One of the world's great culinary talents, Chef J. Joho humbly entered the profession as a 6 year old, peeling vegetables in his aunt's restaurant kitchen. Today, his establishments in Chicago, Boston and Las Vegas set standards for dining and win awards at every turn. Among his accomplishments, Chef Joho was named the James Beard Foundation's "Best American Chef: Midwest," and nominated for Best Outstanding Restaurant," and was Bon Appetit's "Best Chef of the Year." He has also received the Robert Mondavi "Culinary Award of Excellence" and has developed the wine list for Everest, which the New York Times and USA Today credited as having "the country's best selection of Alsatian wine."
Joho is famed for his personalized cuisine. Each dish creatively and elegantly balances unexpected flavor combination. "To think of juxtaposing earthy cauliflower with luxury caviar was wondrous enough, but the dazzling flavors supplied a bonus," said Wine Spectator in a recent review of Joho's Everest.
He began formal training as a 13-year-old apprentice for Paul Haeberlin of the acclaimed L'Auberge de L'Ill in Alsace, France, and continued in kitchens in France, Italy and Switzerland. By the age of 23, Joho was the sous chef at a Michelin three-star restaurant where he commanded a 35-person staff. Chef Joho developed his expertise not only in the business of restaurants and hotels, but in pastries, cheese and wine while studying at the Hotel Restaurant School in Strasbourg. In fact, Chef Joho continues to handpick the impressive wine selections featured at Everest, Brasserie JO and Eiffel Tower Restaurant.
In fall 1986, Chef Joho opened Everest as proprietor on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange, earning Five-Diamond ratings from AAA and the Mobil Dining Award, and top ratings from Maitres Cuisiniers de France. In the fall of 2003, Everest was named the "Best Restaurant in Chicago." In 1995, Chef Joho presented Chicago with Brasserie Jo "the city's first authentic brasserie" and was honored with the James Beard Foundation's "Best New Restaurant Award." A second Brasserie Jo opened in Boston's Colonnade Hotel in the spring of 1998.
The perpetual entrepreneur, Joho is also co-founder of the successful Corner Bakery concept and most recently launched Eiffel Tower Restaurant in Las Vegas' Paris Hotel. High above the strip on the 11th floor of the Eiffel Tower replica, Joho's Eiffel Tower Restaurant offers the city's premier French cuisine, breathtaking views of the Las Vegas strip and is regarded as the crown jewel in Paris Las Vegas' collection of nine restaurants. Chef Joho is a member of the prestigious organizations Relais & Chateaux/Relais Gourmand, le Grande Table Du Monde Traditions & Qualite and Maitre Cuisiniers de France.
With over 14 years of culinary experience, coupled with a passion for his craft, creative and artistic talent and his strong leadership roles, Nicholas Calias leads the culinary operation at The Colonnade Hotel and Brasserie Jo.
Nicholas is a seasoned Corporate Executive Chef, having spent the better part of the last 8 years with Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Merritt Hospitality. He has most recently been a General Manager for Eurest Compass Dining, the world’s largest corporate dining organization, where he was responsible for the day to day operation of three units feeding over 4,000 people daily.
Previously, Nicholas was an Executive Chef of the Westin Stamford Hotel with Merritt Hospitality, where he also was a member of the Corporate Task Force team that facilitated property acquisitions to the company portfolio. Nicholas has also been an Executive Chef with Starwood, where in addition to his daily responsibilities, he was a member of the Starwood Regional Chef’s Task Force. Nicholas had his initial role as an Executive Chef at The Beach House Restaurant in Hampton, New Hampshire.
Nicholas holds an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts from Newberry College.
"Chef Nick is passionate about everything he does. He is as meticulous with an elaborate cheese display as he is with the ingredients he selects to accompany a succulent filet mignon." G. Greene