With 29 years of hospitably management, 10 of which enjoyed at MIT, Robert Planutis is well known for his perfectionism, team building, leadership, and his profound wealth of culinary knowledge. He started in the industry while studying pre-med at Penn State. While trying to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor he worked as an assistant bar manager at a local night club. He loved it so much he added a second minor in Hospitality (English was his first). Soon it became evident that hospitality was to become his future.
A diverse management background, including private country clubs, exclusive social catering, and university catering has allowed for the passion that Robert lives in everyday life. Extensive travel throughout the world has helped him build diverse culinary knowledge. Whether working with student groups at MIT, mentoring colleagues within ARAMARK, or advising the local social elite, Robert exudes a passion that makes everyone want to listen.
His history includes catering to such dignitaries as HRH The Prince Edward, HSH Albert II Prince of Monaco, President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary Clinton, Henry Kissinger, John Silber, Bill Gates, Lauren Baccall, and Geena Davis just to mention a few. Robert prides himself on providing the same attention to detail for groups of 2 or 10,000.
Director of Catering
Arlyn joined the MIT Faculty Club in May of 2007 shortly after graduating from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology. While studying at BU, Arlyn worked for Robert Planutis with special events at the School of Management. With a “can do” attitude, quick learning style and desire to achieve more, Arlyn was promptly promoted to Catering Manager. Shortly after graduation, Arlyn accepted a position with the MIT Faculty Club where she has most recently been promoted to Assistant Director of Catering. With six years of catering experience, Arlyn is best known for her commitment to customer satisfaction and her eye for detail. Clients quickly see Arlyn’s talent for managing a flawless event.
Chef Mark Benanchietti, PCIII
Certified Executive Chef
Chef Mark specializes in New American cuisine influenced by traditional French methods. His style is rooted in the utilization of the freshest ingredients and the best regional resources, enhanced by sound cooking techniques and the careful fusion of flavors. While studying culinary arts at Newbury College, Mark trained at the Park Plaza Hotel for two years. Upon receiving his degree, Mark decided to continue his training in France, where he earned a professional diploma from Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne. His French work experience includes working with Michelin Star chefs at L'Essentiel in Chambéry and Le Mas du Langoustier in Porquerolles. Mark returned home to work in Boston at the Westin Copley Place for seven years under the guidance of Executive Chef Christoph Leu. In March 2000, Mark was promoted to Executive Chef at the Westin Providence where he worked until bringing his culinary expertise to the Club in February of 2005.
Chef Russell Wooten
Executive Sous Chef
With his tireless passion for food, an impressive culinary repertoire, and an intense enthusiasm for life, we proudly welcome Chef Russell Wooten as he joins the Faculty Club culinary team. After graduating with honors from the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, Russell moved to South West Florida to work at Sanibel Harbour Resort. He trained in each of the many resort kitchens and eventually earned the title of Pastry Chef, Chef le Bear Restaurant. He then accepted a position at the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta where he worked alongside Chef Robert Guillou and Chef Joël Antunes to master the art of Classical French Cuisine. Russell was chosen to help open the James Beard Foundation Award winning, Joël Restaurant. This award has been coined “the Oscars of food”.
Russell worked for Executive Chef Christophe Joignant at the Capital City Club in Atlanta, where he became Chef of The Seasons fine dining restaurant. It was here that he gained a reputation for excellence with his multi course wine pairing menus. After four years, he was once again called upon by the Michelin starred, Chef Joel to assist in the opening of the Oak Room at the Plaza Hotel in NYC. He was lured back to Atlanta to become the Executive Chef at the Tasting Room where he propelled the restaurant’s two star rating to the maximum four star rating.
He then moved to Boston to work in his fourth five star hotel as Chef of Meritage, The Restaurant, at the Boston Harbor Hotel. We are fortunate to have Russell at the MIT Faculty Club and look forward to tasting some of his most exquisite creations including homemade pasta, authentic French Quarter cuisine as well as his personal favorite, homemade ice cream.
Jared Brooks began his culinary career at the tender age of 15 while working for Executive Pastry Chef and Owner of Fredrick's Pastries, Fred Lozier, CEPC. After graduating high school, he continued his education by working for notable pastry chefs, such as Chef Chan Loi and renowned Master Baker Steve James. From Pastry Apprentice at the Balsams Grand Resort in New Hampshire to Executive Pasty Chef at Boston University, Jared has had the privilege of serving several world dignitaries and celebrity chefs. He is excited to bring his experience and passion for pastry to MIT.
Senior Sales Manager
Nina Matthews joined the MIT Faculty Club in October, 2007. Originally from Stockholm, Sweden, Nina has been involved in the hospitality industry for most of her life. After graduating from the International Hotel, Travel & Tourism Institute and School of Hotel Management in Neuchatel, Switzerland, she went on to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality Management, as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Johnson & Wales University. Upon graduation, Nina joined the Radisson Hotel Boston's Food & Beverage Division, where she held several positions within its restaurants and Banquets & Conferences Department. After several years at the Radisson, Nina moved back to Stockholm, Sweden and became the Location Manager for Vasakronan Service Partner in Stockholm, Sweden where she was responsible for all conference and catering services. Prior to joining the MIT Faculty Club, Nina helped open the InterContinental Hotel Boston as the Assistant Food & Beverage Manager. Nina brings her passion for the industry and looks forward to overseeing the planning of your next event, either at the Club or anywhere throughout campus.
It is with great pleasure that we welcome Justine Miller as the newest member of our Sales Team. If her name sounds familiar, this is because her career started at the MIT Faculty Club in 2009, as one of our premier Catering Managers. Justine would execute high level events, both on and off premises, with impeccable organization and precision. She then served as the Assistant Food Service Director at Mount Ida College in Newton, MA, for two years, where she was responsible for a catering and retail operations and learned all facets of the business. Justine is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, from the Isenberg School of Business. Knowledge from experience, attention to detail and excellent client relations are just a few of assets you will observe when working with Justine to plan your next event.
Elizabeth Eross joined the MIT Faculty Club as a Sales Manager in August of 2011. She has been in the hospitality industry for 15 years with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Communications from Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts. As a self proclaimed “foodie” she has a strong passion for excellent and innovative food. Working as an event planner for the past three years at different catering companies in the Boston Area she is well versed in the need for perfection in her events and extreme client satisfaction.