Tourism is a major industry in Philadelphia, and the city is home to several iconic grand hotels. Our guest on Recap is an important fixture at one of those properties. He has “chef” in his title, but don’t ask him to cook you breakfast.
“Chef concierge. It’s French for chief concierge, the official title for a head concierge,” explains James Portner, chef concierge at the Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia. “The members of Les Clefs d’Or, the international association of hotel concierges, agreed upon this title.”
He mentions the association casually, before going on to explain the process of being admitted to this exclusive organization, with only about 450 members in the U.S.
“To apply, you have to have a recommendation from a member, referrals from your general manager, you have to be sponsored by two other members … and then there’s a big test you have to take,” he says.
His two lapel pins with pairs of crossed gold keys signify his membership.
James Portner gave us a glimpse into the work week of a concierge.