Zota Beach Resort's new culinary team and other F&B moves

Zota Beach Resort. Photo credit: Zota Beach Resort

Zota Beach Resort in Longboat Key, Fla., leads off this week’s roundup of moves in the hotel food-and-beverage space. The boutique resort, which opened in 2017, announced a new F&B leadership team.

Selected to develop and implement Zota Beach Resort’s culinary initiatives, the property welcomed David Miller as F&B director, Jason Pellett as executive chef and Jeremy White as sous chef.

Miller directs all F&B operations, including Viento Kitchen & Bar and developing strategies for the resort’s group event programs. Miller previously led operations at other Ocean Properties Hotels, Resorts & Affiliates, including Treasure Island Beach Resort in Treasure Island, Fla. and Sanibel Island Beach Resort in Sanibel, Fla., and worked for the Peabody Hotel Group in Memphis, Tenn., where he managed their restaurant and catering planning

Pellett oversees all culinary operations of Viento Kitchen & Bar, including staff development and expanding upon the restaurant’s Floribbean concept. Pellett previously served as executive chef of Brio Tuscan Grille in Sarasota, Fla. A 15-year restaurant veteran with a passion for international cuisine, Pellett studied culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America.

White graduated from L’Ecole Culinare in St. Louis, where he was trained in modern and classical cuisine. Before joining the team at Zota Beach Resort, White oversaw all culinary aspects of Racquet Club Ladue in Ladue, Mo., as executive sous chef.

Other recent moves:

Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa named Michael Lamey director of food and beverage. With more than 10 years of culinary experience, Lamey will be responsible for overseeing the F&B operations of  the 650-room hotel. Lamey joins the resort from JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, where he served as the director of restaurant operations.

Benchmark a global hospitality company, named Joseph L. Stamile director of food & beverage for The Heldrich, a Benchmark Resorts & Hotels property located in New Brunswick, N.J. He most recently was director of food and beverage for the DoubleTree by Hilton Newark Airport Hotel.

Embassy Suites Downtown Seattle Pioneer Square appointed Matt Heikkila as executive chef. With more than 10 years of hospitality experience, most recently at the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle, Heikkila will be responsible for defining the culinary program from the ground up. In this new role, he will bring his strong roots seeded in the Pacific Northwest to the kitchen, creating the hotel’s F&B program around specialized local flavors and seasonally focused dishes

Edgewood Tahoe. Photo credit: Edgewood Tahoe

Charles Wilson joined Edgewood Tahoe in Stateline, Nev., as executive chef for the property’s three restaurants. Wilson, a graduate of Le Chef Cordon Bleu Culinary College, has a long career heading kitchens in the Caribbean; Chicago; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Hawaii; and Newport Beach, Calif. For the past 13 years he called Las Vegas home base with positions at the MGM Grand, Paris, Bally’s Hotel & Casino, Caesars Palace and Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

The St. Regis San Francisco announced the appointment of T.J. Boyland as the Grill’s new chef de cuisine. Boyland will oversee the culinary team, menu development and overall daily operations. He has a background working at Michelin-starred restaurants and fine dining establishments, including serving as executive sous chef at San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Michael Mina restaurant and chef de cuisine at AQ in San Francisco.

Noble House Hotels & Resorts named David Goette executive chef of Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. With more than 30 years of industry experience, Goette will oversee all culinary operations, including the signature waterfront restaurant, OCEAN2000, O2K Lounge, as well as in-room dining, banquets and special events. Goette previously was the group executive chef/operations officer at Old Town Italy, a chain of authentic Italian markets based in South Africa.

Oetker Collection’s London property, The Lanesborough, welcomes the Gabriel Le Quang as the new head pastry chef. Le Quang joins The Lanesborough from sister Oetker Collection property, Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, where he was sous pastry chef. In his new role, Le Quang will oversee the Michelin-starred Céleste pastry teams, including The Lanesborough’s afternoon tea, in-room dining, private dining and the Library Bar.

Chef Greg Wiener brings more than 20 years of diverse culinary experience to his new role as executive chef at The Estate Yountville, in Napa Valley, Calif. He assumes responsibility of overseeing F&B operations at The Estate Yountville for the recently-renovated Vintage House, the soon-to-be completed Hotel Villagio, as well as for all events at The Venues at The Estate, which comprise a total of 55,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

El Mangroove, Autograph Collection in Papagayo, Costa Rica, appointed Nicolás Di Paolo as executive chef. Di Paolo will be responsible for overseeing daily F&B operations, menu conceptualization, managing back-of-house operations, and implementing new culinary programming and F&B concepts for both of the resort’s on-site restaurants in addition to a new restaurant concept slated to open in late 2018. Most recently, Di Paolo was executive chef at Mr. Robinson in Barcelona.

St. Regis Mexico City. Photo credit: St. Regis

Sonia Lokun is the new pastry chef at the St. Regis Mexico City. Lokun will lead all pastry and dessert production at the hotel’s F&B outlets, including J&G Grill, Diana Restaurant, La Table Krug and Glasshouse Café. She also will oversee offerings for the hotel’s in-room dining and catering services, including weddings and group events. Prior to joining The St. Regis, Lokun was the pastry chef at Pershing Hall hotel in Paris.

The Stafford London has announced the appointment of Ben Tish as culinary director, overseeing the entire food offering, including The Game Bird restaurant, the American Bar, Wine Cellars, private dining, suites and in-room dining. Tish joins from his previous role as chef director of Salt Yard Group. In his new role, Tish will evolve the menus throughout the hotel and launch new restaurant projects in the near future.

Angelo Konidis has been appointed executive director of culinary operations at Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa in Vieux Fort, Saint Lucia and the new luxury all-suite Serenity at Coconut Bay resort. He will oversee all aspects of the resorts’ F&B operations of nine restaurants including the new Greathouse at Serenity, seven bars, event and wedding banqueting as well as the in-suite dining experience at Serenity at Coconut Bay. Konidis brings 30 years of culinary expertise to his new role, most recently serving as executive chef at Couples Swept Away in Negril, Jamaica.

Vijayudu “Vijay” Veena is the new executive chef at The Setai Miami Beach. Veena joined The Setai in 2008 and brings 12 years of culinary experience from around the world to his new position. Veena will oversee all of the hotel’s culinary operations including its signature restaurant Jaya as well as The Ocean Grill, The Lobby Bar and The Courtyard. Veena will also oversee the hotel’s in-room dining program, banquets and catering events.