The Detroit Athletic Club in downtown Detroit announced the selection of culinary executive Shawn J. Loving as its new executive chef. Loving succeeds Kevin Brennan, who is retiring from the club after 26 years.
Loving has received acclaim and a multitude of awards and medals from the American Culinary Federation. His recent and highest honor was the certified master chef designation, which made him one of only 72 in the nation. The designation demonstrates a passion for creating the kinds of experiences that Detroit Athletic Club members enjoyed under the care of Brennan, who is also a certified master chef.
Loving has been the department chair of Schoolcraft College’s culinary arts program in Livonia since 2007 but his career spans more than 30 years. He has worked for the Walt Disney Co. at Epcot Center in Florida, been owner and chef at the Loving Spoonful restaurant in Farmington Hills, and has been a nutritional adviser and chef for the Detroit Pistons, the 2008 U.S. men’s and women’s Olympic basketball teams, and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Last summer he worked with the National Basketball Association to supervise culinary operations. Loving still serves as executive chef for USA basketball.
“More than three months ago, we began the search process by working with a national firm that specializes in the culinary industry,” says Charles Johnson, executive manager of the club. “The search was narrowed to four finalists who were each invited to the club for a two-day visit. Rigorous interviews with the leadership team, culinary leadership, and the membership were conducted, as was a cooking demonstration.”
Brennan, a 1976 graduate of Schoolcraft College’s culinary arts department, retired Feb. 1.
The Detroit Athletic Club was founded in 1887 and is in the city’s theater and sports district. It was named the No. 1 athletic club in the country for 2019-2020 and 2021-2022 by the national Club Leaders Forum, which awarded the club the Platinum Clubs of America Five Star Clubs of Excellence designation. The honor represents the top 5 percent of America’s Top Private Clubs of Excellence.