Brian Loughnane, Corporate Director of Food & Beverage, grew up in Galway, Ireland. “My dad was a butcher and farmer and operated our family shop, which celebrated 80 years in business last year. It was opened by my grandfather in 1939 and is currently run by my older brother,” says Loughnane who also has an older sister. “My Mum was a teacher of home economics and also the caterer and chef for the family business,” he adds.
The whole family farm, butcher, and chef thing meant Loughnane ate very well as a child. “I was a total “foodie” from a young age. I loved to explore and try new foods whenever the opportunity was available. I had the motto that I would try everything at least once and that has continued with me on my culinary adventures through life,” he adds. “I would have loved to have been a chef, but I found out I am better on the other side of the pass than behind.”
However, Loughnane did work in the family business growing up. “I worked for my family during school in the butcher shop and in local bars and restaurants. My first job after collage was with Hyatt in Columbus, Ohio.” And he has been with them ever since. “I have been with the company for 17 years and have worked all over the world,” he adds. And in some pretty cool places. “I am fortunate enough to have worked for Hyatt in Ohio, Hawaii, Australia, Egypt, Istanbul, and California, all of which created lasting friendships and memories.”His new gig as Corporate Director of Food & Beverage is based in Chicago where he lives with his wife and two young daughters. “When the opportunity became available, I jumped at the chance to take on the role.” It was one of those dreams come true. The only thing missing is room for the four-legged kids he was raised with. “Growing up, we had several Bernese Mountain dogs. I am looking forward to living in a future location with the required space to have another.”Loughnane studied International Hotel Management at Shannon College of Hotel Management in County Clare, not far from the family homestead.“During an internship from college, I worked in Switzerland for a year and was fortunate to work closely with the maître d’hôtel, sommelier and our key suppliers. It was a life changing experience that opened me up to the world of wine and provided life long memories through wine including the opportunity to attend the Fête Des Vignerons, one of the world’s oldest wine festivals that happens only once in a generation.”