New executive chef Greg Griffin meets with dining staff members Lynette Taylor, Shirley Henderson and Stacy Fisher.
Perhaps not literally, but the continuing care community in Irvington has a new executive chef responsible for all food preparation. Greg Griffin, a native of Texas and California and a veteran of the Hyatt hotel and restaurant chain, assumed his position July 15.
“My father was in the Navy. I was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and moved between there and San Diego when I was growing up,” Griffin said. After graduating from high school in Childress, Texas, he enrolled at the University of Texas in biochemistry, planning to pursue a career in medicine.
“I ended up working one summer as a cook, and loved it. So I took off a semester from my college studies, and then another, to pursue my interests. Finally I told my parents that I wanted to do this for a living,” he said.
For several years Griffin worked at Chez Fred in Austin, a restaurant where everything was “made from scratchthe croissant dough, the burger buns”before joining the Hyatt organization.
“Hyatt provided me opportunities for hands-on training. I worked for different chefs and learned different methods of food preparation. I also had the chance to work in different kinds of restaurants, so I became familiar with every aspect of the business,” said Griffin,
Griffin spent his first 10 years with Hyatt in Austin, working his way up to sous chef, the principal deputy to a chef. Stints in Westlake Village outside Los Angeles, in San Francisco, then back in Austin briefly preceded a plum position working with his former boss from San Francisco at the newly opened Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa and Marina in Cambridge, Md.
“Opening a new facility was a terrific experience, made even more satisfying because I met my wife, Emily, there,” he added.
Since winter season at the Cambridge facility was slow, Griffin took his skills south to the Hyatt facility in Bonita Springs, Fla. He eventually landed in Seattle, Wash., where he became responsible for running two restaurants.
“My position in Seattle was eliminated, and Hyatt offered me several options for relocation, but none really appealed to me. So Emily and I decided to come back East,” he said.
For Griffin the RW-C job is ideal. His wife, who is from Williamsburg, told him some time ago that if they ever had a chance to live near her family, she would like to find a place in the Northern Neck or Middle Peninsula. The couple sees the area as a great place to raise their children, who are now ages 4 and 2.
“When I told people I was interviewing at RW-C, everyone I spoke with had wonderful things to say about it,” said Griffin. His initial experiences have not disappointed him. “I have a great team of managers and staff, and everyone here has been very welcoming.”
“We are delighted to have Greg joining RW-C as executive chef of our dining and catering programs. He brings a wealth of experience in hospitality and hotel dining to all of our dining venues from his posts around the country,” said president and chief executive officer Stuart Bunting.
“Greg’s leadership in the culinary arts as well as in production and training ensure that we continue to meet and exceed the expectations of our residents and guests,” said Bunting.