Cleveland’s “Mad Scientist of Food” Opens His 11th Restaurant

Zack Bruell opens his 11th restaurant, The Burnham, at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown
Cleveland’s “Mad Scientist of Food” Opens His 11th Restaurant

Vicki Arkoff

Zack Bruell (left) and the collective brains behind The Burnham.

Veteran Cleveland restaurateur Zack Bruell, in partnership with the brand new 600-room Hilton Cleveland Downtown, has opened the doors to his eleventh Zack Bruell Restaurant Group project, The Burnham. Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in both the barroom and the formal restaurant, the American-inspired menu emphasizes both small plates and sauces.

Bruell built The Burnham's concept and menu alongside Executive Chef Maxime Kien, who is from the French Cote d'Azur region, and Chef de Cuisine Ryan Beck, a native Ohioan. "Creating a menu is like writing music. My culinary travels jumpstarted the creative side of my brain,” said Bruell. “I enjoy opening restaurants. It's in my DNA.”

Bruell, a James Beard award nominee, brings more than 40 years of culinary and business experience to his consultancy role at The Burnham, along with what admirers refer to as his "mad scientist" approach, which combines his skills of invention, artistry, and executive acumen.

Chef de Cuisine Beck grew up on his family's farm in Northeast Ohio where he learned to appreciate the effort it takes to grow your own food. At The Burnham, he sources local ingredients to create new memories through simple but bold flavors.

The Burnham’s mélange of three generations of chefs hopes to cultivate the unique flavors of premier American food destinations, and Bruell's first menu draft fuses epicurean cities. Dishes include a New Orleans and Charleston-inspired bread pudding with gizzards and foie gras; Austin-inspired mac and cheese with greens and pulled pork, topped with a disk of cornbread, jalapeno,s and sherry vinegar sauce; and Bruell's Cleveland-inspired fried confit of chicken with Swiss cheese dumplings, stewed cabbage, and paprika.

The Hilton hotel building itself (as well as the restaurant’s name) is influenced by famed architect and urban designer Daniel Burnham, who was instrumental in the planning and building design for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair exhibition, the Flatiron Building in New York City, and the 1903 Group Plan in Cleveland where the hotel stands. Displaying an open kitchen concept, The Burnham seats a total of 217 guests in its two-level bar, private dining room, and terrace.

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