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Who's News in Catering for April 27, 2024

People on the Move

Surrounded by the stunning landscape of Tucson’s Santa Catalina Mountains, the celebrated Westward Look Resort & Spa announces a new Executive Chef, Ryan Jones. Responsible for all food & beverage operations at the resort, Jones will oversee Palm restaurant, Chef’s Garden, Monsoon Café, Oasis Pool Bar & Grill, In-room Dining and banquets for meetings and events. A Tucson resident for 22 years, Jones is originally from Sheboygan, Wis. and has held various culinary roles in Tucson, including Executive Chef at Fox Restaurant Concepts, Brand Chef at Finis Landing, Executive Chef at DoubleTree by Hilton Tucson, Executive Chef & Beverage Director at The Eddy Hotel Tucson, Tapestry Collection by Hilton and Executive Chef a Starr Pass Golf Club.    


Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch, the premier Arizona desert resort located at the base of the McDowell Mountains, welcomes Jesse McDannell as Executive Chef. In his role, McDannell will oversee the dining experiences at the resort as it completes a $110 million renovation and transformation to a Grand Hyatt property. Originally from New York, McDannell travelled around the world as a child as his father was an Army Officer. His first job in the kitchen was as a short order cook at the West Point Golf Course at the Military Academy at West Point. After graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts from the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, McDannell began working with Hyatt in July 2006 as a Corporate Management Trainee at Grand Hyatt DFW in Texas. He was quickly promoted to Chef Tournant at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio followed by Executive Sous Chef at Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta, Ga. McDannell then went on to his firs Executive Chef appointment at Hyatt Escala Lodge in Park City, Utah. McDannell has also served as Executive Chef at the Grand Hyatt Buckhead in Atlanta as well as the opening Executive Chef at the Grand Hyatt SFO, which was recognized during his tenure as the Top Airport Hotel in North America by SkyTraxx.  


La Concha Key West, the restored Grand Old Dame of Key West, proudly announces Lilian Garapan as Director of Food & Beverage, leading the management and successful operations of all food and beverage outlets, processes and events, including in the new Tropicado crafted cocktail bar, restaurant, Perla, where Cuban cuisine is delightfully reimagined and in El Dom Coffee Shop.  A Philippines native, Garapan has embraced a career path within the tourism industry driven by her enthusiasm for hospitality. Possessing an optimistic demeanor, she consistently endeavors to exceed expectations in guest service, showcasing her dedicated and bright personality. Earning a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Travel Services Management from Bohol Island State University, Garapan has more than eight years of experience in customer service, sales, marketing and retail operations. Possessing excellent communication and organizational insight, she excels in motivating and empowering her team to achieve optimal performance. Her comprehensive understanding of culinary sales and marketing, payroll management, budgeting, guest relations, and hotel and retail operations emphasize her capability to navigate the industry, while maintaining a focus on revenue generation. Garapan most recently served as Assistant Food and Beverage Manager at Highgate in Key West. Prior, Garapan held the position of Head of Housekeeping at Marriott Hotels in Key West.  

Hot Off the Presses

Proof of the Pudding, Atlanta's largest caterer, has signed a long-term lease for a purposefully designed 10,000-square-foot event venue on the top floor of 8West, a 200,000-square-foot office and mixed-use project located at 889 Howell Road NW in West Midtown, perched at the intersection of Eighth Street and Georgia Tech’s campus. The new venue, perfect for corporate events and social gatherings, is expected to host Atlanta's movers and shakers with culinary innovation, elevated hospitality and service, and an outlook that will inspire big ideas.  The event space has a guest capacity of approximately 260 seated and 350 reception style. Innovative, custom menus highlight Proof of the Pudding’s scratch kitchen and culinary and mixology excellence, and its first-class hospitality service further enhances the guest experience. The new space is set to open its doors for company events, weddings, galas and private gatherings by early fall 2024. 



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