John Cook, Executive Pastry Chef
In his role as Executive Pastry Chef, John Cook leads a pastry team fashioning sweet, tasty and beautiful creations for The Inn’s 8 restaurants and lounges, as well as in-room dining and banqueting operations.
Cook arrived at the historic Inn from Norman Love Confections in Fort Myers, Fl., where he rose from entry-level cook to production manager of the chocolate factory and ultimately executive pastry chef over a span of 13 years. He also spent a decade teaching chocolate, pastry and baking classes at the company. Previously, Cook was a pastry cook at two Ritz-Carlton Resorts in Naples and West Palm Beach, F.L.
Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, F.L., Cook earned degrees in culinary arts and international baking and pastries from Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach. He graduated from advanced chocolate and sugar courses offered by renowned Pastry Chef Ewald Notter, and studied at the Cocoa-Barry School of Chocolate in Montreal. In addition, Cook was recognized as Pastry Chef of the Year at the U.S. Pastry Competition in 2017.
Chris Blackwell, Executive Sous Chef
Chef Chris was born and raised in Texas where he got his passion for food at a young age by tagging along with his grandfather who competed in BBQ tournaments, before getting his first job in hospitality at age 16 as a bus boy. While earning his B.B.A. from the University of Texas he worked in several casual and upscale restaurants as a line cook further cementing his love for cooking. Upon graduation he moved to Denver where he attended a culinary program at Johnson and Wales University while continuing to gain experience working in local restaurants.
Chef Chris’s first experience in hotels was completing his culinary internship and the Warwick Denver Hotel where he was hired as a sous chef shortly upon completion. Before relocating to Asheville Chef Chris spent time working in several hotels including as the Executive Chef at the Marquette Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton in Minneapolis and as the Executive Banquet Chef at the Adolphus Hotel, Autograph Collection by Marriot.
Fred Przyboroski – Blue Ridge Chef de Cuisine
A Culinary Institute of America graduate with almost 35 years of experience in food service. Early in his career, Chef worked in Manhattan at Aqua Grill before moving to the DC/Metro area. In Washington, he worked at notable locations such as Restaurant Nora, Ardeo, The Kennedy Center and the U.S. Capitol. After working in Restaurants, he transitioned corporate then to catering companies which included orchestrating all the corporate catering for the U.S Open golf tournaments for 5+ years. Wanting to explore different culinary scenes he lived in Charleston, SC briefly, where he worked at Poogan's Porch, Felix and Ritual. Chef recently relocated to Asheville, NC for the opportunity to work at The Omni Grove Park Inn & Resort. Fred has 3 children and enjoys fly fishing, Buffalo Bills football and live music. His favorite things to make in the kitchen are seafood and family pierogi recipes.
Enrique Galan - Executive Chef, Sammons Wing
Chef Enrique Galan crafted his career foundation in 1995 working with Marriott International. Through the years, his dedication to high demanding expectations and ambition to succeed has led him to four different luxury brands of Marriott, including The Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott. As a chef with a Peruvian background, he can infuse palates with one of the world's most sought-after meccas of the culinary world. He has the chance to cater and dine with the finest chefs in the industry.