EXCLUSIVE: Space 220 Executive Chef Hired with Ties to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago & The Four Seasons
Space 220 has been a hot topic among Disney fans since it was announced the space-themed restaurant would be coming to Epcot. Back in November 2019, it was revealed that Executive Chef Theo Schoenegger, had stepped down from the Space 220 post. This was merely a few weeks before Space 220 was set to open. Now it appears the Space 220 Executive Chef has finally been hired to take control of the ship. His name is Marc Kusche.
Left at the Alter
Schoenegger, who was coming from Maria and Enzo’s in Disney Springs, left Space 220 somewhat abruptly when he returned to his former home at Sinatra in Las Vegas. The Wynn issued this press release on their website back in September:
Disney’s website describes Space 220 with, “Upon your arrival, you will dine from a menu featuring modern American cuisine, more than 1,000 bottles of the world’s finest wines and a wide selection of craft beer.”
Various opening dates have been rumored, yet nobody really knows when it will open for sure. The Disney website still touts the restaurant as “Opening this Winter!” As of this writing (2/8/20), there are only 40 days left in winter.
Executive Chef Job Reposted
Back in November 2019, MickeyBlog reported that the Space 220 Executive Chef position at Space 220 had been reopened and its job description appeared on various websites.
Here’s screenshot of the opening that appeared on Delaware North’s Careers page back in November, 2019. It has since been removed.
The New Hire
With the opening of Space 220 on the horizon, it appears the Space 220 Executive Chef has been found!
According to his LinkedIn page, Marc Kusche lists “Executive Chef, Patina Restaurant Group, Space 220” as the Headline of his Intro section. Patina Group is a Delaware North company and operates several restaurants. Enzo’s Hideaway, Maria & Enzo’s, Pizza Ponte, Morimoto Asia, and The Edison fall under their umbrella in Disney Springs. Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli Ristorante E Pizzaria are in Walt Disney World.
For whatever it’s worth, it’s interesting to note that Kusche has seemingly omitted all of his work experience from his LinkedIn page. From the LinkedIn website, “LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the internet. You can use LinkedIn to find the right job or internship, connect and strengthen professional relationships , and learn the skills you need to succeed in your career.”
Adding your experience to your LinkedIn profile is the exact reason the career social media platform exists. We’re note sure why the experience is omitted from Kushe’s account…
So What is Kusche’s Experience?
A quick glance online reveals Kushce is coming to Space 220 from Lake Nona Golf & Country Club where he began in the summer of 2016. Prior to that, Kusche was at Hamilton’s Kitchen at The Alfond Inn. He apparently stared there in the spring of 2014.
Before joining Hamilton’s Kitchen, Kushce spent a good portion of his career with The Four Seasons in various locations. From what we can gather, it seems like Kusche started his tenure with The Four Seasons in July 2007.
Marc Kusche has a second LinkedIn profile where he does in fact list his experience. This appears to be an older account as he stopped updating it with his Four Seasons Experience.
An interesting tidbit we noticed is that Kusche spent almost two years as the Executive Chef at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Springs, Florida.
A Sneak Peak at Possible Menu Items
We’ve looked at various articles online and menus of restaurants where Kusche was in charge. We can certainly get a glimpse of his culinary style and food preferences.
Let’s take a look at Kusche’s background and Executive Chef history to see what we can possibly expect at Space 220. Chef Kusche is a German native. He “offers a fresh take on Southern comfort food and has a strong commitment to locally sourced ingredients from the lush and fertile farms of Central Florida” according to the Alfond Inn.
When Kusche joined the Alfond Inn in 2014, The Orlando Sentinel” reported the following regarding Alfond Inn’s signature restaurant, Hamilton’s Kitchen:
“As part of the special event welcoming Kusche and introducing him to the community, the new executive chef unveiled some of the items he will be adding to the Hamilton’s Kitchen menu, including Watermelon Salad with baby arugula, prosciutto and shaved parmesan; Seared Ahi Tuna with carponata, mirco greens and saba; the new “Alfond Inn Rub” rib eye steak with smoked mashed potatoes, corn and asparagus; Lemon-Crusted Salmon with three bean ragout; and the new Hamilton’s Key Lime Cheese Cake.
“I would like to add more fish to the menu,” Kusche said, adding that fish is a popular dish in his native Germany, and he has plenty of recipes from back home that he wants to introduce to local residents.”
From an Orlando Weekly article in May 2015, Kusche talked about his love of cauliflower and fish, ”
As Germans, we love cauliflower,” declares Marc Kusche, executive chef of Hamilton’s Kitchen at the Alfond Inn. Not only is that a step up from loving David Hasselhoff, but it’s an ingredient he now uses in a dish that came to him in his youthful days as an apprentice in one of Germany’s top seafood restaurants – Natusch, in the northern port city of Bremerhaven.
Being from the North, Kusche grew up on fish, and one day he had the idea to combine the two in a dish featuring olive oil–poached red snapper and caramelized cauliflower. “I love the variation of flavors,” notes Kusche, who has since modified the dish and added it to the Hamilton’s Kitchen menu. “In addition to the nice, nutty cauliflower and flavorful moist snapper, I add crispy shaved fennel to top the flavor palette.” After the 12-ounce ribeye, it’s the most expensive dish on the menu and, no surprise, the restaurant’s top seller.”
Lake Nona Golf & Country Club Menu
Kusche’s most recent position as Executive Chef at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club might give us the best look at what to expect on the menu at Space 220. Here’s a glimpse of their current menus.
The menu above is their Grill Room: Dinner Menu (Winter Spring). An amazing assortment of starters, salads, healthy eats, handhelds and entrees can be found. How many variations of these offerings will appear at Space 220?
The Main Dining Room: Chophouse Dining offers some amazing Prime Cuts, Sides, and Sauces. There is also a Prix Fix option.
Lastly, their desert menu offers traditional favorites that are sure to please your palate. They include a Red Velvet Brownie, German Chocolate Bar, Key Lime Tart, and Apple Pie. While we can’t be certain the Space 220 menu will be anything like the ones above, it’s still fun to learn what Kusche’s style is.
Walt Disney World has yet to make an announcement regarding the Space 220 Executive Chef hiring. MickeyBlog is excited to welcome Executive Chef Marc Kusche and wishes him the best of luck! Are you excited about Space 220? Let us know in the comments!