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Hilton Sandestin Beach New Culinary Team Brings Energy & Experience

October 19, 2021 by SoWal Staff

 Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa has made exciting key additions and promotions to the resort’s stellar culinary team.

“From the top down, the culinary team we’ve assembled at Hilton Sandestin is truly exceptional,” said Gary Brielmayer, General Manager of Hilton Sandestin. “It’s gratifying to see our family grow and provide an even greater depth and energy to our guests.”

After an extensive search, the property’s operations director Angelina Covington and Chef Dan Vargo selected Dan Tederous as Hilton Sandestin’s new executive sous chef. Tederous will be responsible for planning, organizing and controlling all kitchen operations to ensure maximum guest satisfaction. With more than 20 years of culinary experience, Tederous was most recently chef de cuisine at Delmonico Steakhouse out of Las Vegas where he managed the entire culinary operations and developed daily specials, menus and seasonal items. Tederous also held positions as executive sous chef at Mauna Kea Resort in Waimea, Hawaii and banquet chef at Four Seasons Hualalai in Kona, Hawaii.

Hilton Sandestin’s newest banquet chef, Lee Guidry, has been with Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood for 4.5 years. Guidry will work under the supervision of the banquet culinary team lead, Robert Kent, who has been with the resort for 15 years, spending eight years as sous chef at Seagar’s and seven years leading the Sandcastles culinary team. Kent will oversee the property’s catering team, which continuously works with prestigious groups and associations of all sizes. Chef Guidry, known for his passion for cooking, will be able to display his signature style and international techniques in his new role.

With almost two decades of culinary management experience, most recently as the executive chef of Iron Hill Brewery, where he led a team of 42 employees, Thomas Mikesell brings both experience and finesse to our classic New-York style steakhouse. Mikesell attended the elusive Johnson and Wales Culinary School where he graduated first in his class and was hand picked by Marco Pierre White to train under a Michelin Star Chef in the UK for two years. Spending nearly a decade fine-tuning his culinary and leadership skills at notable eatery’s in the Atlanta area, including STK Atlanta; Public School 404 Gastropub; Stoney River Steakhouse; Dodiyos Seafood; and Tommy Bahamas, Mikesell is excited to lead the team at Seagar’s and elevate the four-diamond experience our guests expect.

One of the latest promotions in the culinary scene at Seagar’s was the appointment of sous chef, Fleetwood Covington. Covington started at Hilton Sandestin in 2017, where he trained under the leadership of chefs Lee Guidry and Dan Vargo in the intimate setting of Seagar’s. Covington’s new role allows him to direct food preparation while collaborating and studying under Seagar’s new Executive Chef Thomas Mikesell, together they will emphasize high quality plates, and showcase design and taste.

Overseeing the renovation of Sandcastles Restaurant’s open-air concept kitchen is new culinary team lead Steve Withall. During his 18-year career, Withall has held many impressive culinary titles, including private beach club chef, restaurant head chef, executive chef and chef de cuisine. He most recently served as the instructional coordinator of culinary and hospitality at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida. Withall is the latest addition to the already stellar line up of culinary talent leading the food and beverage outlets at Hilton Sandestin.

Located on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, Hilton Sandestin greets guests with stunning views of the Gulf of Mexico’s sugar-white sands and emerald-green waters. Each guest room boasts a full or partial Gulf view, all with private balconies and outdoor seating. Poolside lounges and private cabanas dot the resort’s expansive outdoor deck, where families and couples alike enjoy special time with one another. For more information about Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, visit www.HiltonSandestinBeach.com or call 850-267-9500. For more information about Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, call 850-622-1500 or visit www.Seagars.com.

The changes come following Dan Vargo’s departure. Ending a tenure spanning more than a decade as Executive Chef  of Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, Dan is leaving to fulfill a lifelong dream of creating his own company. The resort wishes Vargo the best of luck in his new venture, and looks forward to partnering with him on the many local charity projects he so passionately introduced to our team, most notably Food For Thought Outreach.

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