Five men and two women, hailing from New York, the Midwest, New England, California, Ohio, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Wales in the U.K. have arrived with a mission to take our Food and Beverage program over the top and even beyond the unexpected.
Between them, they have worked in high levels of culinary excellence for companies and brands like Wynn and Bellagio in Las Vegas, Essex House in New York City, Savoy in London, Trump Hotel & Tower Chicago, as well as many locations world-wide locations for Ritz Carlton, InterContinental, Marriott and Hilton. They have been schooled at Le Cordon Bleu, the Culinary Institute of America and the Art Institute of Washington for Culinary Arts, and gained nominations and honors from the prestigious James Beard House in New York.
Meet your new Food and Beverage Team. Say hello to the Flavor Squad:
Carl Anthony Dandridge is V.I.P Director of Food and Beverage. Born in Buffalo, New York. Dandridge served as Restaurant Manager with Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C., then moved to positions as Catering Manager for Willard InterContinental Hotel and Director of Catering with Marriott Hotel. His proudest moments were working with the U.S. Institute of Peace as Special Event, Conference and Meeting Manager and attending the Art Institute of Washington for Culinary Arts.
Karl Elliott, a California native and graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, is now our Executive Chef of Culinary Operations. Elliott has worked for some of the world’s top kitchens, notably Restaurant Alain Ducasse at The Essex House in New York City. He also worked for six years with Sodexo, a global contract management company, overseeing a culinary program for 16 colleges and universities in Florida. While in that position, he won an award from the James Beard Foundation for his commitment to sustainable seafood.
Francisco “Paco” Flores Obieta is the new Corporate Executive Chef. Growing up in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and embracing the culinary atmosphere of his region, he took his passion for food to Europe and learned the expertise of French cuisine which he used at the Helm of Le Basilic Restaurant at Fiesta Americana Coral Beach Cancun, where he was part of the culinary team that won the AAA Five Diamond award and held it there for seven consecutive years. Previously, he took his high skill levels to the award-winning Pujol in Mexico City, the AAA Five Diamond Signatures Restaurant in Ottawa, Canada and the one Michelin Star Au Comte de Gascogne Restaurant in Paris. Flores is a graduate of the prestigious Le Cordon Blue, with professional training in Cornell University and the restaurant El Celler de Can Roca.
Jan Faraldi, known around here as “Mamma Jan,” is Specialty Italian and Fine Dining Chef. A native of Wales in the U.K., Faraldi worked at The Savoy Hotel in London after leaving Catering College. She then moved to Germany and worked for a top-class restaurant in Dusseldorf for three years. After meeting her Italian husband, she moved to Imperia, Italy, and while raising two daughters, ran a successful restaurant. Her next step was working as a private chef aboard Luxury Private Super Yachts traveling all over the world. She cooked for many sport personalities, Hollywood producers, and authors, once serving as head chef to Eric Clapton and his family.
Daniel Tibbetts is Executive Chef of Cofresi Palm. A 2006 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, he served as Executive Chef of In-Room Dining for Trump International Hotel & Tower. With Trump, he did everything from implementing a seasonal outdoor restaurant to an accredited organic menu. He then took his talents to New York City where he resided as Executive Chef of the acclaimed Upper East Side gastropub, Slightly Oliver. He went on to run commissary operations as Executive Chef of Tom Colicchio’s Witchcraft. Most recently, Tibbetts was a creative force in the NYC delivery start up, Maple, backed by power houses like David Chang and Christina Tosi.
Sarah Tibbetts is Corporate Executive Pastry Chef. A 2000 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Tibbetts’ stellar career includes her most recent position as Eastern Region Corporate Pastry Chef for Vairhona Chocolate, where she traveled extensively sharing knowledge of pastry and the art of chocolate. Her career began in California, where she worked at The French Laundry, Citizen Cake, and the Ritz Carlton Dining Room. Moving to Las Vegas in 2005, she as a pivotal member of the opening team for the Wynn Hotel & Resort. She went on to become Executive Pastry Chef at Fleur de Lys, followed by Michael Mina’s Michelin-rated restaurant at the Bellagio. She returned to her Midwestern roots in Chicago overseeing the dessert program at the Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago.
Last but not least, the final F and B All Star is Shawn Ford, V.I.P Bar Manager and Special Mixologist. He began his 20+ years in the bar business in Canton, Ohio in a small Irish bar called The Irish Exchange. After attending college in Salisbury, Maryland, he began honing his craft in the U.S. and abroad, with stints in Ocean City, Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Thomas and St. John. Ford has trained over 400 bar trainers, designed, redesigned and rewrote cocktail programs and menus for more than 100 bars, completed in national cocktail competitions, and graduated from the Diageo World Class Bartender Program and the Pernod Ricard Bar Smarts Advanced Live program. A certified graduate of the Filson Historical Society Bourbon Academy, he was most recently discovered in 2015 by Spike TV for a role as Master Mixologist on the TV Show, Bar Rescue.