The Farnam, Autograph Collection, Welcomes Dynamic Culinary and Mixology Team

Experienced Team will Take Helm of Dynamite and Catalyst
The Farnam, Autograph Collection, Welcomes Dynamic Culinary and Mixology Team

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Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

OMAHA, Nebraska — Two explosive concepts are set to ignite, captivate and energize Omaha’s dining and lounge scene—Dynamite and Catalyst. Both will be part of The Farnam, Autograph Collection, a premier hotel experience, and will open this month in the Landmark Center, 1299 Farnam Street.

Combining their talents will be an experienced team of chefs Igor Kokozov, Daniel Weber and Jeff Newman. Dynamite centers around a natural smoked and wood-fired menu featuring local ingredients with bold style and explosive flavors served in an energetic and playfully sophisticated dining room. Franz Wenzl will serve as Director of Food and Beverage and will blend unmatched mixology with Dynamite's unexpected cuisine. Catalyst is the perfect venue to try imaginative cocktails and inventive shareable dishes–all served in the lounge, on one of the area's most expansive terraces or at an intimate private party in one of its cabanas.

Executive Chef Igor Kokozov brings nearly 20 years of continental flair and experience in restaurant settings from coast to coast and in countries overseas, including France and Qatar. His most recent role was in California as an executive chef at Four Seasons in Palo Alto, and Carmel Valley Ranch, Carmel-By-The-Sea. He received his education from the highly regarded French Culinary Institute in New York.

“It is an honor to play a part in this insightful and innovative inaugural team,” Kokozov said. “As we prepare to welcome guests who are discerning travelers and urban tastemakers, we strive to provide a top-notch, high-end experience to our visitors from near and far. The connective environment of Dynamite and Catalyst infuse a new sense of culture and entertainment in the Old Market.”

Executive Sous Chef Daniel Weber's career includes Autograph Collection and Marriott venues, spanning the St. Louis area to Richmond, Va., and most recently multiple locations throughout Florida. His experience in five-star hotels, tourist attractions, country clubs and other dining locations makes him a tremendous asset as he brings his vast talent to the Midwest. Sous Chef Jeff Newman brings vibrant local flavor to the table, with more than two decades in senior roles at restaurants in Omaha and Council Bluffs, including Jams, Lincoln's Pub and Taxi's Bar and Grill. From creating new menus and recipes to mentoring successful young professionals, Newman prides himself on his 25-plus years in the industry and doing it all in the Omaha metro.

Franz Wenzl's food and beverage management has taken him around the world – starting his career in Switzerland in the early 1980s. In 1996, he moved to Germany, where he spent the remainder of the decade overseeing a fine-dining establishment. His brand experience includes Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Marriott International, JW Marriott Hotels, St. Regis Hotels and Resorts and more. The new millennium brought Wenzl to the United States, where he has worked in management roles from Florida to California.

As in-person dining, travel and other recreational activities become more accessible in the coming weeks, the new team at Dynamite and Catalyst will be there to welcome new guests for a truly vibrant dining experience in the heart of downtown Omaha. Side-by-side with The Farnam, Autograph Collection, the spaces will transform into a rapidly expanding hub of activity.

News and hospitality media, please contact Collin Ruane,, 402.650.3502 to schedule an interview.

About The Farnam, Autograph Collection
The Farnam, Autograph Collection is Omaha’s new luxury urban clubhouse. The Autograph Collection Hotel caters to the discerning business traveler and the urban tastemaker. The Farnam features 120 guest rooms, including 24 suites and two dining and lounge concepts. Dynamite, a high-end culinary experience centered around the wood-fired grill and Catalyst, offering mixology experiences and one of the largest outdoor terraces in the city, adding energy and a new heartbeat to this historic area. The Farnam’s namesake, Henry Farnam, propelled Omaha on its way to becoming one of America’s great cities and displays that character and spirit: Enterprising and energetic, inventive and entrepreneurial.