Officials for Concord Hospitality Enterprises, one of the top-ranked hotel operators in North America, announced the promotion of Dean Thompson to executive chef for the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel, in the company's headquarters of Raleigh, N.C. Previously, Thompson served as the hotel's executive sous chef, under Dean Wendel, Concord's recently appointed corporate director of food and beverage.
Thompson is a Johnson & Wales University graduate and native of nearby Cary, N.C., where he developed an appreciation for the finer points of southern cuisine, which has catapulted him to the top of his craft. Earlier this year, Thompson and his team won the 2013 "Fire in the Triangle" championship. He will compete for the Top Chef of North Carolina title November 20 through 23 when the best chefs in the state converge on the Renaissance Raleigh Hotel for the competition dining series, Final Fire.
"Chef Thompson helped open the hotel and establish its restaurant, Flights as one Raleigh's most vibrant dining rooms to celebrate regionally-inspired cuisine," says Wendel. "He has a passion for great food, an impressive culinary pedigree and an authentic perspective on the culinary traditions that are his heritage. He's the perfect choice to lead the food and beverage effort at this exceptional hotel and the team that serves it."
Prior to opening the Renaissance Raleigh, in 2008, Thompson was the sous chef for the Hope Valley Country Club. Previously, he served under Chef Jules Ramos at Mills Tavern, at the time rated one of the "75 Hottest Tables from Boston to Beijing" by Conde Nast Traveler and The Boston Globe. During college, he worked at Mediterraneo Caffe under Chef Gianfranco Campanella.
"Because we have some of the best stewards of some of the richest farmland right at our doorstep, we're able to showcase North Carolina's bounty and culinary traditions in a way that rings true for local guests, but is also up-to-the-minute for the visitors coming to Raleigh from all over the world," Thompson says. "With every meal and every banquet, we're able to shed new light on southern cuisine and southern hospitality."