Bernd Schmitt, The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach
Bernd Schmitt has been named executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, responsible for Bistro One LR and DiLido Beach Club restaurants as well as Lapidus Lounge, in-room dining, banquets and the luxury oceanfront hotel’s entire culinary operation.
From October through December 2011, Schmitt will be the featured chef in the Lufthansa Star Chefs program, creating memorable fine dining experiences at 30,000 feet for First and Business Class travelers flying Lufthansa to Germany from 17 U.S. cities.
The culinary arts is a career for which he was destined. Born in a grand 60-room chateau-style hotel his grandfather opened in southern Germany that has been in the family for four generations, Schmitt was immersed in culinary arts before he could speak.
At 15, Schmitt attended culinary school while concurrently beginning an apprenticeship. “I was torn between architecture and culinary arts, but always was drawn back into the kitchen,” says Schmitt. “My love of architecture never left and I continuously incorporate the craft when I conceptualize a menu, as both are synchronized, artistic, sensual, visual and very personal,” he says.
In 1980, chef Bernd’s professional career brought him to North America, where he began as a sous chef in a Toronto hotel. Within three years, the Four Seasons recruited him to be a senior sous chef, then promoted him to executive chef at two of its properties.
By 1991, he became corporate executive chef at both Canyon Ranch Vacation and Fitness Resorts, where he continued to use his talents and personal culinary philosophy of using fresh ingredients rather than heavy butters and creams to combine flavors and create mouthwatering tastes.
“It’s a shame to mask a beautiful product with a thick, heavy sauce,” says chef Bernd. “Let the food speak for itself.”
By 1995, Schmitt was the corporate executive chef for LSG Sky Chefs and responsible for the menu design and development for international airlines including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa. During his 15-year tenure with LSG, he implemented the Lufthansa Star Chefs Program, in which celebrity chefs (and in 2010 Ritz-Carlton chefs) were featured in-flight
“Every place made me who I am as a chef today,” remarks chef Bernd about his career. “As one of my first chefs told me during my apprenticeship at age 15, ‘Cooking is an art, but not every cook is an artist.’ As I always tell my chefs, “Be passionate, be excited, be involved in your craft. Look at what you do as an art form.”
Anthony Lombardo, 1789 Restaurant
Clyde’s Restaurant Group is pleased to announce the appointment of Anthony Lombardo as executive chef for the historic 1789 restaurant located in Georgetown, Washington, D.C.
A 2004 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York state, chef Lombardo took over the kitchen of this destination restaurant on August 31.
He most recently served as the executive sous chef at Casa Nonna in Washington, D.C., a position he held since August 2010 when he was hired to help open the new restaurant.
Lombardo was recommended to Clyde’s by departing chef Dan Giusti who is moving to Copenhagen.
Prior to relocating to the nation’s capital, Lombardo worked in Southfield, Michigan, for four years as the chef de cuisine of Bacco Ristorante, which has captured numerous awards and is ranked by Zagat as a one of “America’s Top Restaurants.” He also gained valuable experience at other notable establishments including Galileo Ristorante in Washington, D.C., Villa Maiella Ristorante in Guardiagrele, Italy, and at the four-star, five-diamond, Everest Room in Chicago.
“I met with Anthony, had him cook for us, and I knew we had our new chef. His prior work experience and his friendship with Giusti allows him to walk into 1789 and pick up right where Giusti left off, while ultimately making it his own place,” says John M. Guattery, corporate executive chef of Clyde's Restaurant Group.
Mariela Bolanos, Viand American Bistro
After distinguishing herself as the sous chef, Mariela Bolanos has been promoted to executive chef at Viand American Bistro.
Located adjacent to The Courtyard by Marriott Magnificent Mile in Chicago, which is managed by White Lodging, Viand serves traditional American dishes infused with the flavors of the city's multicultural heritage.
"Mariela is very creative and innovative," says the hotel's general manager, Jerry Keys. "I know she will keep the menu fresh and exciting."
When Bolanos first came to Viand in 2005, she began as a line cook, working at all stations for three months at a time. She was soon helping with banquets and, in 2009, assisted then executive chef Steve Chiappetti in catering for 600 at the Food & Wine Festival held at Walt Disney World.
Prior to coming to Viand, Bolanos was the garde manger at Cafe Elise in Munster, Indiana. In this position she was responsible for prepping fresh pastries and desserts and keeping the cold pantry station prepped and organized. She held the garde manger position while earning her associate of applied science degree from the Illinois Institute of Culinary Arts.
In commenting on her promotion, Bolanos says, "I anticipate creating a team that will execute a menu flawlessly and work with new ingredients to continue to create high quality dishes."
In addition to its outstanding cuisine, Viand has an extensive wine list and offers a number of regional beers on tap. With four distinct dining areas—the main dining room, the lounge, the private wine library and the patio—the restaurant hosts a number of events such as small receptions, anniversary parties and other social events.
Donald Evans, The Cheesecake Factory
The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated today announced that Donald Evans joined the company as chief marketing officer.
Evans will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s marketing and branding, including planning and executing marketing strategies, and social media and other publicity campaigns.
His experience, spanning over 15 years, focuses on brand and product marketing for a number of major Hollywood studios and as a consultant, primarily to clients in the entertainment industry.
He spent 11 years with The Walt Disney Company, most recently as senior vice president of animation marketing for Pixar Animation and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
In that role, he was responsible for all aspects of strategic marketing, including traditional and digital campaigns, publicity, research, media and in-theater marketing, resulting in successfully publicizing the studios’ biggest animated releases.
In addition, Evans served as CEO of 33 Consulting, a firm he founded, whose clients included creative agencies such as Wieden + Kennedy and mOcean. Here he developed film marketing and strategy plans, and had clients such as Activision.
“Donald is a seasoned executive who has built his career on marketing high-caliber consumer brands and products. He has a deep understanding of marketing strategy and has demonstrated the ability to create innovative approaches that are on-brand and of high quality,” says David Overton, chairman and CEO.
“He is also well-versed in directing digital strategies using social media in order to drive consumer awareness and engagement. We are excited to have Donald join our senior management team and are confident that his leadership will help support the future growth of our concepts.”