Welcome to Detroit
Detroit-based James Beard Award-winning Chef, Shawn McClain will soon occupy the top of the GMRENCEN as the location for his first Detroit restaurant.
Shawn is a celebrity chef with three operations in MGM-owned Las Vegas casinos. As an Iron Chef victor, Shawn has attracted his own cult following, but more importantly, he is based out of Metro Detroit. As Detroit builds its reputation as an exciting tourist and culinary destination, Shawn decided to join the cultural renaissance with the addition his 20,000 square-foot GMRENCEN restaurant.
Shawn’s dynamic vision that features multiple concepts is in line with the GMRENCEN’s goal of establishing the space as Detroit’s culinary crown jewel. His acumen for redefining established genres to win both critical acclaim and establish, smart, sustainable businesses is the hallmark of his career.
Holly McClain, Shawn’s wife and a native Michigander, brings extensive front-of-house service and training experience that will be instrumental in developing the hospitality DNA of the space. When the incredible opportunity to take over the 71st and 72nd floors of the landmark GMRENCEN presented itself, the McClains felt this was the right entry into the city’s dynamic culinary scene.
The McClains are also drawing on the experience of culinary and operations lead Richard Camarota, and brand experience lead Sarah Camarota, to headline this project.
Q & A with Shawn
We recently sat down with Shawn to discuss his career and soon-to-be restaurant.
Q: What’s the most exciting part of opening a new restaurant in Detroit?
A: The most exciting part of opening a new restaurant in Detroit is really twofold. First, Detroit is home for my family so I have been looking for the right opportunity and something special to call home. Secondly, I am finally able to be a part of the incredible culinary scene that is unfolding before my eyes!
Q: What are you most looking forward to in the new restaurant?
A: My vision is to create a paradigm shift in the traditional top of the tower experience. We are basically turning the whole idea of “it’s all about the view” inside out. Our goal is to create a multi-faceted experience that is about ALL occasions and not just special occasions.
Q: What are you most proud of in your career, before deciding to open a restaurant at the top of the GMRENCEN?
A: There are so many proud moments that my career has brought to me, but if I had to pick just one, I would say it was when I was recognized by the James Beard Foundation as Best Chef Midwest for my work in Chicago-it was the equivalent to winning an Oscar in our profession.
Q: Where does your passion for cooking and creating dynamic meals come from?
A: I love the creative process. Not only in creating food and menus, but also how that experience is shaped from start to finish. From the overall design of the space to the programming of menus and uniforms all the way to plateware and finally how the food comes to life.
Tell us what you’re most looking forward to with this new restaurant experience in the comments below!