By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 16, 2017 at 10:01 AM

Chef Jason Gorman has accepted a position as the culinary director for the historic Ambassador Hotel, 2308 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Gorman’s career includes work at a variety of notable establishments including The Iron Horse Hotel, The Art Institute of Chicago, Mangia Wine Bar in Kenosha and Dream Dance (now Dream Dance Steak), where he earned honors as a James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef Midwest. Most recently, he was executive chef at the Milwaukee Art Museum, where he enhanced the menu at Cafe Calatrava with both Italian-influenced cuisine and an eye for artful presentation.

But, at the Ambassador, Gorman says he’ll be hanging up his Italian chef hat for a while.

"I’ve had a lot of fun making Italian food for the past few years. But I don’t want to be that chef who takes the same 10 dishes with him everywhere I go. So I’m moving on from pizza and pasta for a while," he says. "But I’m really looking forward to crafting a menu that’s very creative but also personal."

He says the opportunity to take the helm of both the food and beverage programs is one he’s excited to tackle.

"I’m thrilled to partner with such a great destination," Gorman says. "There’s so much history in the space. And, as a chef, that gives me a great reference point for my cooking. Ever since I left Dream Dance, I’ve been searching for the right place in Milwaukee, for me and for my food. And I feel like the Ambassador Hotel is really a place where I can make the sorts of dishes that Milwaukeeans have gotten to know me for."

Thoughtfully, Gorman adds, "There’s a great quote from [Bob] Dylan. He came out on stage with his electric guitar and people asked ‘What is that music? Is it folk? What is it?’ and he said: ‘It’s just rock 'n’ roll.’ And that’s how I’m approaching this."

Rick Wiegand, owner of the Ambassador, reflected a similar sentiment in a press release about the leadership change.

"We are ecstatic to have Chef Jason bring his award-winning talents to our hotel," Wiegand said. "He’s at the forefront of regional cooking in Wisconsin, and we are looking forward to unveiling more exciting changes for Envoy in the weeks ahead."

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.