The latest chefs on the move

William Downes, Jeff Graham, Sean O’Connell, Charles Mereday, Stephanie Mazzone, Frédéric Médigue

William Downes is the new executive chef of the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Most recently the senior banquet chef of the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., Downes’ early culinary inspiration came from the time he spent on his grandparents’ four-acre farm in Englishtown, N.J., picking figs and making jam that was sold at the family farm stand.

Jeff Graham is now executive chef of Wuksachi Lodge at Sequoia National Park in California. Graham, who grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, is not new to national park cooking, having most recently been executive chef at Curry Village at The Lodge at Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park. On his new menu are dishes such as cocoa rubbed pork tenderloin with mole rojo, seared Alaska salmon with blueberry beurre rouge, and lavender honey-glazed venison.

Sean O’Connell
has been named executive chef at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va., which is currently undergoing a $25 million transformation. His previous positions have included vice president of culinary operations at Fontainebleau resorts, based in Miami Beach, Fla., and executive chef at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. O'Connell was most recently the executive chef at the Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Charles Mereday is the new executive chef of South Seas Island Resort in Captiva, Fla. Previously the area executive chef for Renaissance Hotels in Mobile, Ala., Mereday also has owned and operated his own restaurants and was a chef instructor at the Culinary Institute of Virginia College in Birmingham, Ala.

Stephanie Mazzone is the new head pastry chef at mk restaurant in Chicago. Most recently the pastry chef at Coco Pazzo in Chicago, Mazzone is offering musically named desserts such as Strawberry Fields Forever (warm doughnuts, strawberry-basil sorbet, brown sugar sour cream, wild strawberries and balsamic syrup), and Raspberry Beret (raspberry brioche brown betty, frozen yogurt, raspberry pudding, fresh raspberries and a mint coulis).

Frédéric Médigue has been named consultant and executive chef of the new Marti Istanbul, the Marti group’s first urban hotel, in Istanbul, Turkey. For the past four years, Médigue has been commuting between the Castle Orfeuillette in Lozère, France, and the Residence Hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria, serving as executive chef and consultant at both properties. A native of Besançon, France, Médigue is overseeing items ranging from beef kebabs with yogurt to nigiri sushi to chocolate cake.

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