Executive Chef Sean O'Connell
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.
Executive Pastry Chef Michel Finel
Michel Finel, a native of Normandy, France, completed his pastry apprenticeship there in 1967. Before coming to the United States, he served a tour with the French Military, and then worked four years in Paris at the George V Hotel. During this time he also helped to open a hotel in Nicosia, Cyprus. Then Michel moved to Holland for two years working at the Okura Hotel. Following his stay in Holland, Michel moved to England where he was at the Savoy Hotel for a year. He then moved to Switzerland where he worked at the Palace Hotel followed by a stay in Bermuda at the Southampton Princess Hotel. In 1975 Michel moved to the United States and began working at The Homestead as the Assistant Pastry Chef. During the winter months of 1975 he worked at the Royal Palm Yacht Club in Boca Raton, Florida. In the spring of 1976 he returned to The Homestead as the Executive Pastry Chef and has been here ever since. In 1988 Michel traveled to Washington DC to compete with a group for the first World Cup in Pastries. He was one of three Chefs selected out of a group of twenty for the World Cup Competition. In 1989 Michel traveled to Lyons France for the World Cup Pastry Competition, placing in the top five contestants.