Michael Sichel will leave New Orleans in June to take the lead at Hotel Bennett, one of Charleston's most anticipated fall openings. 
Chef Michael Sichel
Credit: Eugenia Uhl

After seven years as executive chef at one of New Orleans' most storied fine-dining institutions, Michael Sichel is making moves.

The chef at Galatoire's, the century-old Bourbon Street restaurant, has been appointed executive chef at Hotel Bennett, a new luxury hotel opening this fall in Charleston, SC. He'll be leaving Galatoire's at the end of June and starting with Hotel Bennett in August.

"I am passionate about my customers, my cooks and my cuisine, and I put my heart into each and every plate,” said Sichel in a statement. “I’m excited about working with the area’s incredible bounty of fresh produce and integrating into the culinary community of Charleston, which has fabulous chefs and amazing restaurants. I’m especially looking forward to drawing on my many years of New Orleans fine dining experience and contributing to this great food city."

In addition to overseeing Galatoire's for seven years, Sichel opened its sister restaurant, Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak. (Prior to that, he'd opened Restaurant Indigo, which closed after damage from Hurricane Katrina.) The chef began his career at Gotham Bar and Grill in New York City, under the leadership of Alfred Portale, and continued working in kitchens in San Francisco (Rubicon) and Provence (L’Abbey de St. Croix). Sichel also competed on the 2012 season of Top Chef, which was based in New Orleans.

Located at the corner of King Street and Marion Square, Hotel Bennett will have 179 rooms and a signature restaurant, featuring two stories and dining terraces overlooking Marion Square.

The hotel will also house Camellias, a bar and lounge styled with reclaimed pink marble from the former Charleston Library. On King Street, guests and passers-by will be able to purchase pastries baked on-site.