st regis longboat key executive chef
Courtesy of Alberto T.

Name: Alberto T.
Position: Executive Chef
Hotel: The St. Regis Longboat Key
Dream destination: Spain. I’m drawn to the rich tapestry of cultures that coexist within its borders, each offering a unique perspective on life and cuisine.
Drink or treat of choice: My favorite drink combines the rich flavors of aged Caribbean rum with the refreshing zest of fresh fruit juice, perfectly complemented by a side of freshly made ceviche.

When The St. Regis Longboat Key opens its doors in the summer of 2024, one thing will be guaranteed: an unforgettable experience at any of the Florida Gulf Coast resort’s seven restaurants. How do we know? We talked to the Executive Chef Alberto and it’s clear these kitchens are in good hands.

→ The St. Regis Longboat Key Is Hiring Across Departments! Browse Positions at the Soon-to-Open Florida Resort

If you want to know more about what goes on in the pre-opening of a hotel, and you’re looking for an equally challenging and exciting opportunity in your culinary journey, take note of what Alberto and his team are looking for in potential candidates.

“We are seeking an individual who exudes passion and positivity, eager to share their knowledge while remaining humble enough to seek guidance and learn from both leaders and teammates,” says Alberto, who served as the Executive Chef at the JW Marriott Orlando Grande Lakes before taking on this pre-opening opportunity.

For Alberto, getting this luxury beachfront resort ready for the guests is “an exhilarating challenge” he’s honored to be a part of, and he’s looking for enthusiastic, communicative, collaborative, and empathetic teammates to help him get that critical job done. He and his team want to work with someone who’s able to adapt to any kind of situation with a positive attitude, and a willingness to take initiative. “Someone who is not only skilled in their role but also embodies the values and culture of our team.”

After 17 years in Marriott kitchens, Alberto is very familiar with that culture — one centered on excellence and high performance.

marriott executive chef St. Regis Longboat Key

Courtesy of Alberto T.

Since he first started his culinary career as a fine dining cook at the Seaview Marriott Hotel in Galloway, New Jersey, Alberto has had a taste of different kitchens, different hotels and different levels of management, but always with the same goal: strive for excellence and exceed the expectations of our guests.

Learn more about being part of a pre-opening team in Alberto’s own words, below.

What do you love most about being part of a pre-opening team?

Together, we have the opportunity to shape the identity and reputation of the St. Regis Longboat Key from the ground up. Being part of a pre-opening team allows us to set the stage for success and create a lasting impact on the hotel’s future.

How would you describe the culture being cultivated at this new hotel?

The ethos of our leadership team is to strive for excellence, gathering exceptional individuals who are driven to create something extraordinary. We aim to pioneer the next levels of luxury service, setting new standards and pushing the boundaries of innovation. Our culture is one of collaboration, where each team member is valued for their unique contributions and ideas. We prioritize open communication, mutual respect, and a strong sense of community. Our goal is to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for both our guests and our associates, where everyone feels appreciated and empowered to deliver exceptional experiences.

st regis longboat key executive chef

Courtesy of Alberto T.


What is the most challenging thing about being part of a pre-opening team?

Ensuring that every detail is perfect and that all team members are trained and ready to deliver exceptional service. It requires careful coordination, attention to detail, and the ability to adapt to unexpected challenges. However, the satisfaction of seeing the hotel come together and the joy of our guests makes all the hard work worth it.

What are some special events that pre-opening associates get to take part in?

They will have the opportunity to engage in a hands-on training program directly alongside our leadership team. This includes participation in menu creations, recipe building, planning techniques, and understanding our overall expectations for food quality. They will also be encouraged to contribute their insights to the organization and execution of their duties, which is incredibly exciting and enriching to be a part of. Associates will also have the chance to be involved in pre-opening events such as menu tastings, mock service runs, and staff training sessions. This allows them to gain valuable experience and insight into the inner workings of the restaurant before it officially opens to the public. It’s a great opportunity for them to learn and grow as part of our team, and to truly feel like they are contributing to the success of the restaurant from the very beginning.

What’s an unexpected experience you’ve had being a part of this pre-opening team?

The chance to delve deeper into the Longboat Key area. Discovering the diverse and remarkable resources available to us adds an exciting dimension to our operations. Exploring the local culture, attractions, and hidden gems has given us a deeper understanding of what makes this destination so special.

What is the hotel environment like without guests yet?

The environment is incredibly welcoming, brimming with leaders who are actively strategizing diverse experiences to ensure we consistently deliver the highest quality standards. From the moment you walk through the doors, you can feel the passion and dedication of the staff as they prepare for the arrival of our guests. The attention to detail and the meticulous planning that goes into every aspect of the hotel is truly impressive. Without guests, the hotel feels like a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with the energy and excitement that comes with welcoming visitors from all over the world. It’s a time of preparation, anticipation, and eager readiness for the magic to unfold once our guests arrive.

How do you train associates when the hotel isn’t open?

Ensuring that our associates are well-equipped to deliver exceptional service is a top priority, even before the hotel opens. We provide extensive training modules that cover everything from brand standards to customer service best practices. This includes virtual training sessions, e-learning modules, and on-site simulations to prepare our team for real-world scenarios. We also emphasize the importance of ongoing education and professional development, encouraging our associates to seek out opportunities for growth and learning. Additionally, we utilize mentorship programs and peer-to-peer training to create a supportive and collaborative learning environment. Our goal is to instill a strong sense of pride and ownership in our team, so that they are fully prepared to provide an unparalleled guest experience from the moment the hotel opens its doors.

What advice do you have for those interested in working at the new resort?

I would encourage candidates to delve into the intricacies of luxury operations and the fulfillment it brings to their career. This opportunity promises to challenge you with innovative methods to exceed our clients’ expectations. Leading by example and maintaining an open, positive, and forward-thinking attitude will be instrumental in fostering a strong team dynamic at The St. Regis LBK. Embracing the brand’s legacy and commitment to excellence will be key in delivering exceptional service and creating memorable experiences for our guests. Additionally, being adaptable and willing to learn and grow within the Marriott family will be crucial for success at the new resort. I encourage potential candidates to bring their passion for hospitality and dedication to creating unforgettable moments for our guests, as this will be the driving force behind the success of The St. Regis LBK.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

Being part of this team. Being recognized as the most anticipated hotel opening within our company for 2024 is a testament to the magnitude of this opportunity. This opportunity has allowed me to showcase my leadership skills and creativity, and I am looking forward to the challenge of setting new industry benchmarks and elevating the level of service and excellence in hospitality. I am confident that this experience will be a defining moment in my career, and I am committed to making it a success.

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