William Bierlein, Executive Sous Chef
With more than two decades of culinary experience, William Bierlein now serves as the Executive Sous Chef at The Omni Grove Park Inn. One of five siblings born in Pontiac, Michigan, Bierlein was 12 when his family relocated to Las Vegas and opened the Sunrise Café to showcase his father's culinary talents. Six years later, Bierlein joined the opening team at Mirage Resort and Hotel Casino, a 5-star destination owned by Steve Wynn. Bierlein made the most of that opportunity and others that followed, rising from cook's helper to work alongside many chefs, among them David Kellaway, a Certified Master Chef who handpicked Bierlein to be part of his team at Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Passionate about his art, Bierlein takes inspiration from a French mentor who told him: "You will only be as good as your taste buds will take you. Try everything."
Jake Schmidt, Executive Sous Chef-Outlets
Chef Jake Schmidt attended the Culinary School at Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois where he graduated in 1998 with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. Upon graduation, Chef Jake excelled in the private club sector of the industry. He worked at many exclusive country clubs in the Chicago suburbs including the Sous, Banquet and Executive Sous Chef positions at both Exmoor Country Club and Onwentsia Club. In 2007 Jake became the Executive Sous Chef at The Signature Room at the 95th located atop the John Hancock Center in downtown Chicago. The Signature Room is world renowned for its incredible views, food and service. In late September of 2011, Jake happily accepted the position of Chef de Cuisine of the Blue Ridge Artisanal Buffet. Two years later, Jake was promoted to Chef de Cuisine of EDISON, Craft Ales + Kitchen and in 2014 was appointed Executive Sous Chef-Outlets at The Omni Grove Park Inn.
James Lumley, Chef de Cuisine, Vue 1913
As Chef de Cuisine at Vue 1913, James Lumley continues the tradition of developing innovative classic American cuisine using fresh ingredients acquired from local producers throughout Western North Carolina. Originally from Melbourne, Fla., Lumley began his career in hospitality working as a restaurant dishwasher. By the time he completed high school, he had worked his way through every level of restaurant operations. Following graduation from Johnson and Wales University in north Miami, Fla., he joined The Ritz-Carlton, Naples Golf Resort as a culinary intern in 2002. Moving steadily through the ranks, Lumley became a trainer in the resort's culinary division and supervisor of the 4-star/4-diamond Italian restaurant Lemonia, the Bella Vista Lounge and In-Room Dining. After rising to Sous Chef of Lemonia, Lumley joined Naples Beach Resort becoming Chef at the Poolside Café as well as Food and Safety Trainer.
Philip Bollhoefer, Chef De Cuisine, Sunset Terrace & EDISON Craft Ales + Kitchen
Philip Bollhoefer is the Chef de Cuisine for the Sunset Terrace and EDISON Craft Ales + Kitchen at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C. Appointed in summer of 2014, Bollhoefer oversees menu creation and kitchen operations at both restaurants, featuring locally-sourced cuisine by partnering with area farmers to create a truly memorable dining experience. Bollhoefer arrived in Asheville from The Omni Grove Park Inn’s sister property, Omni Chicago Hotel, where he served as Executive Sous Chef and expanded the hotel’s house made charcuterie program to an award winning level. Before his role in Chicago, he also spent a year and a half as Chef de Cuisine at Omni La Mansion Del Rio in San Antonio, Tex., overseeing the AAA Four Diamond-rated fine-dining restaurant Las Canarias. Prior to joining Omni Hotels & Resorts, Bollhoefer was First Garde Manger Chef and Banquet Chef of Hyatt Regency Orlando. Bollhoefer is a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Orlando.
Nick Blackshaw, Chef De Cuisine, Blue Ridge