Hollywood Roosevelt, Omni Homestead Resort, others appoint F&B leaders

Hotels and resorts across North America have named new leaders for their food and beverage operations in the past few weeks. 

Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino

Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, appointed Eddie Perales as director of food and beverage. In his new role, Perales will oversee the food and beverage operations across the property, including the Triple George Grill. Perales joins the property from OYO Hotel and Casino Las Vegas where he was responsible for the leadership of the food, casino bars and cocktail beverage services. Before that, Perales spent time working across Westgate Resorts, Rio Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment and House of Blues.

Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection

Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection, Los Cabos, Mexico, named Raúl Soto its new executive chef, overseeing the property’s five culinary outlets and private dining venues. A Mexico native with an expertise in Western Mexico’s cuisine and culinary legacies, Soto will breathe new life into Esperanza’s award-winning signature restaurant, Cocina del Mar; casual beachside outpost, La Palapa; al fresco daytime outlet, La Terrazza Americana; Mediterranean-inspired restaurant and bar, Las Estrellas; and ALMA, a brand-new al fresco cocktail and coffee bar overlooking a roaring fire pit and the Pacific Ocean beyond. 

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Dallas

Corey BeCoats has been appointed executive chef of the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Dallas. With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, BeCoats is an expert in culinary arts, specifically Southern cuisine, leadership experience, food safety, operations and menu creation. BeCoats joins Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Dallas from Great Wolf Lodge where he was executive chef, responsible for managing daily kitchen operations.

Hollywood Roosevelt

The Hollywood Roosevelt, Los Angeles, appointed Sumeet Jhingan the new executive assistant manager of food and beverage. Jhingan brings more than 20 years of diverse experience to the iconic hotel’s collection of restaurants and bars including the new Shirley Brasserie, 60s style Tropicana Pool, upscale burger joint 25 Degrees, indoor-outdoor Rosy Café, and Cinegrill Theater. Jhingan spearheaded F&B operations in renowned luxury hotels such as The Crown Casino Melbourne and The Mark Hotel in New York City. Notably, his tenure as director of operations for food and beverage at Aman New York and the Aman Members Club significantly elevated their dining services.

Islamorada Resort Collection

The Islamorada Resort Collection, a group of boutique resorts in the Florida Keys, appoints Charles Trexel as the complex executive chef. The Collection includes Amara Cay Resort, La Siesta Resort & Villas, and an new resort destination that will open its doors later this year. With more than 18 years of experience, Trexel has held executive chef positions at various Florida Keys properties including Bakers Cay Resort, Playa Largo Resort and Cheeca Lodge & Spa.

Kahala Hotel & Resort

The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Hawaii appointed Christina Maffei as the new director of food and beverage. Maffei started her career in hospitality at Hyatt Regency O’Hare as a manager in training, progressing to roles at Charlie Trotter’s Chicago restaurant and the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago before becoming director of food and beverage for the Trump Hotel Collection. Over five years with the company, Maffei supported various Trump Hotel Collection locations. Maffei then assumed the role of director of restaurants and bars at Hilton Hawaiian Village, before moving on to the Hale Koa Hotel as the director of food and beverage operations. In 2015, Maffei returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, where she joined Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants as the regional director of operations for the Northeast. In this role, she supervised six properties spanning Pittsburgh, Boston, Vermont and New York, before ultimately returning to Hawaii in 2019.

Kona Kai San Diego

Kona Kai San Diego, a Noble House Hotels & Resorts property, appointed Ethan Brown as its new executive chef, overseeing the kitchen at the property’s signature dining experience, Vessel Restaurant + Bar, in addition to meetings, weddings, events and in-room dining. Brown trained at Michelin-rated restaurants in the Bay Area and Napa Valley and progressed through the culinary programs at resorts including L’Auberge Del Mar in Del Mar, Calif.; the Sonnenalp Hotel in Vail, Colo.; The Portofino Hotel & Marina in Redondo Beach, Calif. and the St. Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder, Colo. Before joining the Kona Kai San Diego team, Brown was the executive chef at Reikart House, Buffalo, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, in Amherst, N.Y.  

Omni Homestead Resort

The Omni Homestead Resort, Hot Springs, Va., added Michael Zmigrodski as executive chef. Zmigrodski started his culinary journey at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. He then spent time with Union Square Hospitality Group, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group and EMM Restaurant Group before heading culinary teams at Turning Stone Casino Resort in Verona, N.Y.; Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Okla.; and most recently at Omni Oklahoma City. 

Pablo Rodriguez is the new executive pastry chef at The Omni Homestead Resort. Hailing from Puerto Rico, Rodriguez studied international baking and pastry at the Instituto de Banca in Comercio, Puerto Rico. He was general manager of operations and pastry chef at Ghyslain Chocolatier, a boutique chocolatier located in Union City, Ind. 

The Ranch

The Ranch, Sloatsburg, N.Y., added Michael Narciso as executive chef. Narciso began his culinary career in New York City, working in fast-paced restaurants before moving into hotels, catering and orchestrating kosher events. In the mid-90s, Narciso shifted into the healthcare industry and worked in both acute and long-term care facilities and contributing to homeless services throughout New York City. In 2013, he shifted paths to create his own primarily plant-based cafe called Mia’s Kitchen in Suffern, N.Y.

Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis

The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, promoted Yalcin Arslan to executive chef, overseeing all culinary aspects of the property. Arslan spent time as chef de partie of the Michelin-rated Enigma restaurant at the Palazzo Versace Dubai Hotel. For the past eight years, Arslan focused his career within the Marriott International portfolio, holding senior culinary leadership roles at The Ritz-Carlton, Almaty, in Kazakhstan. In his newly appointed position, Arslan will oversee the entire culinary and stewarding team, including Casa Don Alfonso, the hotel’s signature Italian restaurant.

Sea Ranch Lodge

The Sea Ranch (Calif.) Lodge appointed Stephen Beaumier as executive chef. Beaumier opted for an apprenticeship route over formal culinary education, learning through hands-on experience and mentorship. Previous culinary roles include positions at Quince in San Francisco, Cyrus in downtown Healdsburg and Noma in Copenhagen. He also has supported food technology startups and sustainable farming initiatives. 

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, a winery resort in Temecula, Calif., appointed Jonathan Alcala as its new executive chef. Alcala oversees daily culinary operations of the resort’s dining program including The Vineyard Rose Restaurant, in-room dining and customized on-site catering for meetings, weddings and special occasions. He also oversees the dining at the poolside Vineyard Grill at South Coast’s sister property Carter Estate Winery and Resort. Alcala’s culinary journey includes five years working alongside chef Trey Foshee at George's at the Cove in La Jolla, Calif., and culinary roles at Mount Palomar Winery, Temecula, Casa del las Campanas in San Diego and at La Jolla Country Club.

The Statler

Nuno Rodrigues has been named food & beverage Director of The Statler, a Curio Collection by Hilton hotel managed by Aimbridge Hospitality. Rodrigues has more than 20 years of international hospitality experience and a focus on hotel food and beverage outlets. His most recent position was at Mayfair Hospitality Street Partners in Alpharetta, Ga., where he was vice president of food and beverage. Before that, he was food and beverage director at The Hamilton Alpharetta, another Curio Collection by Hilton hotel. Rodrigues also was director of outlets at 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami Beach, Fla., and assistant general manager at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Atlanta.

Thompson Zihuatanejo

Thompson Zihuatanejo, a beach resort by Hyatt located on Mexico's La Playa Ropa, appointed Omar Barquera as the new executive chef. Barquera brings more than two decades of experience to Thompson Zihuatanejo. He began his career in Mexico City as the executive chef assistant at Hotel Nikko Mexico for almost four years. He began his stint with Hyatt in 2012 when he joined the Hyatt Regency Mexico City food and beverage team as assistant chef before being promoted to room service sous chef and finally to employee canteen sous chef. Barquera moved on to Playa del Carmen, where he was chef de cuisine at the Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya until last June and as the chef de hotel of Thompson Playa del Carmen until the beginning of 2024.

Virgin Hotels Dallas

Virgin Hotels Dallas appointed Andy Papson  executive chef for the entire culinary operations of the hotel, including Commons Club, the Pool Club, banquets and catering. Papson hails from south Florida, where he spent more than eight years leading a variety of luxury dining establishments throughout Miami and the Florida Keys. Before that, he worked at properties in New Orleans. 

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach

Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach, Dana Point, Calif., appointed Gordon Maybury and Peter Lai to its leadership team. Maybury has been named resort executive chef, overseeing the culinary operations across the entire resort while Lai assumes the role of executive chef of Bourbon Steak Orange County. This announcement follows the upcoming retirement of Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray.

Originally from Dublin, Maybury most recently worked at The Seagate Resort & Club. Before that, he was at The Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort; Turnberry Resort & Club; Loews Miami Beach Hotel; and the Peninsula Hotel in New York City. 

After spending much of his adolescence at his family’s own restaurant, Lai went on to serve as executive chef of notable Orange County restaurants including Water Grill, The Blind Rabbit and Oak Grill.

Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek

Orlando-based Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek named Mallory Goldstein director of food & beverage outlets, overseeing the five distinct dining outlets at the resort. Goldstein has worked at Westgate Resorts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Walt Disney World.