When Chef Robert Hesse got a new opportunity to jump into a successful restaurant venture, he didn’t hesitate. “It’s refreshing to be with a restaurant that’s already successful. Where the people already have the talent and the passion.” This coming April, Chef will pack up his family and join the ranks of Noto’s Old World Italian Dining in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as Corporate Executive Chef.
Chef Hesse will complement Noto’s new classically trained Italian Chef Alessandro Guerrazzi. “It’s kind of like classy meets sassy,” chef says of the duo, with Chef Guerrazzi bringing the old world class and Chef Hesse bringing his own brand of sass.
And, Chef Hesse comes by every ounce of his sass honestly. As a kid growing up in New York as a product of the system “I was addicted to drugs, I was a thief, I was in jail and food saved my life – twice! I first was interested in being a chef while working as a dishwasher for the French Laundry. I ended up writing an essay that was chosen to help me attend culinary school.” He hasn’t looked back.
More recently in his career, chef has competed in cooking shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, Guys Grocery Games and Beat Bobby Flay. Noto’s also recognized the benefits from a business standpoint of having a high profile chef join the team. “Anytime is a good time to draft a chef with Robert’s celebrity status, and with his life changes, this is a great time for him to join us. This is a great place to raise a family”says co-owner Tony Noto.”
Noto’s is no stranger to success either. Noto’s Old World Italian Dining has seen success for over 25 years. Starting with a simple vending cart, their success has blossomed greatly over the last quarter century, doubling their restaurant space 11 years ago. Noto’s is now a renowned Italian restaurant that offers everything from casual dining to a unique banquet venue with private chef tables.
Noto’s is a true family affair, boasting a wine cellar with over 12,000 bottles of Italian wine selected by Sommelier JoAnn Noto and operations being run by brothers Tony and Tom Noto. You may even be greeted by Momma Mary Noto at the door.
Did you know that Noto’s is more than a name? It means something: Nothing Other Than Outstanding Service. With an astounding 17 billionaires living in and around Grand Rapids, we’re sure they will come for the fine food, wine and service.
Looking for more Chef Hesse? You can expect to see him on TV soon! An episode of Guy’s Grocery Games set to air in March, an episode of Beat Bobby Flay in May, and he just wrapped filming an episode of Chopped. But wait there’s more – more Hell’s Kitchen? Yes! Two seasons just wasn’t enough. Chef Hesse returns to Hell’s Kitchen All Stars, only this time he’s over 400 pounds lighter. Watch out for that sass! But we will have to wait just a little longer, as this won’t begin filming until 2018.
Chef Robert Hesse has lost over 400 pounds in his cooking career. He loves to eat clean, create new dishes, and spending time with his 5-year-old son Ayden.