El Capitan, a JdV by Hyatt hotel, formally appoints the new executive culinary team to the property and its new fine-dining destination opening February 11, Rainbird, led by Executive Chef Quentin Garcia, Director of Food and Beverage Benjamin Burnett, and General Manager Daniel Adeh. With a passion for hospitality, tight-knit relationships with local farmers and the Merced community, decades of experience in service, and a deep understanding of the agricultural region in Central California, this dynamic team will further enhance the culinary scene and unique charm of Merced.
EXECUTIVE CHEF QUENTIN GARCIA:
Executive Chef Quentin Garcia brings a thoughtful and exciting new layer to Merced, CA, both inside and outside of the kitchen. After working in a variety of upscale restaurants around the world, Chef Quentin has developed an affinity for sourcing and studying ingredients, understanding flavors, and the importance of fostering a nurturing, positive kitchen environment. “Having an opportunity to build and define the city’s cuisine excites me, especially with Rainbird’s potential as the first upscale, fine dining restaurant in the area,” Garcia says.
The embodiment of California’s Central Valley is captured in Chef Quentin’s dishes, which highlight his strong relationships with the local farming community in Merced and beyond. Chef Quentin also has a deep love for foraging which he often draws inspiration from for his vegetable-forward menu items.
With a team entirely made of Merced locals, Garcia has made it a priority to foster an inspiring, family-like culture in the kitchen, where his employees are excited to work in an industry that has struggled immensely over the past couple of years. Garcia’s love for Central California and the unique beauty of Merced drove him to lead the kitchen team at Rainbird and create a true, destination restaurant.
DIRECTOR OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE BENJAMIN BURNETT:
Director of Food and Beverage Ben Burnett brings a breadth of managerial experience and expertise in the food and beverage industry to Rainbird and Mainzer, an iconic Merced landmark theater that has been restored by the El Capitan team to house live music, comfort food, libations, movie screenings, and more. “I am so excited to join the El Capitan team and usher in a new era of hospitality in Merced. It’s incredibly special to be part of the revitalization happening in the city and to support the impressive surrounding agricultural community” explains Burnett.
With more than 20 years working in the hospitality industry, Burnett possesses a knack for quick problem-solving in all aspects of leading the food and beverage initiatives at a fine dining restaurant – from overseeing budget and managing teams to fostering a positive customer experience.
Originally from Forest, Ohio, Burnett cultivated an affinity for the hospitality industry at a young age, starting as a dishwasher during high school and working his way up the corporate ladder. In the past ten years, Burnett has held various leadership roles in food and beverage at Kimpton Hotels, Sage Hospitality, and HUSK, allowing him to seamlessly translate his robust skillset to his executive role at Rainbird and Mainzer.
GENERAL MANAGER DANIEL ADEH:
Unleashing his management and hospitality expertise on Rainbird, General Manager Daniel Adeh draws on a decade of formal hospitality management training and a passion for the food and beverage industry. Adeh’s outlook on management takes inspiration from his own unique experiences and extensive knowledge working with hotels, resorts, restaurants, and even private aviation catering. After graduating from Kendall College with a degree in Hospitality Management, Adeh excelled in a variety of leadership roles at big-name hospitality groups like Rosewood Hotels & Resorts before transitioning to his new role at Rainbird.
“I look forward to furthering my career in hospitality management at Rainbird with this inspiring team. The quality and diversity of food that comes from the Central Valley is often overlooked, and Chef Garcia’s strong ties with local farmers and his ability to showcase and celebrate both the food and farmers in his dishes is truly inspiring" says Adeh.
From overseeing front-of-house operations to managing business planning projects, Adeh’s diverse skillset will further enhance the operational and experiential aspects of Rainbird for locals and destination travelers alike.
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