OTO Development, hotels get new F&B leaders

Hotels and resorts in cities across the country have named new leaders for their food-and-beverage operations in the past month—and a development company also appointed a new F&B director for its assets.

OTO Development 

Christopher Collins has joined OTO Development as VP, food and beverage. In his new role, Collins will oversee the company's full F&B portfolio with an emphasis on expanding revenue opportunities and maximizing profit.

Before joining OTO Development, Collins most recently was vice president of food and beverage with Kraft Sports & Entertainment at Gillette Stadium. He also held positions with Marriott International at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center and Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort and Spa; Levy Restaurants at the AT&T Center; Legends Hospitality at The Star, Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters; and ClubCorp’s City Club & Collegiate Stadium Division.

Blue Mountain Resort

The Blue Mountain Resort, Palmerton, Pa., appointed William McPartland as food and beverage director to oversee operations, menu development and implementation at the resort’s Slopeside Pub & Grill as well as the two onsite farm-to-table greenhouses. He also will supervise all catering events for the resort’s 50,000 square feet of outdoor/indoor meeting space as well as special culinary events.

Before joining the team at Blue Mountain Resort, McPartland spent three years as general manager/kitchen manager at The Clubhouse Grille in Bethlehem, Penn. He learned about butchering meats and handling seafood at RE Farm Café at Windswept Farm State College, Penn. Previously a corporate chef, he did a six-year stint at St. Thomas Restaurant Group in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, and was executive chef for Capital Restaurant Concepts in Washington, D.C.

Canopy by Hilton San Francisco SoMa

The Canopy by Hilton San Francisco SoMa appointed Michelle Mathews as the hotel's executive chef. Mathews will oversee the culinary operations of three onsite food and beverage outlets—Shelby's Rooftop, The Social and Bean Bar—as well as lead the hotel's social catering program.

Born in Okinawa, Japan, Mathews spent a significant portion of her childhood traveling the world, influenced by the cuisines of Spain, France, East Asia and Morocco. Before moving to California, Mathews worked at several New York City restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park.

Chaminade Resort & Spa

The Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, Calif., appointed Chance Van Cleef as director of food and beverage. Van Cleef will oversee all dining operations, including The View restaurant, group programming, The Sandbox food truck and culinary events like wine dinners and music concerts.

Van Cleef joins Chaminade with more than 12 years of experience in the hospitality industry. For the past two years, he was director of food and beverage at Mountain Lodge Telluride in Colorado where he managed the restaurant, slopeside bar, pool, grocery delivery, kitchen, banquets and off-site catering. Previously, he also held positions at JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa and JW Marriott Nashville. 

Epicurean Hotel

The 137-room boutique Epicurean Hotel, Tampa, Fla., promoted Andrea Paulino to chef de cuisine. Paulino will provide culinary direction for the property’s chefs, updating seasonal happy-hour menus, and ensuring the consistency of culinary items. Paulino will also assist in creating and teaching a diverse list of cooking classes at the hotel’s 32-seat Epicurean Theatre.

Paulino was born and raised in Morelia, Mexico, and graduated top of her class from Culinario de Mexico, one of Mexico’s premier culinary arts universities. Her most recent positions were with Epicurean Hotel, first as a cook and then, with the guidance of Executive Chef Jon Atanacio, as executive sous chef. Before that, Paulino was at Banyan Tree Ras Al Khaimah, a five-star resort near Dubai, UAE, where she managed dozens of cooks and assisted the executive chef with daily restaurant operations. She also worked in Seoul, South Korea, where she was head chef for Tomatillo, helping the chain expand to five locations. Paulino has held positions with Fairmont Hotels, Fiesta Inn and Pangea—all in Mexico, as well as Il Fornello in Toronto. 

Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans

As a 21-year Four Seasons veteran, Dario Montelvere was named executive chef at the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans. His career began at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney as a steward. He went on to contribute to the culinary operations at four other properties including Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, Four Seasons Resort Lanai in Hawaii, Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica and Four Seasons Hotel Miami.

He has worked alongside Sydney-based chef Serge Nasreau and Lynn Crawford of Iron Chef America. While opening the new Italian restaurant at Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica, Cena Sociale, he was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City.

Henderson Beach Resort

The Henderson Beach Resort, Destin, Fla., promoted Tyler Simmons as its new executive chef. Simmons joined Henderson Beach Resort in May 2022 after leading multiple establishments across the culinary landscape. 

Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection 

The Hotel Paradox, Autograph Collection, Santa Cruz, Calif., selected Stefen Shatto as executive chef to oversee Solaire Restaurant + Bar in addition to banquets, catering and in-room and poolside dining at the 170-room boutique hotel.

Shatto’s culinary career spans more than a decade. While earning his culinary arts degree at Iowa Western Community College, he gained firsthand experience in the traditions and practices of French artistic cuisine, working in the kitchens of James Beard-acclaimed restaurants in Omaha, Neb. He was executive chef on the opening team at il vecchio in Pacific Grove, Calif., and then established a boutique catering company specializing in weddings in the vineyards of Central Coast California. 

In his most recent hotel culinary position, Shatto was executive chef at Inn at the Pier in Pismo Beach, Calif. His hotel food and beverage experience also includes tenures at the award-winning Grange Restaurant & Bar at The Citizen Hotel in Sacramento, Calif. and Schooners at Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa in Monterey, Calif.

JW Marriott Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa, Clearwater, Fla., added pastry chef Nitin Bali to the food-and-beverage team. Bali has more than 10 years of experience from several properties. Originally from India, he moved to the United States in 2007 after completing his bachelor's degree in Hotel & Tourism Management. Continuing his education, he obtained a master's degree in project and risk management, followed by an associate degree in pastry from Long Beach City College. Bali embarked on his career as an intern at Marriott at The Ritz-Carlton Marina Del Rey and has since worked in nine luxury hotels across the country.

Most recently Bali was at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel South Beach in Miami, where he led a team of seven individuals, managed schedules, inventory, and created dessert menus for various outlets and events. He also was the pastry chef at The Langham Hotel in Chicago, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Chicago and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta.

JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, Tampa Marriott Water Street

JW Marriott Tampa (Fla.) Water Street and Tampa Marriott Water Street appointed Brittany Erigo as director of catering. Following her success as senior catering sales executive, Erigo will now spearhead both properties’ catering services and programs, from planning to execution.

Her previous experience includes stints as event services coordinator at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort, convention sales coordinator at Visit Tampa Bay, private events coordinator at The Tampa Club and director of convention & corporate sales at ZooTampa at Lowry Park.

Marriott Lincolnshire Resort

Marriott Lincolnshire Resort, Lincolnshire, Ill., promoted Brent Mulvey, formerly director of restaurants, to director of food and beverage. Mulvey joined the resort team seven years ago and helped modernize the resort’s dining outlets. 

At the same time, Everardo Fajardo, previously executive sous chef, has been promoted to the role of executive chef. Fajardo has nearly two decades of experience at the resort.  

Ritz-Carlton, Boston

The Ritz-Carlton, Boston appointed Marriott hotel veteran Joel Eugene as executive sous chef. Eugene will oversee all menu creation and execution for the hotel’s food and beverage outlets Artisan Bistro and Avery Bar.

Eugene comes to Boston via Rhode Island, where he was most recently executive sous chef for the Marriott Newport, overseeing menu creation for the hotel and its several restaurants. Before that, he was senior banquet chef for the Marriott Boston Long Wharf. He was also assistant sous chef for the Long Wharf hotel before serving as banquet chef for The Westin Boston Waterfront. He also has cooked at independently owned establishments including the Harvard Club of Boston, Dorchester’s Ashmont Grill and the Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord, Mass.

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay 

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay hired sommelier Mariano Padilla to spearhead the resort’s wine program. Padilla was certified as a sommelier in 2015, and in 2022 he earned the Level 3 Advanced Sommelier Award in wines. He comes to The Ritz-Carlton from the three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn in San Francisco where he served as sommelier and managed its cellars.

Before Atelier Crenn, Padilla was head sommelier at Lavender Ridge Vineyard in Murphys, Calif., where he managed all wine programming, including tastings for vineyard guests. He also held sommelier positions at Chable Maroma Wellness Resort and Spa and Secrets Akumal Resort and Spa, both in Mexico.

Sonesta Redondo Beach & Marina

Sonesta Redondo Beach & Marina added Executive Chef Garee Battad to the property's food-and-beverage team. Battad started his kitchen experience at 17 at a Benihana, apprenticing to the executive chef. He then went on to study Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Dallas. From there, his Dallas resume expanded to include cooking at Nobu at the Crescent Hotel, Charlie Palmer at the Joule Hotel and under Tom Colicchio at the W Hotel.

After Dallas, he moved on to Los Angeles in 2009, where he worked under Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, The Rose Café in Venice, The Georgian Hotel in Santa Monica and Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach. As executive chef at Sonesta Redondo Beach & Marina, Battad oversees Harbor Bar & Bistro and SOL Restaurant, as well as in-room dining and all banquets and catering events.

Tempo by Hilton Times Square 

Tempo by Hilton Times Square appointed Kamal Ahmed as restaurant director and Kit Skarstrom as chef de cuisine. Ahmed and Skarstrom lead the pre-opening culinary team and now oversee food and beverage operations at the 661-room hotel and its day-to-night dining destinations. 

Ahmed brings 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry to the team and is responsible for providing consistent and engaging experiences to guests while optimizing operational costs and efficiency. Ahmed started his career with B&B Hospitality Group, where he oversaw operations for New York restaurants like Del Posto, Babbo and Esca. He has also held key positions such as director of food and beverage at Arlo Hotels, operations manager at Belmond's 21 Club and food and beverage manager at W Hotels in New York. 

Skarstrom joins the Tempo by Hilton Times Square food and beverage team with 32 years of experience. With career origins working in several restaurants across the city, Skarstrom eventually transitioned to hotel positions including sous chef at Waldorf Astoria New York and, most recently, Four Seasons Hotel New York as chef de cuisine. 

Texican Court 

Texican Court, the retro-inspired boutique hotel in Irving, Texas, appointed Marco Collins as executive chef of its onsite Texan eatery, Two Mules Cantina. In his new role, Collins is responsible for overseeing the property’s food-service operations including Two Mules Cantina and in-room dining in addition to managing culinary personnel.

Collins brings more than 20 years of culinary experience to his new role as executive chef at Texican Court.

Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection

The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection, Newport, R.I., appointed Timothy Caspare as executive chef. With almost two decades of industry experience, Caspare has worked in several international cities and Michelin-starred restaurants. He joins the team from Pasquale Jones in New York City.

Caspare has held head chef positions throughout New York and California, including research and development chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, chef de cuisine at Quince Restaurant, and sous chef at Eleven Madison Park.

The Westin Atlanta Gwinnett

Julie Bilecky has been appointed director of catering for The Westin Atlanta Gwinnett, a full-service hotel slated to open in spring 2024. She will direct the catering sales department. She has more than 25 years of catering, sales and marketing experience in the Atlanta hospitality industry.