Hotels Beef Up F&B Teams

INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Hotel kitchens are heating up across the globe. Here’s a look at some of the recent additions to hotel F&B teams:

The Lexington Hotel Appoints Director of F&B
The Lexington Hotel in New York City has appointed Frank Caiafa as the director of food and beverage at The Lexington Hotel and beverage director of The Stayton Room. This new position marks his return to Lexington Ave., bringing his years of expertise in cocktail culture to a new yet classic New York hotel bar. Caiafa played a role as the beverage director of the Peacock Alley and La Chine restaurants at The Waldorf Astoria in New York City, where he worked from 2005 until the hotel’s recent closure for renovations. He also serves as principal of the hospitality consulting and management enterprise Handle Bars NYC/Global Hospitality.

The Thompson Chicago Welcomes Executive Chef
The Thompson Chicago has named Chef Tim Graham as the hotel’s new executive chef. In this role, Graham will oversee all culinary operations of the hotel including private events, in-room dining and the hotel’s renowned restaurant, Nico Osteria. Graham joins the Thompson Chicago having served as executive chef at several Chicago restaurants including Michelin-starred Tru, Paris Club (where Graham was a member of the team that developed and opened the restaurant) and Travelle at the Langham hotel. Most recently, Graham was the executive chef and owner of his own concept, Twain, which paid homage to Midwestern cuisine.

Barona Resort & Casino Promotes Executive Chef
Barona Resort & Casino in San Diego has promoted Ivan Cota as the new executive chef at the gaming resort destination. Cota joined the Barona Resort & Casino culinary team as chef de cuisine in 2009 and became executive property sous chef in 2014. During his tenure at Barona, he’s helped to manage 16 restaurants and casual eateries, special events catering and the casino’s signature game-side dining. In his new role, he will manage all operations related to the culinary and stewarding department, including cost control, menu development and staff and manager training. Before joining Barona, he served in executive chef roles at several local restaurants and catering companies.

The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa Adds Executive Chef
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa in Denver has welcomed Rodney Herwerth as executive chef. In this role, Herwerth will oversee all culinary direction and operation for the hotel, banquets and daily dining within its six restaurants and lounges. Previously, Herwerth served as executive chef at Hilton Denver Inverness where he spent 10 years overseeing the food production for the property’s six dining outlets and 60,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

JW Marriott Savannah Names Executive Chef
The Kessler Collection’s Plant Riverside District has named Kyle Lipetzky executive chef of the JW Marriott Savannah affiliate, leading into the Q4 2019 opening. Plant Riverside District is set to feature 12 food and beverage outlets. With 23 years of experience, Lipetzky will also be in charge of in-room dining for the hotel’s 419 guestrooms and banquets for 20,000 sq. ft. of event and meeting space, creating and developing all menus and managing a team of 120 culinarians and stewards. He previously managed six food and beverage outlets and a team of 60 chefs as the executive chef of The Boulders Resort & Spa, part of Hilton’s Curio Collection in Scottsdale, AZ.

Circ Hotel Appoints Two to Internal Team
Circ Hotel, located in downtown Hollywood, FL, has appointed two hospitality leaders to its internal team. Tony Falk was promoted to director of sales and marketing, and Michael Vitetta was named executive chef for Olivia Restaurant & Bar, located inside the hotel. From Finland with 10 years of hospitality and sales experience, Falk was most recently the corporate travel sales manager for Circ Hotel. An experienced banquet chef, Vitetta brings more than 10 years of experience to Olivia Restaurant & Bar. Prior to Circ Hotel, he held positions at several hotels throughout South Florida, including the Biltmore Hotel and Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa.

Executive Chef Joins Rosewood London
Rosewood London welcomes Simon Young as executive chef at Rosewood London. Young will oversee the luxury hotel’s kitchens and restaurants including the Scarfes Bar and Mirror Room. Young has more than 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry, having worked most recently as executive chef at Jumeirah Carlton Tower where he oversaw the entire culinary division. Young will be responsible for the daily operations and management within Rosewood London’s kitchens and will oversee the team.

Park Hyatt St. Kitts Appoints Executive Chef
Park Hyatt St. Kitts has tapped Justin Taylor as executive chef of the beachfront resort. In this role, Taylor will oversee the resort’s three restaurants. Taylor brings more than 14 years of experience in the culinary industry, having worked in a range of kitchens from London to Los Angeles. Most recently, he was executive chef for three years at Andaz West Hollywood. Taylor will be responsible for sourcing seasonal ingredients from local farmers and fisherman to be used in the curated menus offered at the property’s dining establishments.