St. Regis, Benchmark make chef, F&B director moves

Jordan Barnett is the new executive chef at the St. Regis Atlanta. (St. Regis Atlanta entrance)

St. Regis and Benchmark properties each named two food-and-beverage appointments recently.

The St. Regis Atlanta appointed Jordan Barnett as the property’s new executive chef. Barnett is an established leader in the restaurant industry with a career spanning more than a decade, holding various positions in the culinary industry from chef de partie to executive sous chef. He will be responsible for overseeing all culinary initiatives, including operations at Astor Court and The St. Regis Bar, as well as in-room dining, banquets and catering.

Barnett has spent the majority of his career with The Ritz-Carlton, a luxury brand of hotels under Marriott International, including The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman and The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto.

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, in Punta Mita, Mexico, named Jesús Duron executive chef of the property’s signature restaurant, Carolina. In his new role, Duron will oversee all culinary initiatives, including the creation of the restaurant’s seasonally inspired menu, which uses only the freshest, locally sourced ingredients.

With 10 years of experience in renowned restaurants, Duron’s most recent position was as chef de partie garde manger and patîsserie position at Elmer Restaurant in Paris. Beginning his career in Mexico City as kitchen assistant at Les Moustaches, Duron has served as a chef at a number of celebrated restaurants, including La Marine in Noirmoutier, France; Azurmendi Restaurante in Vizcaya, Spain; El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain; and multiple restaurants in Mexico City.

Snow King Resort

Benchmark, a global hospitality company, appointed Anthony Beckerley director of F&B for Snow King Resort, a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property located in Jackson, Wyo.

Beckerley previously held the position of general manager for Yosemite Valley Lodge in Yosemite National Park, Calif., a property at which he oversaw multiple food-and-beverage and event outlets. Beckerley has also served as general manager for the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel of Bar Harbor, Maine. He was previously director of operations for Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center of Columbus, Ohio.

Beckerley is a graduate of the University of San Francisco, Hondros College of Columbus, Ohio, and is a certified hotel administrator of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Benchmark also appointed Henry Wallace director of food & beverage for The Essex - Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa, a Gemstone Collection property located in Burlington, Vt.

Wallace most recently was director of food & beverage and executive chef for the Ames Boston Hotel. Previous to this, he served as executive chef and executive sous chef for the Westin Waltham Hotel of Waltham, Mass., and earlier as executive chef for the Tewksbury Country Club of Tewksbury, Mass.

Wallace is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

A number of other hotels also announced F&B moves:

Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch named Joseph Bidwell its new executive chef. Bidwell joins the property from Hyatt Regency Reston (Va.).

As executive chef, Bidwell will oversee all of the culinary operations at the Hyatt Regency, including banquets and catering as well as the hotel’s restaurants: RED Kitchen + Bar and Brewhouse Historical Sports Bar.

Bidwell has more than 16 years of experience in the food and restaurant industry. He began his career with Hyatt corporate in 2001 as banquet sous chef and held various positions ranging from executive sous chef to director of food and beverage. His experience includes working at several Hyatt properties throughout the country including Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, Hyatt Regency Boston and Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Additionally, he was recognized as Chef of the Year by Hyatt Hotels in 2009.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Wayu “Light” Wattanakamin has been named head restaurant chef of Sen Lin restaurant at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Mexico. In his new role, Wattanakamin will develop a new menu for the Asian-inspired restaurant, balancing modern and ancient cuisine that plays on new textures and original presentations with the traditional ingredients.

With 14 years of culinary-industry experience and a native Thai, Wattanakamin began his career after culinary school by opening his own restaurant. He later explored international cuisine at the Sahara Resorts in Kuwait, the Millennium Plaza Hotel in Dubai, the Diplomatic Club in Doha and many more throughout Europe and Malaysia. Most recently, Wattanakamin headed up the Signature Restaurant at Banyan Tree Mayakoba.

Hotel Granduca Austin appointed Francisco Sillero as executive sous chef of Hotel Granduca Austin. In his role, Sillero will monitor food preparation and assist the executive chef with creating menus and training the culinary team.

Prior to Hotel Granduca Austin, Sillero served as sous chef for the Corner restaurant at the J.W. Marriott in Austin. Previously, Sillero worked at the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa in Cedar Creek, Texas, where he led the Firewheel Cafe kitchen along with hotel banquet operations. Sillero is a graduate of Texas State University.

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Maui, Hawaii, named Scott O’Gorman director of food & beverage. The veteran in dining and hospitality will spearhead the resort’s culinary operations and oversee new F&B initiatives in the year ahead.

O’Gorman draws on extensive experience in the field of hospitality and F&B management, having spent several years in the industry with Marriott International and Caesars Entertainment Corporation. He hails most recently from Caesars Entertainment, where he served as director of food and beverage and culinary at Harrah’s Las Vegas and oversaw multimillion-dollar F&B, pool, lounge and nightclub operations.

O’Gorman will serve an integral role in the continued success of the resort’s signature dining outlets, from Humuhumunukunukuapua’a restaurant, Bistro Molokini, and the Grand Dining Room Maui to the poolside Volcano Bar & Grill and Grotto Bar, Botero Lounge, and Café Kula. He will also oversee all in-room dining operations and play a vital part in the chef team’s involvement in upcoming culinary events around the country.

Orlando World Center Marriott

Orlando World Center Marriott hired Joshua Cain as executive pastry chef. In this role, Cain oversees all pastry operations for the world’s largest Marriott, including a team of 22 baking and pastry professionals for banquets and catering, in-room dining and the hotel’s 10 diverse and seasonally inspired restaurants and lounges.

Cain has more than 20 years of combined pastry and culinary experience in hotels and restaurants. Originally from North Carolina and a graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, Cain began his career with Marriott in 2006 at The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island in Fernandina Beach, Fla., before becoming the pastry chef de partie at The Ritz-Carlton Charlotte. He joins Orlando World Center Marriott most recently from The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, where he held the complex pastry chef position since 2014.

Will Silbernagel was named F&B director at Plunge Beach Hotel in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, Fla.

A trained chef and restaurant executive with diverse management skills, Silbernagel brings his vast and eclectic culinary style to South Florida by way of Colorado, where he was most recently the executive sous chef at the Hearth and Dram in Denver. In his new role at the Plunge Beach, he will craft menus and oversee staff at the resort’s three eateries.

Trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta, Silbernagel’s culinary career also includes positions at the city’s Gypsy Kitchen and Southern Gentleman restaurants, where he was the sous chef, collaborating with owners on expansion initiatives resulting in multimillion-dollar sales revenue. He also served as executive chef at the Argosy Restaurant, Bookhouse Pub and Pastry chef Room at Twelve Hotel where he teamed up with owners on successful dining and business development enterprises. Silbernagel also ran a successful macaron business.

Doug Stringer has been named head chef of The Immigrant Restaurant, the dining establishment located at The American Club resort-hotel at Destination Kohler (Wis.). Stringer brings more than seven years of fine dining and hospitality experience to the position, and will oversee the development and creation of culinary programs at the restaurant. Stringer joined Kohler Co. in 2015 as sous chef of Riverbend, an restaurant within the resort-hotel’s exclusive private membership club, where he developed new menus and oversaw the day-to-day operations of all culinary programs.

Prior to joining Kohler Co., Stringer served as sous chef at The Grandview Restaurant & Lounge at the Geneva Inn, Geneva. During this five-year term, he oversaw all facets of kitchen operations, purchasing, food cost management, staffing, menu design and overall leadership. Stringer holds a bachelor of science in culinary management from the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago.