Catering Chef Thomas Schraa, CEC
Thomas Schraa started his career in 1978 as an apprentice under the direction of Chef Jean-Pierre Goyenvalle at Le Lion D’or Restaurant in Washington D.C. There, Thomas spent 4 years working in all aspects of the kitchen.
He then moved on to the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas, Texas where he worked at the flagship French Room Restaurant as a Saucier. At Adolphus, Thomas worked alongside the famed Chef Jean Banchet who, impressed by his work early on, then moved Thomas to his own worldly famous Le Francais Restaurant in Wheeling, Illinois just outside of Chicago a short year later.
Thomas worked at Le Francais for just 6 months before his promoton to chef of Chicago-based La Mer Restaurant co-owned by Banchet and Arnie Morton of Morton’s Steak Houses. Thomas’s career then took him to Miami Beach, Florida to open the Alexander Hotel as Executive Chef. Thomas spent 3 years at the Alexander garnering a 4 star rating from the Miami Herald for his work in Dominique’s Restaurant.
Thomas returned to Chicago once again to become the Executive Chef of the two L’Escargot Restaurants in downtown Chicago. Thomas worked there for 3 years before an opportunity to be part of the opening team of the new Fairmont hotel subsequety caused him to leave the L'Escargot group. Thomas spent a few years with the Fairmont hotels before moving back Washington D.C. to work for the Hyatt Hotel Company where he spent 6 years.
He then joined our Culinary team here at the University of Maryland where he has remained for over 15 years. Thomas is responsible for the day-to-day operations for catering, suite production and food truck food production.Chef Tom acheived his Certified Executive Chef (CEC) certification from the American Culinary Federation in 2014. He also placed 2nd at the 2014 National NACUFS Culinary Competition in Baltimore, Maryland. Thoma has aquired multiple ACF medals - including gold. He became the Executive Chef of Good Tidings in the Fall of 2015.