Alex Aviles has been promoted to executive chef from sous chef of Vespera Resort on Pismo Beach in Pismo Beach, Calif. Before joining the property, Aviles was chef de cuisine of Collective Retreats in Wimberly, Texas, and before that he spent seven years as a chef instructor at Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Anda, Calif.
He holds a bachelor of science degree in culinary management from the Art Institute of Orange County in California.
Harrison Cheney is the new executive chef of Sons & Daughters in San Francisco, taking over from founding chef and owner Teague Moriarty. Cheney studied the New Nordic style of cuisine reflected at Sons & Daughters when he was working at Gastrologik in Stockholm, Sweden. He also has worked at The Square and the Ledbury in London as well as at Quince in San Francisco.
Samantha Cruz has been named executive chef of Rum Room, a new 80-seat restaurant at the Miami Beach Convention Center Campus operated by Sodexho Live! Cruz has worked for that company for the past four years, cooking at events including Super Bowl LIV, the Miami Open, Art Basel Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale Orange Bowl Food & Wine Festival, and the Seattle Mariners’ opening day at T-Mobile Park. She also has worked for Miami restaurant groups including 50 Eggs and Grove Bay Hospitality.
Anthony DiGregorio is the new executive chef of the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., responsible for overseeing the kitchens of Kingbird Restaurant, The Next Whisky Bar, and Top of the Gate rooftop bar. He arrives at the Watergate after having spent nearly eight years working for Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group in Palm Beach, Fla., and Washington.
Michelle Fried is the new pastry chef of Sons & Daughters in San Francisco. A native of Port Washington, N.Y., she studied pastry arts at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and then worked in the pastry kitchen of Eleven Madison Park in New York City. She moved to San Francisco to be pastry chef of Saison for two years and then joined Sons & Daughters.
Casey Gipson is the new chef of Il Solito, a Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants property in Portland, Ore. Most recently he was the opening restaurant chef of Bernie’s in East Grand Forks, Minn., owned by Food Network Star Molly Yeh.
A native of Sacramento, Calif., Gipson studied at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Prior to opening Bernie’s he spent eight years in Portland, Ore., working to expand Migration Brewery’s culinary program and also working for the restaurateurs who operate Picnic House, Barlow, and High Noon.
David Hill has been named executive chef of The Hacienda at Georgetown, a senior living facility north of Austin, Texas, overseeing the property’s six upscale dining venues, working under chef Stephan Pyles. After graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Hill apprenticed under Jean Banchet at Le Français in Chicago before opening his own restaurant near Sacramento, Calif. Most recently he was an executive chef with Compass Group/Morrison living.
Maxime Kien has been named corporate executive chef of The Group Hospitality in New York City, overseeing the Boucherie, Olio e Piu, and Washoku Rooms concepts. A native of the French Riviera, his résumé includes work at Le Negresco hotel in Nice and Hotel de Paris in Monte-Carlo, as well as La Tante Claire in London, The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead, in Atlanta, and Au Pied de Cochon at the Intercontinental Hotel, also in Atlanta. He also has worked at The Venetian in Las Vegas and the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, among other properties. Most recently he worked at Hilton properties in Cleveland and Cincinnati.
Mark Libunao has been promoted to executive chef of CanoeHouse at that Mauna Lani hotel, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection in Waimea on Hawaii’s Big Island. He joined the restaurant as sous chef in March of 2021 and was promoted to chef de cuisine in June of 2022. He’s a native of the island, originally from Hilo, but he also worked as sous chef of the Mandarin Oriental and Waldorf Astoria in Las Vegas.
Nathan Lingle has been named executive chef of Finch & Fork at the Kimpton Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, Calif. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Lingle has ran the kitchens of Costa and Café Lido restaurants at the Mar Monte Hotel in Santa Barbara, and most recently was researching coffee while working at FRINJ Coffee in nearby Goleta, Calif.
Jim Lyons has been promoted to executive chef from executive sous chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Boston. Prior to joining the hotel in 2021, Lyons spent 15 years as executive sous chef of the Sheraton Boston Hotel. He has an associate of applied science degree in culinary and hospitality from Newbury College in Brookline, Mass.
Nicholas McCann has been named executive chef of Society Café at the Walker Hotel Greenwich Village in New York City. His past executive chef roles include stints at Tessa, The Milling Room, and Corkbuzz, all also in New York City.
Scott Muns is the new culinary director of Underbelly Hospitality in Houston, which includes George James restaurant, GJ Tavern, Wild Oats, Underbelly Burger, and Pastore. The 20-year industry veteran is best known as chef of critically acclaimed Pineapple and Pearls in Washington, D.C. The Texas native also was chef de cuisine of Rose’s Luxury, also in D.C., and he was on the culinary team of Bryan Voltaggio’s Volt Restaurant in Frederick, Md.
Aaron Munson is the new executive chef of the Kimpton Gray Hotel and its signature rooftop restaurant, Boleo. He also is overseeing the cocktail bar, Vol. 39, as well as banquets, catering and private events.
Munson was chef de cuisine of Capella Pedregal in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for four years before moving to Chicago in 2013 and becoming executive chef for Capella Hotel Group at Wyhdham Grand. He went on to be executive chef of DIRTT Showroom in Chicago. Before joining Kimpton he was executive chef of Hyatt Centric, also in Chicago.
Suttiphan “Sutti” Ngamtipakon is the new executive chef of Amangiri in Canyon Point, Utah, and its nearby luxury encampment, Camp Sarika. Originally from Chiang Mai, Thailand, Ngamtipakon has 12 years’ experience working at luxury resorts. After graduating from Johnson & Wales University’s Denver campus in 2010 he worked at Diamond Beaches Resort and Spa by Sandals in Turks and Caicos, followed by The Nines Luxury Collection Hotel in Portland, Ore, and most recently Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve property in Puerto Rico.
Victor Palma has been named executive chef of Kona Village, a Rosewood Resort slated to open on Hawaii’s Big Island this summer. This will be the fifth Rosewood property where Palma has worked, but most recently he was executive chef at The Cape by Thompson Hyatt in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Luis Quezada is the new executive chef of The Abbey Resort & Avani Spa on Lake Geneva in Fontana-on-Geneva-Lake, Wis. His previous experience includes working as executive chef of the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Pocono Summit, Pa., the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center in Austin, Texas, and the Hilton Buffalo Thunder Resort in Santa Fe, N.M. He also has worked in the kitchens of Caesars Palace and Bellagio in Las Vegas and at the Sandia Casino Resort in Albuquerque, N.M.
Jose Rodriguez has been promoted to executive chef from of Le Méridien and AC Hotel Denver Downtown, overseeing the restaurants Corinne, 54thirty, Bar AC, and The Lobbyist, as well as room service and banquet operations. Previously he was executive chef of Corinne.
Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, Rodriquez studied at the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas. He went on to work at The Driskill Grill in Austin before working for the banquet department of the Four Seasons Hotel Austin. That company later posted him to the Hawaiian island of Maui. He moved to Denver to become executive sous chef of the Hyatt Regency in that city before joining the culinary team at Corinne.
Brandon Sumblin has been named executive chef of Atlas Restaurant Group’s new restaurant, Parlour Victoria in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I., Sumblin most recently was executive sous chef of the St. Regis Hotel in Washington. He has also competed on numerous Food Network shows, including Cooks vs. Cons and Guy’s Grocery Games and has won five such contests.
Adam Terhune is the new chef of Commons Club at the Virgin Hotels Nashville.
The Kentucky native moved to Nashville in 2009 and since then has worked under local chefs including Julia Sullivan of Henrietta Red and Julia Jaksic of Café Roze and Roze Pony. He also worked at the casual-dining chain True Food Kitchen.
Rich Vellante has been named chief culinary officer of the Broadway Hospitality Group in Boston, where he will lead the growth of Tavern in the Square. Previously he spent years as the corporate chef of Legal Sea Foods, but most recently was executive director of the Lean Enterprise Institute, which focusses on maximizing the use of limited resources.
William Withrow is executive chef of Miramonte Resort & Spa in Indian Wells, Calif. A native of Los Angeles, Withrow moved to France at age 11 and studied culinary arts at the Lycée Hôtelier de Tourisme de Blois before returning to Southern California, where he worked at the Four Seasons in Newport Beach, Le Méridien Hotel in Santa Monica and Pascal in San Juan Capistrano.
He has lived in the Indian Wells area since 2001, where he has been executive sous chef of Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, Riviera Palm Springs, Omni Rancho Las Palmas, and Thermal Club.