Antlers Lodge Restaurant Announces New Culinary Team

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May 08, 2015
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa is pleased to announce multiple additions to its on-site culinary team, including a new Chef de Cuisine at Antlers, the casually upscale restaurant located at the resort that offers ranch-inspired cuisine with a focus on prime cuts and game, as well as a new Executive Chef for the resort as a whole. The new culinary team will deliver flavors for both resort guests and local San Antonians to enjoy.
 
Chef Armando Diaz is now Chef de Cuisine at Antlers, creating innovative twists on traditional ranch fare and upscale dining featuring locally harvested ingredients and regional specialties. Named for its impressive chandelier created from 500 sets of naturally shed antlers, Antlers provides a genuine Texas dining experience to be savored again and again. Antlers is known for its fantastic customer service and unique location, nestled at one end of the resort, providing terrific views of the resort’s scenic, award-winning golf course and Hill Country surroundings. The AAA-Four Star restaurant received OpenTable’s “Diners’ Choice Award” 2015 and has been the recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence every year since 2012.
 
With an extensive background in upscale and fine dining, Diaz joins the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa from San Antonio’s Piatti Restaurant, where he was Executive Chef.  His culinary career began in his native Arizona, where Diaz attended the Scottsdale Culinary Institute after he left a successful career in banking to follow his culinary dreams. Antlers is the second time that Diaz has been part of a Hyatt culinary team, starting his career as Chef De Partie at Vu, the featured restaurant at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale that made the list for “Best New Restaurant” 2005 by Esquire magazine.
 
Diaz’s culinary experience features a terrific roster of restaurants, including the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star Award-winning Addison at Grand Del Mar in San Diego, CA, where as Chef Tournant he worked with Chef William Bradley. He also served as Executive Sous Chef at the critically-acclaimed Noca restaurant in Phoenix, AZ. Diaz honed his knowledge and skills through travel and culinary experience across Europe, giving him a old world view to fantastic dining and fabulous flavors. His influence on Antlers can be enjoyed in its spring menu, including a fabulous housemade Texas charcuterie plate.
 
New Executive Chef Leading the Resort’s Culinary Team
Joining Diaz at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa is Chef David Barrett as the resort’s new Executive Chef, overseeing all culinary functions for the property, including Antlers, as well as six other food and beverage locations located at the resort, and all on-site catering functions. He joins the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa team from Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, where he served as Executive Chef and was responsible for Eagles Nest, one of Indianapolis’ most romantic restaurants.
 
Barrett’s 30-year career with Hyatt began in Chicago, where he served as sous chef at Hyatt Lodge at McDonald’s Campus before joining the team at Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Hyatt’s third largest convention hotel. His career with Hyatt has included several Chicago-area properties, as well as the Hyatt Regency Louisville, before his tenure in Indianapolis. Barrett was recognized as “Leader of the Year” during his tenure at Hyatt Regency O’Hare and was a finalist for Hyatt Hotels Chef of the Year while working at Hyatt Regency Louisville. The Chicago native is a graduate of Washburn Culinary Institute, one of the country’s oldest culinary programs.
 
“In addition to his culinary creativity and passion for locally sourced and sustainable cuisine, Dave’s lengthy and distinguished career with Hyatt brings a great sense of leadership to our hotel. Known both for his dedication to customer service and for his commitment to mentoring his culinary colleagues, we look forward to having Dave at the helm of our culinary team and know his creativity and commitment to excellence will positively impact our guests’ experience,” said Dan King, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa.
 
Barrett, a chef known for his hands-on style and mentoring of young culinary talent, is looking forward to working with Antlers’ Diaz. “With his extensive upscale dining experience, Armando’s leadership will further refine Antlers, polishing the menu and putting even more emphasis on the restaurant’s heritage cooking that traces its roots back to the resort’s history as a working ranch,” explains David Barrett, Executive Chef, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa.
 
New Pastry Chef and Restaurant Manager
In addition to Barrett and Diaz, the resort is also welcoming Chef Michelle Velez as its Pastry Chef and Shane Tiller as the new Restaurant Manager of Antlers.
 
A graduate of Le Cordon Blue Academy of Culinary Arts, Velez brings a wealth of hotel experience to her role as Pastry Chef for Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, including the JW Marriott Grand Lakes and the Peabody Hotel Orlando in Florida, where she was awarded the hotel’s “Gold Duck” award, as well as its “Going Above and Beyond” award. Her cake work has been featured in Wedding magazine.
 
Velez joins Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa from Hyatt Regency Orlando, where she was Pastry Supervisor. The Florida native cooks with her heart and enjoys taking ordinary to a new level, delivering favorite flavors with a twist to honor tradition while elevating it to give guests exquisite treats. Velez wants people to have as good of a time eating her work as she has creating it and is looking forward to leaving the resort’s guests with happy, flavor-filled smiles again and again. Velez’s creations can be enjoyed throughout the resort’s restaurants, including Antlers, whose spring dessert menu features new flavors from Velez, and in the resort’s on-site catering.
 
To further enhance the fantastic service and atmosphere of Antlers, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa is proud to welcome Shane Tiller as Restaurant Manager of the restaurant. With more than 20 years of restaurant management experience, Tiller will lead the staff at Antlers and help the restaurant continue its tradition of impeccable customer service paired with excellent flavors. He joins Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa from Francesca’s at Sunset.
 
Tiller’s love of the restaurant industry began as a dishwasher in high school, giving him perspective on the various roles and responsibilities that must work together to create a truly exceptional dining experience for guests. His management experience also includes serving as Food and Beverage Manager at La Cantera Hill Country Resort, as well as management positions with a number of national restaurant groups. He also co-owned and managed a bar and grill in Beaumont, TX, before returning to La Cantera to manage Francesca’s at Sunset.
 
“Exceptional customer service is part of the DNA of Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa and we have no doubt that Shane’s management will give Antlers guests another reason to smile when they join us for a meal. Pairing the culinary additions of Dave Barrett, Armando Diaz and Michelle Velez with a Restaurant manager who is as committed to providing each and every customer a fabulous dining experience as Shane is ensures that guests make Antlers their ‘must visit’ restaurant for any special occasion or night when they just want a great meal,” said King. 
 
With parking independent of the resort that allows guests direct access to the restaurant, Antlers is open to the public, serving dinner Tuesday through Saturday, 5:30 to 10PM. Reservations may be made at (210) 520-4001 or through opentable.com.
  
Recognized with a “Renovation Excellence” award by Hyatt Hotels Corporation for its recently completed $35 million renovation, the resort is known for its dedication to customer service and authentic Texas hospitality. Built in 1993, the AAA Four-Diamond resort features a 500-room luxury hotel, championship 27-hole golf course, and a full-service state-of-the-art spa. The resort also boasts a tennis court, award-winning dining, a walking/jogging path and nature trail, and a 24-hour fitness center, as well as a five-acre water park with a FlowRider® wave machine, tower water slide, three swimming pools and cascading waterfalls, two outdoor whirlpools, Camp Hyatt children’s program and a 950-foot Ramblin’ River® intertwined with lush gardens.
 
About Hyatt Regency Hill Country
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa is located on 300-scenic acres in the heart of San Antonio. The recently renovated 500-room resort features 54,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and 165,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor event space, as well as enhanced landscaping that further highlights the natural Texas beauty of the resort.
 
Resort amenities include the full-service Windflower-The Hill Country Spa featuring 21-treatment rooms with world-class services, a five-acre water park with a FlowRider® wave machine, 22’ tower waterslide, four swimming pools, Ramblin’ River® and regulation-sized sand volleyball court. With five restaurants, a lounge and tavern, guests can enjoy superb dining or cocktails with colleagues overlooking a lushly landscaped 27-hole Arthur Hills-designed golf course. For reservations or information contact 210-647-1234 or visit us at hillcountry.hyatt.com
 
About Hyatt Regency
The Hyatt Regency brand is an energizing hotel brand that connects travelers to whom and what matters most to them. More than 140 conveniently located Hyatt Regency urban and resort locations in over 30 countries around the world serve as the go-to gathering space for every occasion – from efficient business meetings to memorable family vacations. The brand offers a one-stop experience that puts everything guests need right at their fingertips. Hyatt Regency hotels and resorts offer a full range of services and amenities, including notable culinary experiences; technology-enabled ways to collaborate; the space to work, engage or relax; and expert planners who take care of every detail. For more information, visit  hyattregency.com or facebook.com/HyattRegency.
 
 
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