Culinary Team

Chaz Culinary Team

The Chaz culinary staff incorporates regional bounty and sensibilities into its menus. The team’s emphasis on quality, locally sourced ingredients, proper seasoning and precise cooking technique is reflected in a concise, yet diverse variety of appetizers, salads, soups, entrees and desserts. Signature items include  Maryland Eastern Shore–style crab cakes, diver caught scallops, and a hand-cut, fork-tender beef tenderloin steak that advances the Midwest’s beef reputation.  
raphael-chef-cizek-content-ri-16Joseph Cizek, Executive Chef  Chef Cizek joined The Raphael in November, 2016, bringing with him a world of culinary experience and local passion. Chef Cizek’s cooking style is rooted in classic French fundamentals learned in culinary school and imbued with Asian techniques learned working under Richard Chen at the Michelin-starred chef’s eponymously named Pan-Asian restaurant in Pittsburgh, PA and from Kevin Shikami at the James Beard award-winning chef’s Shikago in Chicago, IL. Chef Cizek believes “letting the ingredients speak for themselves.” He emphasizes local sourcing of products in peak season and complements them with touches of the exotic such as fruits from Asia or pickle from Sweden. Chef Cizek is a native of Blue Springs, Missouri. His culinary career began as an omelet chef at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown where he discovered his life ambition. He holds an associate’s degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University, Charleston, SC and bachelor’s degree in culinary arts management from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He served his externship as Chef de’ Legume in the Michelin-starred restaurant of Ockendon Manor in Cuckfield, England where he first held a fresh scallop in his hand and tasted the best food of his life. Chef Cizek’s culinary style has been further informed by study abroad and backpacking through Europe while attending UNLV and experience cooking at Pinot Brasserie in the Venetian Hotel and highly regarded Chicago restaurants, including BIN 36 and Fiddlehead Café, his first executive chef position. He returned home in 2009 and has gained diverse executive chef experience at Parisi Café in Union Station, PB&J Restaurants, The Kansas City Club and most recently 99 Hops House at Argosy Casino.
  Deanna Brazil, Wine Director  Since joining Chaz on the Plaza in 2013, Brazil has worked diligently to elevate the restaurant’s reputation for wine and craft cocktail offerings. Brazil is a graduate of the Gallo Wine Academy and is Level 1 Certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers. She presides over a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence-winning wine list noted for its selection of California wines. She has expanded the list to feature a notable selection of wines from the Pacific Northwest and has a particular affinity for Washington wines.

  david_4668_content_0116David Rabinovitz, Night Manager David has welcomed guests to Chaz since 2009, but many remember him from his earlier days as owner of Metropolis American Grill. Metropolis was a legendary restaurant that Zagat rated one of Kansas City’s top 5 restaurants. The magazine praised Metropolis for its “cozy cosmopolitan setting that oozes style, combined with the personal charm of the owner.” The University of Iowa graduate began his distinguished restaurant career in the early 1980s at and the Prospect of Westport, another popular local eatery of its day. David eventually managed the Prospect prior to establishing Metropolis. “The most rewarding aspect of my position at The Raphael is the opportunity to meet so many people from Kansas City and all over the world,” says David.