Top Chefs

July 2019

Panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and a seafood-centric Cali Mex menu are served to groups in Southern California’s Laguna Beach at Las Brisas restaurant. Helmed by Orange County native Michael Gaines, Las Brisas is in the midst of a major three-phase renovation that is scheduled to wrap by the end of 2019.

April 2019

Carrying the tagline “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare,” the Velas Resorts properties offer food and beverage options that rival top non-resort restaurants. Overseeing it all—22 gourmet restaurants brand-wide, with cuisine types ranging from French and Italian to Asian and Mexican—is Michel Mustiere, culinary director for Velas Resorts.

April 2019

With a career firmly rooted in the food scene of Southern California, chef Octavio Sabado has an acute sense of culinary trends and which of them are here to stay. He gets to put this knowledge to good use as executive chef of the Westdrift Manhattan Beach. Sabado’s menu at the hotel’s signature eatery Jute Coastal Kitchen + Bar and the group banquets it serves, is filled with dishes that could be considered special dietary menus elsewhere.

March 2019

Austria is renown as a great producer of top chefs, such as Wolfgang Puck. Add Josef Huber, who has worked with Puck in the chaotic kitchen at the Oscars Governors Ball in 2016, to the list. Salzburg, Austria, native Huber oversees all F&B operations as corporate executive chef for AHC+Hospitality’s six owned and managed hotels.

February 2019

Last March 2018, Ben George was feeling the madness. As executive chef for Savor… at INTRUST Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas, he was preparing food for the first and second rounds of the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, hosted by Wichita State University. George led the efforts to provide meals to more than 45,000 guests during the event, including more than 4,000 boxed lunches.

January 2019

Like other top chefs, David Belknap had to venture out in the world before finding a home, which happened to be where he began. The executive chef of AC Hotel Columbus Dublin’s Spanish tapas-inspired lounge and restaurant VASO was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, but his career trajectory and love of his family brought him back home to Dublin, a nearby suburb.

December 2018

In today’s meetings and events scene, the F&B business is show business, and nowhere is this more evident than with the top-shelf team at Disney Catered Events. The catering theater staged by Disney is worthy of a Hollywood production, or in this case, Walt Disney World, with Culinary Director John Clark in a leading role. And for Clark, as the saying goes, business is good.

November 2018

An insatiable appetite for everything “food” is essential in the makeup of Mark Kropczynski, executive chef at San Diego’s THE US GRANT, a Luxury Collection Hotel. In fact, if you walk down to the San Diego shoreline after the kitchen of the Marriott-brand property’s Grant Grill closes you may find Kropczynski, dive light in hand, hunting for California spiny lobsters.

September 2018

Hawaii was fusion before fusion was cool. It’s long been a way of life on the Hawaiian Islands, which sit at the midway between East and West and showcase a truly multicultural society. “I blend a lot of styles,” said Oahu native Lyndon Honda, executive chef at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. “Hawaii’s been doing that fusion cuisine since the turn of the [last] century.

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