Naples Grande Beach Resort announced the appointment of Jim O’Connor as Executive Chef.
As the new Executive Chef, O’Connor will oversee all of Naples Grande Beach Resort’s culinary offerings, including The Catch of the Pelican, Mantra Lounge, Rhode’s End, Aura, Gulf Coast Oasis, Spressi Marketplace, The Sunset Veranda, In-Room Dining, and Banquets including the resort’s tremendous conventions and lavish social events. O’Connor will lead the Naples Grande Beach Resort culinary teams, oversee creative ideation and programming, and manage the operations of all food and beverage establishments.
Hailing from Long Island, New York, Jim attended The Culinary Institute of America right in his backyard in Hyde Park. As a student he worked in the city at the iconic David Burke and Donatella on the Upper East Side. After graduating from the Culinary Institute, O’Connor left his home state to get hands-on experience with new ideas, cultures, and cuisines, working his way through the country one plate at a time.
O’Connor began his culinary journey in Colorado, before heading to sunny California, Nashville, Tennessee where he served as Executive Chef in multiple establishments, onto Montana, and a subsequent return to Nashville. From starting a farm-to-table program that used ingredients grown on property and harvesting honey from onsite bee hives while working at The Grove in Tennessee, to his frequent visits to local California farmers markets early in his career, O’Connor has always valued sourcing the freshest ingredients in the community. As a first-time resident of Florida, he is eager to explore all of the local culinary offerings and support the Naples culinary community. Chef Jim appreciates Naples’ proximity to waterways in paradise and looks forward to kayaking throughout Southwest Florida.
“I am honored to be leading the extraordinary culinary team at Naples Grande Beach Resort, where I have been able to meet and serve guests from all over the world,” says O’Connor. “I look forward to bringing my experiences from my travels across the country to Naples, and finding inspiration throughout the Sunshine State.”