MEET THOMAS HUGHBANKS
A Montgomery County, Maryland native, Thomas Hughbanks took interest in cooking at a young age working in the kitchen with his mother and helping prepare family meals. As he grew older, he realized that his love for cooking could reach far beyond a hobby and decided that he would pursue a career in the culinary arts.
With modest beginnings working as a dishwasher and prep cook at local, family-owned pizzerias and country inns, Hughbanks left home to pursue his professional cooking degree at Baltimore International College. He has since refined his culinary skills at prestigious locations such as the historical Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore, where he served as Executive Chef of The Owl Bar, The 13th Floor and their in-house catering company, Truffles.
In 2010, Hughbanks began working as Executive Sous Chef at the Holiday Inn Washington-Dulles, one of the bustling flagship hotels of the B. F. Saul Company Hospitality Group. Since then, he has risen in the ranks and, in 2014, became Executive Chef of the Holiday Inn Gaithersburg and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Germantown. Chef Hughbanks serves up his creative menus for a variety of events, from bar/bat mitzvahs and weddings to craft beer and wine pairings.
There are many aspects of his job that make it rewarding. Although he uses his extensive experience to mentor his staff, Hughbanks also enjoys learning from others. “You should never be too old to learn. Developing new techniques and different flavors is the key to cultivating a whole dining experience for your guests." Hughbanks also enjoys working with various clients and having the freedom to develop new flavor profiles and menus that will please any palate.
Hughbanks takes much pride in being able to come home to Montgomery County and serve his community. While he enjoys the challenge of serving large clients including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Rotary Club of Montgomery County and Montgomery County Department of Health, he especially takes joy in seeing local members of the community gather to enjoy the meals he and his kitchen staff prepares.