Executive Chefs


Chef Cisse Elhadji

Executive Chef & Cofounder


Chef Cheikh Ali

Executive Chef & Cofounder

Born in Senegal, first cousins Chef Cisse Elhadji & Chef Cheikh Ali moved to the United States in 1995. Executive Chef Owners of Renaissance Harlem, Chef Cisse Elhadji, and Chef Cheikh Ali Cisse have worked many years under the tutelage of Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud. They are leading the culinary team by bringing their culinary creations to new heights with the opening of Renaissance Harlem.

With more than 18 years of experience in the restaurant industry Executive Chefs Cisse Elhadji, and Cheikh Ali  accomplished their dreams of opening their very first restaurant in Gramercy Park back in 2008. A few years later the pair opened a second Ponty Bistro location in Harlem in 2014. Renaissance Harlem marks their third venture as restaurateurs, and their most ambitious project to date. Renaissance’s menu is to reflect creative & succulent cuisine, while discovering a succession of flavors that capture the combination of cultures and foods found in Harlem.

Our Team


Melissa Almonor

Press, Media & Events

Is a Business Consultant working with Renaissance Harlem as their Marketing, PR & Events Manager. She has over 15 years experience in Retail, Sales, Marketing and the Hospitality, Industries.

Melissa has worked with companies such as Bad Boy Records, Starbucks, Shrine World Music Venue, and La Palapa Restaurant. Some of her experiences include initiating state-of-the-art marketing campaigns, product launches, musical performances, grand openings, promotions, fundraisers & events, direct visual merchandising activities while overseeing media relations, raising brand awareness and elevating client base.


Khalid Elfoulki

Beverage Manager 

Leading the way in cocktail libation creations is Khalid Elfoulki as the Bar Manager. Selecting and sourcing rare wines along with liquors that reflect the food & design of Renaissance Harlem, Khalid’s experience will ensure guests palates are elevated to the next level. Khalid is a expert of mixing global influences that are captivated into each glass. He delivers constant elevation with each sip keeping the spirit of celebration very much alive. Not one to be regimented Khalid is open to trying new creations to wow his clients, time After time making him the much loved and sought after mixologist as well as beverage manager