Smart Moves: Food and Beverage

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Gilbert Bolivar

headshot of gilbert bolivar in gray sport coat and white dress shirt against background of grass

Bolivar is director of food and beverage for Innisbrook, A Salamander Resort in Tampa Bay, Florida, where he will oversee the property’s five F&B options, as well as its banquet operations. Before joining Innisbrook, Bolivar was vice president of food and beverage operations in the senior living industry, where he led 19 properties in Virginia and Florida. He has also worked with Kimpton Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, Hilton Hotels, Caesars Entertainment and Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

Iwona Luksza and Evan Bergman

two images: iwona luksza on left wearing black blazer and evan bergman on right wearing white chef shirt and black-and-white striped apron
Iwona Luksza (left) and Evan Bergman (right)

Luksza us director of food and beverage and Bergman is executive chef for NoMo SoHo in New York City.

Before joining NoMo SoHo, Luksza was director of bars and restaurants at Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Phoenix. She has also held leadership roles with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company; Mandarin Oriental, New York; The Knickerbocker Hotel in New York City; and Crosby Street Hotel, also in New York City.

Bergman comes from Pine Hollow Club in East Norwich, New York, where he worked as executive sous chef. Other leading roles include working in the restaurants of Charlie Palmer Collective, The Knickerbocker Hotel and LouLou Petit Bistro, all in New York City.

Bryan Hill and Samantha Santiago Torres

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Bryan Hill (left) and Samantha Santiago Torres (right)

Bryan Hill is executive chef and Samantha Santiago Torres is executive pastry chef for Ambassador Chicago, a JDV by Hyatt Hotel.

Hill previously worked as executive chef for InterContinental at Doral Miami. He has also worked in restaurants at Marriott Lincolnshire Resort in Illinois, InterContinental Chicago, InterContinental Boston and InterContinental Cleveland.

Torres most recently worked at Thompson Chicago as executive pastry chef. The Spain native began her career in 2012, when she worked in London at a Japanese restaurant. She later moved to Scotland to work in a bakery and later made the move back to London, where she worked in hotels and restaurants. Torres moved to the United States in 2017 and has since held several pastry roles before entering her first executive pastry chef role at LondonHouse Chicago.

Daniel Benavidez

daniel benavidez in kitchen wearing chef shirt

Benavidez is executive pastry chef at AT&T Hotel and Conference Center in Austin, Texas. Benavidez most recently worked at executive pastry chef at The University of Texas at Austin, where he led the university’s bakery. Before this, he worked at Omni Austin Hotel Downtown, where he most recently worked as pastry sous chef.

Veronica ‘Ronnie’ Claveran

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Claveran has been promoted to director of food and beverage for King Kamehameha Kona Beach Resort on Hawaii’s Big Island. Claveran most recently worked as the property’s food and beverage manager. Before joining King Kamehameha, she worked as director of operations for Daylight Mind Coffee Company in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, and conference service manager for Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Hapuna Beach Hotel in Waimea, Hawaii.

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Yulissa Acosta

yulissa acosta with black curly hair and white chef shirt

Acosta is chef de cuisine for Mountain Shadows Resort Scottsdale’s Hearth ’61 in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Acosta joined the team in 2017 as a cook and helped open the restaurant; she was later promoted to sous chef in 2019.

Giulio Lombardelli and Francesco ‘Franky’ Bonauguro

two images: giulio lombardelli and franky bonauguro, both are cooking
Giulio Lombardelli (left) and Franky Bonauguro (right)

Lombardelli is executive chef and Bonauguro is beverage manager for Borgo San Vincenzo in Tuscany, Italy.

Lombardelli has more than six years of culinary experience on the coasts of the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian. He has had stints with Riva degli Etruschi in San Vincenzo, Hotel Admiral Palace in Chianciano Terme and La Menagere in Florence, all in the Tuscany region.

Before Borgo San Vincenzo, Bonauguro worked at Four Seasons Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai, Egypt, as beverage assistant manager. He also spent some time in California, working as head sommelier and general manager of Tigelleria Organic Restaurant in Campbell.

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