MEET THE CHEFS OF OMNI DALLAS HOTEL
EXECUTIVE CHEF GREG WALLACE
A recent addition to the Omni Dallas team, Executive Chef Greg Wallace brings 30 years of experience to our kitchens. In this role, Wallace is overseeing all culinary operations at the property, including the Restaurants on Lamar – a variety of eight dining experiences including Biergarten, Black Ship Little Katana, Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Café Herrera, Coal Vines, Pegasus Bar, Texas Spice and The Owners Box. The restaurants offer worldly cuisines for both visitors and locals alike.
An accomplished culinary mastermind, Chef Wallace has many years of experience in the hospitality and dining industry. His charismatic leadership, attention to detail and past experience make him the clear choice to lead our culinary efforts, while helping shape the talents of those under his wing.
Most recently, Chef Wallace served as executive chef at the Naples Grand Beach Resort in Naples, Fla. He previously held top culinary positions at MGM Grand and Bellagio in Las Vegas, following graduation from the Culinary Institute of America.
Executive Sous Chef Erik Carlson
Born in Ohio, Chef Carlson grew up in his parents restaurants with a blended Mexican-American style menu. At 15 years old, his family moved to Florida. After high school, we attended the Culinary Institute of American in Hyde Park, New York. In doing so, Chef Carlson had the opportunity to work at various restaurants and learn from many chefs. After graduation, Chef Carlson landed at The Ritz Carlton on Amelia Island.
He has been in the kitchen since childhood. His fondest memories are canning and preserving in Ohio with his mother. He now resides in Grapevine, Texas with his wife. His daughter currently attends Southern Methodist University. Chef Carlson joined Omni Dallas in May of 2018. His favorite part is the diversity of the menus and being allowed to experiment and be creative working with such a large team. His favorite quote, ‘you never have to be hungry to eat’, has stuck with him and drives his desire to create.
Sous Chef Tournant Chloe Geachinnio
Originally from Abilene, Texas, Chef Geachinnio got to Dallas as fast as she could. She worked in her dad’s restaurant on occasion but mostly found a love of cooking with her mother in the kitchen. A fun memory she likes to share is how challenging it was to make Spanish rice. Her mother taught her again and again but it was not perfected till later in life. Now it’s an easy recipe for her.
Chef Geachinnio has been with Omni Dallas since 2013, starting as a cook in The Owners Box Sports Bar & Grill. She quickly rose as a supervisor within the first year, then a sous chef by November of 2015. Before coming to the hotel, she attended the Culinary Arts Institute of Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island where she earned her associates degree followed by her bachelor’s degree in food service management with a focus on beverages. Chef Geachinnio currently resides in Mesquite, Texas with her rescue yorkie, Ollie. She enjoys spending time with her family and Godson. She never stops learning from watching others and experimenting with new techniques, making them her own.
CHEF DE CUISINE ALEX AYALA
Chef Alexander Ayala’s culinary career was greatly influenced by his parents at an early age. Eager to learn the foundations of the culinary world, he started his career at The W Hotel, Dallas. He earned his stripes in the kitchen working along side great food enthusiasts, which prepared him for the next step. Chef Ayala is regularly inspired by his Latin culture and found the opportunity to bring it to life by opening his own establishment. Chef Ayala, wanting to expand his knowledge of the food industry, then found his way to the Omni Dallas Hotel. He quickly excelled from an entry level cook to a Sous Chef in The Owners Box, where he is now the Chef d' Cuisine. Under his guidance, The Owners Box was voted #1 Sports bar in 2014 by The Observer, and D Magazine.
BANQUET CHEF DIMITRIOS VAGENAS
Dimitrios Vagenas was born in Greece but elatedly accepted the opportunity to come to Texas in 2014. At a young age in 1999, he started working in his family business for 10 years before moving to the kitchen where he gained his culinary passion. He studied culinary art for two years at Chef D'Oeuvre Culinary School in Greece, where he was distinguished as the top student and won a scholarship to continue his studies in food and beverage management.
He made his first professional steps at Cape Sounio Grand Resort and other notable hotels in Greece. Vagenas combined his passion for cooking and traveling by exploring local tastes in Italy, England and France. In 2013, Chef Vagenas worked as Sous Chef at Viking River Cruises in Southern France before we were lucky enough to gain him as a Kitchen Supervisor in 2014. He quickly rose to become our Banquet Chef just a short year and a half later in 2015. Besides coordinating all banquet meals and ensuring each plate meets his standards, Vagenas enjoys cooking for his friends and traveling the world exploring different local cuisines.
PASTRY CHEF KRISTINA KENT
Kristina graduated with honors from The Culinary School at The Arts Institute of Dallas with an associates degree in baking and pastry. Kristina was a pastry cook for legends hospitality at cowboys stadium during the 2010-2011 football season, and helped prepare over 90,000 pastries for Super Bowl XLV.
Upon graduating from culinary school, Kristina took a position as an assistant at Chocolate Secrets in Dallas. After 3 months, Kristina was promoted to pastry sous chef where she was responsible for production of the signature bonbon collection, as well as creation of new flavors and teaching chocolate and wine classes. Kristina’s work on chocolate and bonbons was featured on the cover of D Magazine.
Kristina left chocolate secrets in November of 2012 to take a position as a pastry cook at Texas Spice restaurant in Omni Dallas hotel where she was responsible for production of all pastries and desserts. Kristina was promoted to pastry sous chef of Omni Dallas hotel in June 2013, and then to Pastry Chef in July 2014.