Exclusive Club Goes Public

Exclusive members-only club opens up to the public, tries to make itself a foodie destination

Exclusive members-only club opens to the public, counts on chef clout

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Formerly members only, the club is opening itself to the public now that Rabbani is on board.  The Marque/Facebook
Ronnie Killen's barbecue team July 2013 Ben Rabbani
Ben Rabbani is the new chef at  The Marque in CityCentre. Photo by Kimberly Park
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Ronnie Killen's barbecue team July 2013 Ben Rabbani

A once exclusive club is betting on a chef with pedigree to take it mainstream.

Local chef Ben Rabbani is taking over the kitchen at The Marque in CityCentre. Although Rabbani was last seen pulling taps at The Flying Saucer in Sugar Land, he'll bring the experiences he gained at restaurants such as Bootsie's Heritage Cafe and Stella Sola to his new position.

Formerly a members-only lounge tied to the Houston Motor Club, The Marque is opening itself up to the public and has hired Rabbani to help attract diners.

 "I can't be one of those chefs labeled for one type of 'specialty,' because I only cook with what comes in that day."  

“I have had the honor to work under and learn from many great Houston chefs and now I have the opportunity to practice my own craft," Rabbani said in a statement. "It's always been my focus to showcase an evolving menu that reflects exactly who I am.

"I can't be one of those chefs labeled for one type of 'specialty,' because I only cook with what comes in that day."

Towards that end, Rabbani will begin a garden at The Marque to supply the kitchen with fresh herbs. If his previous interests are any indication, expect a menu that includes both ceviche and charcuterie. 

"We were seeking the perfect individual to elevate and refine the culinary program, and Rabbani reflected the mentality we sought to make The Marque one of Houston’s top destinations for fine food,” Margue general manager Keith Thompson said.