Eric Kim Haugen
Founder, President & Operator
A uniquely rounded hospitality professional who’s skillset presents an opportunity to create value in several areas of the industry, Eric a classically trained chef having completed his apprenticeship at three Michelin starred The French Laundry. He would spend time in several Michelin starred kitchens before eventually opening The Ocean House, a triple Forbes Five Star property in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, as their Chef de Cuisine.
Eric settled in New York City and began a nine year tenure with Zakarian Hospitality and chef Geoffrey Zakarian, a Michelin starred chef, restauranteur, and Food Network personality and Iron Chef. His time with Zakarian saw him in varying roles starting from Executive Chef to Culinary Director, and eventually restaurant Chief Operations Officer and restaurant partner. His expertise contributed to the growth in a range of departments including culinary, consumer retail goods, marketing and public relations, restaurant and hotel operations, hospitality finance and leasing, and corporate partnerships.
Eric has created concepts and successfully opened and operated restaurants with partners that include The Montage and Ohana, The Dream Hotel Group, MGM Grand, Denihan Hospitality, IMH, Thayer Lodging, and Norwegian Cruise Line. His work was recognized by the Chaine des Rotisseurs as well as Zagat as a 30 under 30 award recipient. Additionally, he can be seen as a recurring participant on Iron Chef America.
Seeking to combine his experience and learnings, he founded ERICKIMGROUP, a forward thinking portfolio of partnerships with both individuals and brands who possess elite entrepreneurial spirit. His expertise is wide and uniquely connected from world class culinary arts and beverage development, to hotel & restaurant operations, and technology. Their clients and partners have included Virgin Voyages, The Global Ambassador Hotel, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Catch Restaurants, Zakarian Hospitality, and Nomo Soho. Eric was featured as a main judge for the Food Network's hit series, Big Restaurant Bet.