The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, Calif., appointed new executive chef Andrew Litherland, who is spearheading all of the culinary operations for the 396-room oceanfront resort and managing a staff of more than 80. Litherland has more than 20 years of culinary experience across multiple Ritz-Carlton properties.
“Selecting Chef Litherland to oversee the resort’s culinary efforts was the perfect choice,” Bruce Brainerd, GM of the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, said in a statement. “He embodies The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s culture and brings creativity and fresh perspective to his new role.”
A native of Auckland, New Zealand, Litherland developed his passion for the culinary industry at a young age while cooking alongside his mother and picking produce. He began his career at 11 years old, when he roasted and carved lamb and other New Zealand specialties at a local catering company. Litherland’s international culinary background living and cooking around the world influenced his cooking style.
“I’ve been honored in my career to cook all over the world—from Japan to Dubai, the Coachella Valley, Miami, and Georgia—which allowed me to work with a handful of unique ingredients and flavor profiles,” Litherland said in a statement. “When I was given the opportunity to join The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, it was the perfect fit as California blends so many cultural influences with seasonal produce. It also feels good to live in a destination that reflects my lifestyle and reminds me of home where I grew up surfing the waves of New Zealand beaches.”
Litherland graduated from Auckland Technical Institute with a bachelor of arts and associate degrees in food hygiene and professional cookery, and basic cookery. Shortly after graduation, he began his career at The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka in Japan, before continuing to establish a culinary presence in new markets and working in the kitchens of other hotels and restaurants across the globe. Litherland has held the executive chef role for over a decade, overseeing the culinary efforts of The Ritz-Carlton, Coconut Grove, Fla.; The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead in Atlanta; The Hotel at Auburn University in Auburn, Ala.; The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta; and most recently The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Georgia.
When not in the kitchen, Litherland enjoys visiting his triplet sons, who are currently enrolled in The University of Georgia.