For Immediate Release
Contact: Julie Shamrock Rollend
Hawkins International PR
THE HOMESTEAD APPOINTS EXECUTIVE CHEF SEAN O’CONNELL AND DIRECTOR OF FOOD & BEVERAGE KEVIN PHENEGAR
August 2, 2012, Hot Springs, Virginia –The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, has appointed Sean O’Connell as Executive Chef and Kevin Phenegar as Director of Food & Beverage. Currently undergoing a $25 million transformation, O’Connell and Phenegar will play integral roles as The Homestead broadens its dining experiences with new restaurants and bars that draw inspiration from the nation’s first gourmand, Thomas Jefferson, as well as the bounty of local farmers, ranchers, and vintners.
An international star chef before arriving in the Allegheny Mountains, Executive Chef Sean O’Connell is now responsible for all dining operations at The Homestead, including 10 restaurants and bars as well as in-room dining, catering and banqueting for meetings and special events.
O’Connell arrived at The Homestead from Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, California, where he spent more than a year as Executive Chef.
Previously, O’Connell headed culinary operations at several luxury hotel and resort properties around the globe, including Vice President of Culinary Operations at Fontainebleau Resorts, where he oversaw a multi-million dollar renovation of its twelve restaurants and bars; Executive Chef at the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong; and Executive Chef at The Banyan Tree Resort in Thailand. He also played a crucial role in the opening of the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas.
A native of Europe, Chef O’Connell studied with the American Culinary Federation and honed his skills in some of the world’s finest hotels including Ritz-Carlton, Raffles Hotel and Aman Resorts. He also apprenticed with the National Maritime Union in San Francisco.
A talented hospitality professional with four-star and Leading Hotels of the World experience, Phenegar is responsible for all food and beverage-related operations at The Homestead.
Phenegar arrived in Hot Springs following a five-year run as Director of Food & Beverage at The Sagamore, the renowned Four-Diamond resort on Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Previously, Phenegar was Assistant Director of Resort Food & Beverage and Director of Dining Facilities at the Pinehurst Resort & Country Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina; Director of Food & Beverage Outlets at Driskill Hotel, a Leading Hotel of the World in Austin, Texas; and Food & Beverage Outlets Manager at Doubletree Hotels in Austin. His 24-year career in the food and beverage industry began in 1988 with Hyatt Hotels in San Antonio, Texas.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Phenegar grew up in Springfield, Ohio. He studied Business Administration at the University of Cincinnati.
About The Homestead
Since 1766, The Homestead has been recognized as one of America’s most storied resorts, offering unparalleled hospitality and Southern charm in a 3,000-acre setting within the Allegheny Mountains of southwestern Virginia. Renowned for its natural healing springs, The Homestead is distinguished by 483 luxurious guest rooms and suites, 72,000 square feet of meeting space, a wide array of fine and casual dining choices, a world-class spa, three championship golf courses that include one of the nation’s finest mountain courses (The Cascades), the South’s first downhill ski area, a 48-stable Equestrian Center and show ring, one of the top-rated Shooting Clubs and a wealth of other recreational attractions. The resort is currently undergoing a $25 million transformation. The first phase to be completed in 2012 will include the addition of Allegheny Springs, a new family water complex which includes a children’s pool, winterized family pool, whirlpool, sandy beach, three 100-foot water slides, a 400-foot lazy river and private cabanas as well as a new miniature golf course, the Mini Cascades and the tranquil Spa Garden. The second phase to be completed in 2013, will see new dining experiences, including Jefferson’s Grille, and renovations to the interior of the Spa.