Duane Keller, The Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel

The Hamilton Crowne Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C., has announced that Duane Keller has been named executive chef of the hotel and 14K Restaurant. The award-winning chef brings to his new position 25 years of experience at fine hotels and restaurants in the United States and Canada.

Most recently Keller served as the executive chef of The Mason Inn and Conference Center Hotel in Fairfax, Virginia, and prior to that The Capital Grille in Chevy Chase, Maryland. He also served as the executive chef of Moon Bay Coastal Cuisine, a fine dining restaurant located at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center at National Harbor in Maryland.

Chef Keller’s career includes a decade of experience in a number of culinary positions in Virginia restaurants including Potomack Landing, Blue Point Grill, and Sutton Place Gourmet in Alexandria; Market Street Bar & Grill in Reston; as well as The Ashby Inn & Restaurant in Paris, Virginia.

A recipient of the James Beard Foundation Certificate in 2001, Keller has received numerous awards over the years that reflect his ever-expanding inventiveness and inspirational accomplishments.

Accolades include Washingtonian magazine’s Top 100 and Top 50; the 1984 Gold Spoon Award at the Four Star Delta Bow Valley Inn, Calgary; the 1986 Red Seal Award at Emerald Park, Vancouver; C.C.A. Chef of the Year Award; and the Florida Top 100 Award.

A native of Saskatchewan, Keller trained under the world’s finest European chefs in Canada who initiated his creative approach—that of incorporating the style and cooking techniques of Old World cuisine into that which is new.

“I let the food speak for itself,” says Keller. “I don’t overwork it but put little twists on things, like my smoked salmon cheesecake.”

In addition to the respect received from fellow colleagues and food critics, Keller celebrates his passion by sharing with others through charitable work. He created heart-healthy menus for the American Heart Association, fed the homeless and disadvantaged in Sarasota, and provided Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in Louisiana. Keller also cooked for the Pentagon during rescue operations of 9/11.

Andrew George Ross, ConAgra

ConAgra Foods has announced that Andrew George Ross joined the company on November 15 as executive vice president and chief strategy officer, reporting to Gary Rodkin, CEO.

Ross will lead the company’s strategic planning process, with specific responsibility for developing strategies that align with the company’s growth ambitions.

“Andrew has 20-plus years of experience in developing growth strategies for businesses around the world,” says Rodkin. “That background will serve him well as he leads the company’s strategic planning process and proactively seeks and evaluates business development opportunities. This is a new position for ConAgra Foods, one that we believe will be a catalyst for stronger growth from our core, private label and international businesses.”

Prior to joining ConAgra Foods, Ross was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where he led the firm’s global consumer, retail and marketing practices. Prior to that, he worked for William Grant & Sons, Ltd. in Glasgow, Scotland, and McKinsey & Company in London.

A native of Scotland, Ross earned his Master of Management degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Edinburgh.


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