Pablo Salas

headshot of Pablo Salas, Hotel Dena
Pablo Salas, Hotel Dena

Hotel Dena, in Pasadena, California, welcomes a new partnership with Salas, a celebrated Mexican Chef. He will provide guests with a soulful Mexican culinary experience at the hotel’s restaurant, Agents Only. Salas gained widespread prominence after appearing on “Iron Chef: Mexico” and his restaurant, Amaranta, was awarded one of the best restaurants in Mexico by various publications, along with other awards and recognitions.

Romina Migliorini and Joe Derla

Smart Moves headshots of Romina Migliorini and Joe Derla, Signia by Hilton San Jose
Romina Migliorini and Joe Derla, Signia by Hilton San Jose

Signia by Hilton San Jose makes two key appointments to its culinary leadership team.

Migliorini will serve as director of food and beverage, bringing an extensive hospitality background with a career that began with Walt Disney World in Orlando, rising through the ranks to become assistant director of food and beverage at Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort. She will now oversee all food and beverage operations at Signia by Hilton San Jose.

Derla takes on the role of executive chef, promoted from his earlier role as the opening team’s executive sous chef. He began his culinary journey at Hilton Waikoloa Village Resort and quickly progressed to overseeing banquets and eventually leading the culinary program at its onsite steakhouse, Kamuela Provision Company. He draws inspiration from Hawaii’s farm-to-table ethos, sustainability and locality.

Nathaniel Leonard

Headshot of Nathaniel Leonard, Ashore Resort & Beach Club
Nathaniel Leonard, Ashore Resort & Beach Club

Leonard is appointed as executive chef at Ashore Resort & Beach Club. He discovered his love for cooking at 14 while working as a dishwasher at a local restaurant in his hometown in Pennsylvania, and as an adult, moved through ascending roles from line cook to sous chef at Stiped Bass in Philadelphia. He worked in kitchens in New York City and Pennsylvania before opening his own restaurant, 208 Social, in Delaware.

Andre Blasczak

Smart Moves headshot of Andre Blasczak, The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa
Andre Blasczak, The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa

The Westin Grand Cayman Seven Mile Beach Resort & Spa appoints Blasczak as executive chef. He brings an extensive hospitality experience to his role, in which he will spearhead and execute a creative space for on-site dining, where menus will blend both local and Caribbean flavors in a fine-dining atmosphere.

Michael Narciso

headshot of Michael Narciso, The Ranch
Michael Narciso, The Ranch

Narciso takes on the role of executive chef at The Ranch, in Hudson Valley. An advocate for healthy, nutrient-dense, plant-based cuisine, he will create and oversee the daily menu at the property. He began his career in fast-paced New York restaurants before moving into hospitality. He entered the health-care industry working in acute and long-term care facilities and contributing to homeless services throughout New York before going on to open his own restaurant, Mia’s Kitchen, in Suffern, New York, serving primarily plant-based café dishes.

James McIver

Smart Moves headshot of James McIver, W San Francisco
James McIver, W San Francisco

W San Francisco appoints McIver as Executive Chef. He brings over 25 years of culinary experience and trained in Paris at the École Supérieure de Cuisine Française. He has trained under renowned chefs such as Alain Ducasse and Thomas Kelle, and will now enhance the hotel’s culinary program and menus for banquet and catering facilities, in-room dining, Living Room Bar and signature restaurant TRACE.

Andrew King

headshot of Andrew King, The Junto
Andrew King, The Junto

King takes on the role of director of food & beverage at The Junto, in Columbus, Ohio. He brings over 20 years of experience at top hospitality companies and a wealth of culinary expertise and operational insight. He has collaborated with world-renowned chefs, developing menus and overseeing the opening of numerous restaurants across New York and Boston.

Salvatore Bianco

Smart Moves headshot of Salvatore Bianco, Hotel Eden Rome
Salvatore Bianco, Hotel Eden, Rome, a Dorchester Collection Hotel

Hotel Eden, Rome, a Dorchester Collection Hotel, welcomes Bianco as executive chef. Most recently, he served as executive chef of Il Comondante Ristorante in Naples, where he achieved and maintained a Michelin star for over a decade. He will oversee the entire culinary offerings at the hotel and infuse his culinary philosophy rooted in appreciation for culture, memories and flavors distinctive to a specific location through new menus and culinary experiences.

Jesse McDannell

headshot of Jesse McDannell, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale
Jesse McDannell, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale

Hyatt Regency Scottsdale appoints McDannell as executive chef. He will oversee all dining experiences at the resort. He grew up in New York as well as traveling the world with his father, who was an Army Officer. His first job was as a short order cook at the West Point Golf Course at the Military Academy at West Point. He went on to serve in numerous high-level kitchen leadership roles at properties all over the US. He will also work with the Hyatt Corporate offices to develop the “Mentoring Our Future” series to help guide developing chefs within the organization.

Chris Kurth

Smart Moves headshot of Chris Kurth, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn
Chris Kurth, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn

Kurth joins Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn as resort executive chef. He has served as the resort’s executive sous chef since 2021, and will now lead and inspire the resort’s culinary team in creating authentic dining experiences. He has served in numerous kitchen leadership positions at properties including The Harvest Inn at St. Helena, California and the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego.

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