The Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier appointed Chef John Flaherty as its new executive chef, overseeing the pier’s five food and beverage locations.

Restaurants formerly under Flaherty’s leadership have been the recipients of honors including Florida Trend’s Golden Spoon Award and Wine Enthusiast’s Award of Ultimate Distinction.

Flaherty has more than 20 years of experience as an executive chef, for locations including Rainforest Café and Ybor City’s historic Columbia Restaurant. He comes to the pier after most recently serving as executive chef for various oil industry camps and lodges across the South.

For eight years, Flaherty served on the American Culinary Federation Elected Board of Directors and was awarded the American Culinary Federation’s President’s Award.

At the Westgate Cocoa Beach Pier, Flaherty will oversee culinary operations at Pelican’s Bar & Grill, Rikki Tiki Tavern, Keith’s Oyster Bar, The Boardwalk Bar, and Sea Dogs.

Founded in 1982 by David A. Siegel, Westgate Resorts is one of the largest resort developers in the U.S. Westgate features 29 themed destination resorts with over 13,000 luxury villas in premier locations throughout the U.S. such as Orlando, Florida; Park City, Utah; Las Vegas; Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Williamsburg, Virginia; Miami; Branson, Missouri; Mesa, Arizona; and Tunica, Mississippi. Most Westgate Resorts locations feature a variety of unique restaurant, retail and spa concepts, including Drafts Sports Bar & Grill, Westgate Smokehouse Grill, Edge Steakhouse, Westgate Marketplace & Deli, and Serenity Spa by Westgate.

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