Christian Madsen is the executive chef at six.one.six in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids and oversees restaurant and the hotel’s other venues; the destination lounge, Mixology, in-room dining and catering services for one of the largest meeting venues in the region. Prior to six.one.six, Madsen took the lead in opening Ruth’s Chris Steak House in the Amway Grand Plaza.
Madsen has a long history with the Amway Grand Plaza, and previously lead The 1913 Room, which received Michigan’s first and only five-diamond status from AAA under his leadership and maintained it until the restaurant closed in 2011. The 1913 Room was a two-time winner of the Grand Rapids Magazine “Restaurant of the Year” award, and is a five-time recipient of the magazine’s “Fine Dining Award.”
Throughout his career, which spans over two decades, Madsen has been personally recognized for his culinary ability with numerous accolades, including “Best Chef” from Grand Rapids Magazine” in 2008. He is a bronze-medal winner in the American Culinary Federation (ACF) cooking competition and has been a featured chef in the ACF “Seven Courses of Gold” dinners for the past three years. Madsen’s recipes were published in the Savor Michigan Cookbook, and he was named the Michigan Hotel, Motel, and Resort Association’s “Culinary Star of the Year” in 2005.
As a Michigan native, Chef Madsen is dedicated to helping his community and has been a volunteer mentor to the Fruitport High School Culinary team in Fruitport, MI for six years. Under his guidance, the team has claimed the state title at the ProStart Invitational for five consecutive years and claimed three top-five finishes at the national competition.
Growing up in Owosso, Michigan, Chef Jacob grasped the core concept of food early on: bringing friends and family together. The good times were made greater with delicious and thoughtfully prepared meals, especially those prepared alongside his grandmother. From canning garden produce and making preserves, to his enthusiasm for bow hunting, it is no wonder that Chef Jacob so strongly embraces the farm to plate movement. After training at The Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona and working with several exclusive hotels, Chef Jacob returned to Michigan in October 2008 to pursue his career at six.one.six. With family and food at the forefront, he advanced through all areas of the kitchen to become Sous Chef.
As a professionally trained musician with a Bachelors of Music and an Associates of Applied Science in Culinary Arts from the Secchia Institute at GRCC, Chef Houthoofd has come to be quite the entertainer of palates for those people who enjoy functions and group events at the JW Marriott Grand Rapids. Chef Houthoofd has been with the JW since November 2007 and has since grown into his role by mastering every aspect of the JW Marriott Grand Rapids Kitchen. Chef Houthoofd has a great sense of flavors and cooking techniques to please even the largest crowds and most discerning gourmands. If there was one way to describe Chef Houthoofd’s food, it would be simply “Music to your mouth!”