Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort Names New Executive Chef
Chef Rafael Velazquez to Lead Culinary Team at the Award-Winning, 25-Story, All-Suite Flagship Property and Resort
October 17, 2014 – FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort today announced that Rafael Velazquez has joined the property as executive chef. In his role, Velazquez will be responsible for overseeing all culinary operations and developing new dining concepts for the restaurants, in-room dining, banquets, catering and events at the
award-winning, 25-story, all-suite flagship property and resort.
Velazquez brings over fifteen years of culinary hospitality experience to Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort as executive chef. He began his career in 1998 as chef d’ parties at the beachfront Sheraton Bal Harbour beach resort in Bal Harbour, Fla., before heading west to serve as a sous chef at the AAA five-diamond Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, and later as an assistant chef at the Wynn Las Vegas resort in Nevada.
Early on, Velazquez was executive chef of the former Fort Lauderdale Grande hotel and chef garde manger and executive sous chef at the Loews Miami Beach hotel, where he was responsible for a staff of nearly 100 and multiple food-service operations that generated more than $56 million annually. He also served as executive chef of the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Puerto Rico, as well as executive chef of the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he managed a staff of 60 and created menus for the resort’s lounges and
restaurant concepts. More recently, Velazquez held the position of executive chef at the 445-room Hilton Westchester hotel in Rye Brook, N.Y.
“Rafael brings an impressive, wide-ranging culinary background that includes experience working at some of the most well-known hotels and restaurants in America,” said John Allan, general manager, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort. “We are pleased to have him as part of our team.”
Originally from Puerto Rico, Velazquez is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in North Miami, Fla., where he received an associate’s degree in culinary arts and a bachelor’s degree in food service management. He and his family currently reside in Miami, Fla.
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SOURCE: Hilton Worldwide