Thompson Central Park, others appoint new F&B leaders

Companies, hotels and resorts across North America have named new leaders for their food and beverage operations in the past two weeks.

Alila Ventana Big Sur

Alila Ventana Big Sur, a luxury property along the Pacific Coast Highway in Big Sur, Calif., appoints Alan Kwan as the new executive chef. Kwan will oversee daily operations and menu curation at The Sur House along with culinary offerings for groups and weddings, poolside menus, and in-room dining. Kwan has over 20 years of experience in the luxury hotel industry and vast background working both internationally and in major cities across the United States. 

A California native, Kwan began his journey at The Culinary Institute of America and most recently served as executive chef at the renowned Soho House Group—overseeing the culinary approach at Cecconi’s Dumbo Restaurant and the exclusive Dumbo House Membership Club. In addition, Kwan has held various executive chef roles including at Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas, Centara Hotels & Resorts in The Maldives and Bangkok, The Mulia Resort in Bali, and others. 

Espacio The Jewel of Waikiki

Espacio The Jewel of Waikiki, a luxury beachfront hotel located on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, appoints a new food & beverage manager. Wes Zane has joined as food and beverage manager at Mugen, its award-winning fine dining restaurant. 

Zane brings to Espacio and Mugen more than five decades of management and ownership experience at a number of premier restaurants and hotels in the city. Most recently, he served as consulting manager and founder of Culinaire Hawaii, where he oversaw concept development and the management of several independent and hotel restaurants. Prior, Zane spent eight years as owner and operator of Formaggio Wine Bar and Formaggio Grill, two years as restaurant manager at Kahala Hotel and Resort’s Hoku’s Restaurant, and 20 years as general manager and vice president at Hy’s Steakhouse.   

Lotte Hotel Seattle

Lotte Hotel Seattle appoints three culinary leaders to the food and beverage team. Jesse Olsen has been appointed executive chef, Antonio Giovanni Artale has joined as director of food and beverage, and Jon Park has joined as senior sous chef. The trio of seasoned professionals will lead the signature dining venue, Charlotte Restaurant & Lounge, along with social and group event catering at Lotte Hotel Seattle.
Olsen joins Lotte Hotel Seattle with over 30 years of experience in the culinary field, helming the kitchens of luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants around the world. A Seattle native, Olsen comes to Lotte Hotel Seattle with over three decades of culinary experience, from Michelin-starred restaurants to luxury hotels and private establishments. He most recently served as executive chef of the Seattle Tennis Club and prior to the club, the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland and Four Seasons Hotels in Seattle. His earlier career includes tenures at Four Seasons Hotels in California, and Hawaii, Egypt, Mahe Island, and Seychelles.
Artale takes the helm after serving as director of food & beverage outlets at The Chartler Hotel, CURIO Collection by Hilton in Seattle, restaurant general manager at Afuri Izakaya in Oregon, and restaurant general manager at The Porter Hotel, CURIO Collection by Hilton in Portland. 

Park joins Lotte Hotel Seattle as senior sous chef to work closely in the kitchen creating new recipes. Previously, he served as the sous chef at Seattle Tennis Club and sous chef at Bunsoy and Purple Cafe & Wine Bar in Seattle.

The MC Hotel

The Montclair, N.J.-based MC, part of Marriott International's Autograph Collection Hotels, names Stephen Copeland its new executive chef. Copeland will lead all culinary programming for the 159-room property and completely revamp menus while cultivating partnerships in Montclair, N.J. Copeland has cooked at some of the prestigious restaurants, including the Roof at the Gramercy Park Hotel, Maialino and The Langham on Fifth Ave. Copeland also acted as executive chef at Maplewood Country Club. Additionally, Copeland has worked extensively with Michelin-starred chefs Luigi and Nicolo Pomata.

Under Copeland's leadership, Allegory will have Mediterranean-inspired coastal cuisine in a shared-plate, multi-course format alongside a selection of craft cocktails, draft beer and a robust wine menu. 

Riviera Maya Edition at Kanai

Francisco "Paco" Ruano and Tomás Bermudez are set to spearhead the culinary experience at The Riviera Maya Edition at Kanai in Mexico. Located in the new hotel community of Kanai in Riviera Maya, the brand’s first property in Mexico opens in this month. The luxury resort is perched atop a 620-acre nature reserve along the Yucatán Peninsula.  

Ruano and Bermudez will each have their own restaurants at the resort. Ruano will lead the property's signature restaurant and introduce a casual contemporary Mexican dining concept, while Bermudez will take charge of the hotel's Côte d'Azur-inspired beach club, situated along the serene Caribbean coastline.

San Ysidro Ranch 

Santa Barbara, Calif.-based San Ysidro Ranch appoints Andrew Caine as director of food and beverage. Caine will execute food and beverage operations to the highest standards; hire, train and manage culinary staff; and ensure exceptional customer service, guest satisfaction and unforgettable dining experiences.

A motivated and accomplished professional in the industry, Caine most recently served as general manager of Michelin-starred Caruso’s restaurant at Rosewood Miramar Beach in Santa Barbara, where he helped attain numerous accolades for the restaurant. Prior, Caine served as an assistant food and beverage manager at Auberge Du Soleil in Napa Valley, where he oversaw and managed its Michelin star restaurant among other fine dining outlets. 

Thompson Central Park

Thompson Central Park New York appoints David Joo as the hotel’s executive chef, overseeing culinary direction for the luxury lifestyle property’s food and beverage program. Joo brings over 15 years of expertise as he joins Thompson Central Park from The Peninsula New York, where he served as sous chef before advancing to executive chef. Prior to his career with Peninsula New York, Chef Joo spent many years with acclaimed chefs and restaurateurs, from working with Drew Nieporent at Tribeca Grill to Starr Restaurant Group, Loews Regency Hotel and the kitchens of chef Daniel Boulud, chef Tom Colicchio and chef April Bloomfield.

Well-known in the industry for his passion and refinement of the culinary arts, Joo holds diplomas from the French Culinary Institute and the Culinary Institute of America. Joo has been recognized for his achievements by the culinary press, having been featured in Port Magazine and Town & Country Magazine, while serving as a culinary contributor for Bon Appétit. 

Turtle Bay Resort

Oʻahu, Hawaii's newly-renovated Turtle Bay Resort has appointed Jason Waterlow as director of food & beverage at the 1,300-acre oceanfront resort. Waterlow will help strengthen the many food & beverage channels across the property, including the resort’s relationship with its onsite Kuilima Farm, to help create a seamless dining experience for visitors throughout the year.

Waterlow brings over 30 years of hospitality experience to his new role at Turtle Bay Resort. Most recently, he held director of food & beverage roles at Honolulu’s Kahala Hotel & Resort, Mauna Lani, and Halekulani Hotel. Prior to planting roots in Hawaiʻi, Waterlow held roles at revered hotels across the U.S., including The Inn at Little Washington, a Double Five Star, Double Five Diamond, Michelin-starred property and Rancho Valencia, an Auberge Resort.