Gustavo Zapata named as Executive Chef for the Hilton Miami Airport
Raul Aguilera, general manager of the newly renovated Hilton Miami Airport, has appointed Gustavo Zapata as executive chef for the 508-guest room and suite hotel situated on a private peninsula on Blue Lagoon in South Florida and overlooking the Miami International Airport.
“We are thrilled to have Chef Zapata bring his international culinary flair to our new and improved Hilton Miami Airport. His imprint on our restaurant menus and catering operations for meetings and social events will delight guests, while his depth of talent and skill at teaching and mentoring will take our culinary teams to new levels of professional success,” said Aguilera.
Zapata is no stranger to Miami and understands the clientele and community needs having worked at top resorts in the area including Conrad Miami, Fontainebleau and Mandarin Oriental. Chef Zapata will oversee culinary operations and conceptualizes dishes for the property’s casual restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as an outdoor Pool Bar & Grill; in-room dining, employee dining and all catering and banquet services for 30,000 square-feet of event space.
A native of Puerto Rico, Zapata was inspired to become a chef at the age of sixteen by a childhood friend and mentor. Trained at Johnson and Wales and the Culinary Institute of America specializing in traditional European Cuisine; Classical French and International Cuisine as well as New World Cuisine, Zapata enjoys infusing local and seasonal ingredients to enhance the flavors and provide texture and color to any dish.
Prior to joining Hilton Miami Airport, Zapata was consulting corporate chef and food and beverage director for Mediterranean Hospitality Group in Nassau Bahamas. His previous experience includes banquet chef, executive sous chef and chef de cuisine. His high standards for food quality along with his result driven professionalism has won him accolades and acknowledgments including Conrad Miami ‘s manager of the Quarter Award, for thesecond quarter of 2011 and Mandarin Oriental Miami’s Company Safe and Sound Manager Certification.
Miami Airport Hilton has recently completed over $15 million renovation of the hotel which included guest rooms and suites, the lobby bar and lounge, a new fitness center and guest elevators. In 2014, the hotel will renovate the hotel’s 30,000 square-feet of meeting and event space.
Hilton Miami Airport is beautifully situated on a private 12.5-acre tropical peninsula surrounded by a 100-acre fresh water lake. The hotel provides the perfect combination of business services in a resort like atmosphere and is ideal for company meetings and leisure travelers alike. The hotel offers a variety of dining outlets including Coral Caf? for casual dining, The Cove lounge and the Blue Lagoon Saloon pool bar. Centrally located, the hotel is only minutes from Downtown Miami, Coconut Grove, South Beach and Art Deco District area.