BS in Accounting and Finance.
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Executive Vice President, Operations
As Executive Vice President of Operations, Michael Gallagher exemplifies and inspires a passion for hospitality, a commitment to quality and zeal for hospitality. Michael began his career with RA in 1993 as the Executive Chef at the Harvard Business School, one of RA’s most prestigious accounts. In 2003, he was promoted to Supervising Chef for the Business and Industry Division. In 2005, he was promoted to Vice President of Culinary overseeing the entire Culinary Department, which included purchasing, culinary as well as directly managing our team of supervising chefs. In recognition for all of his efforts, Michael was awarded Chef of the Year in 2006 for Compass Group, the world’s largest food service company. In 2007, he was promoted to Senior Vice President of Support Services and Special Projects where he continued to oversee the Culinary Department in addition to managing new account openings. In 2009, Michael was promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations responsible for managing a number of RA’s largest and most prestigious accounts.
Michael received his training from the Killybegs Hotel Training and Catering University in Ireland and then attended Institut de Promotion Hotelier de Vanne in France. He worked at a number of restaurants and hotels in Ireland and France before moving to the United States and becoming the Executive Chef at the Harvard Club in Boston, the largest private club in the United States. Michael then joined Restaurant Associates as the Executive Chef at one of RA’s premiere educational clients, the Harvard Business School.
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Senior Vice President, Operations
Andrew Ziobro is Senior Vice President of Operations, overseeing internationally-renowned venues such as Lincoln Center, Guggenheim Museum, and Carnegie Hall to name a few. His twenty five year history in the organization, his culinary training as well as his love of food & hospitality make him a recognized leader in the company as well as the industry. Andrew graduated from SUNY Binghamton, and then attended the Culinary Institute of America, graduating first in his class. Andrew joined Restaurant Associates in 1987 as the Executive Chef at Chemical Bank in Manhattan, only to be promoted to Director three years later. Over the next several years, Andrew moved on to be General Manager, opening new accounts as the Harvard Business School, Goldman Sachs, New York Mercantile Exchange, and Paine Weber, now UBS. In 1999, Andrew became VP of Operations, overseeing the American Museum of Natural History’s relaunch of the dining options at the new Rose Center, the museum’s renovated Center for Earth and Space. In 2000, Andrew was awarded Manager of the Year and soon after was supervising many of RA’s cultural center’s including the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History and Cooper Hewitt, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Winterthur and the National Gallery of Art.
In 2005, Andrew’s next position was the newly created VP of Project Development, overseeing all new unit openings. He opened the highly acclaimed Table 1280 restaurant at Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta, Morgan Library Dining Room and Café (awarded 2 stars by the New York Times), and the Mitsitam Café at the National Museum of the American Indian in DC, winning Best Concept award from Foodservice Director Magazine. In 2007 Andrew and the RA team launched the C5 restaurant and Food Studio café at the Royal Ontario Museum’s new Leibskind wing in Toronto and in 2009, launched the award winning Wright Restaurant at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
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Senior Vice President, Catering by Restaurant Associates
As the Senior Vice President and Founder of the Central Catering Kitchen, Tim McLaughlin defines the company’s sophisticated and innovative catering presence. Tim joined Restaurant Associates in 1996, after a 10 year career with Glorious Food with the goal of spreading RA’s existing a la carte reputation into the realm of New York catering. He soon established the Central Catering Kitchen, RA’s centralized production a kitchen from mere concept into thriving machine.
Tim McLaughlin has been responsible for menu design and food service for the catering aspect of the US Open Tennis Championship since 1996. Tim McLaughlin’s career goal has been to change the image of catered food. Over the years, he has helped the company establish relationships with some of the most prestigious cultural centers in Manhattan such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim Museum, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Beyond his culinary expertise, Tim’s keen interest in food presentation and decor has remained a signature of Catering by Restaurant Associates. It is this attention to detail that is appealing to the Entertainment Industry; some of his most notable premiers are HBO's The Sopranos and Sex and the City.
Tim has collaborated with Wolfgang Puck in the execution of the Academy Awards’ Governor’s Ball, Eric Ripert to cater the Guggenheim Museum’s Pop Art Ball and Joachim Splichal of Patina Group at the Grand Opening of Disney Hall in Los Angeles; they catered to eight thousand guests over four nights of celebration. As an employee of Restaurant Associates, he has inspired trends of food presentation across RA’s Restaurants, Business and Industry accounts, and the many Special Events they cater Nationwide. In particular, he received the Special Achievement Award at the Annual Restaurant Associates Chef and Director’s Meeting in 2002. Tim McLaughlin’s name has become synonymous with catering. His culinary expertise and artistic eye continues to influence, not only all areas of the Restaurant Associates, but the entire Food Service Industry.
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Ed Brown leads the culinary charge for Restaurant Associates injecting his restaurant expertise into all aspects of their portfolio. As one of America’s leading chefs, his experience is synonymous with culinary innovation, quality food and entrepreneurial spirit. Brown’s culinary talent has garnered international acclaim and star ratings from the New York Times and a coveted Michelin star.
Brown’s professional life in the kitchen began shortly after his graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in 1983, when he joined Le Parker Meridien Hotel at its New York Times three-star Maurice Restaurant as Sous Chef working beside Chef Christian Delouvrier and Chef/Maitre Cuisinier Alain Senderens. Two years later, he traveled with Senderens to Paris to work at the famous Michelin three-star Lucas Carton as Chef de Partie Tournant.
In 1990, Brown joined Restaurant Associates to open Tropica, the organization’s first project in New York’s MetLife building complex, eventually overseeing the culinary programs at all of RA’s restaurants in the building. After a brief stopover at Judson Grill, Brown returned to the RA family in 1994 to serve at the helm of The Sea Grill. During his 14 years as Executive Chef Esquire magazine called The Sea Grill “one of the best restaurants in the world” and Brown, “perhaps the most impressive talent in his field.” Throughout Brown’s impressive career, he has earned 14 stars from The New York Times for such properties as Marie Michelle, Tropica, Judson Grill and The Sea Grill.
Brown, a frequent guest on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s Morning Show, and Food Network, as well as a 2010 competitor on Iron Chef America, was recently chef and owner of the New York City restaurant, Eighty One. Eighty One opened to rave reviews in 2008 and earned a Michelin Star two years in a row. Most recently, he partnered with Jeffrey Chodorow to open Ed’s Chowder House which was listed in the 2010 Zagat Guide as one of ”five big new anticipated projects of the year.”
Brown is the author of The Modern Seafood Cook, a comprehensive guide to buying and preparing seafood and fish. He has also contributed to other cookbooks, including the updated Joy of Cooking (Scribner, 1997), Chef Pierre Franey’s 60 Minute Gourmet (Clarkson Potter, 2000) as well as other publications.
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