THE OMNI GROVE PARK INN BOLSTERS CULINARY TEAM WITH A DUO OF EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENTS

Historic Inn complements enhancements to its Sammons Wing with a new Executive Chef, while also elevating its epicurean offerings with an Executive Pastry Chef

Asheville, N.C. (Sept. 27, 2017) - The Omni Grove Park Inn, recognized for housing some of the finest, locally-sourced restaurants in Asheville, N.C., announces the appointments of two talented chefs to join the property's award-winning culinary team. The addition of a new executive chef accompanies The Inn's recent renovation of its Sammons Wing, which pays homage to the property's distinct Arts & Crafts style, while the introduction of a new executive pastry chef further enhances the retreat's acclaimed food and beverage program.

Josh Thomsen ̶ Executive Chef, Sammons Wing
As executive chef of The Omni Grove Park Inn's Sammons Wing, Josh Thomsen oversees kitchen operations, menu creation and the overall dining experience for three of the four signature restaurants - the iconic chophouse, Sunset Terrace, EDISON craft ales + kitchen and Vue 1913.

Thomsen joined The Omni Grove Park Inn from Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Manalapan, Fla., where as executive chef he oversaw four dining venues, 30,000 square feet of banquet space and in-room dining for 300 guest rooms and a private club level. He also raised the property from a Forbes four-star/five diamond ranking to five-star/five-diamond status, a rating it held for the duration of his two-year service.

Previously, Thomsen spent three years as executive chef/partner of Agricola in Princeton, N.J., one of the top-rated restaurants in the Garden State, where he penned the cookbook Agricola. He also served four years as executive chef of Claremont Resort in Berkeley, Calif., where he was recognized as a "Rising Star Chef" by StarChefs.com in 2010. Other dining destinations among Thomsen's extensive work history are Tao at the Venetian Resort and Boa Steakhouses in Las Vegas; The Lodge at Pebble Beach in Monterey, Calif; Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles and The French Laundry in Yountville, Calif.

Born and raised in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., Thomsen grew up eyeing work in the culinary world, an ambition he credits to his father. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., Thomsen earned an associates degree as well as an occupational studies degree. He is involved in giving back to the community, having supported Meals on Wheels, The James Beard Foundation, Edible School Yard and The V Foundation of Cancer Research. He has also enjoyed traveling to France, Switzerland, Germany and Russia, heightening his understanding of those cultures and cuisines.

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 eight restaurants and lounges, as well as in-room dining and banquet operations.

Cook arrived at the historic Inn from Norman Love Confections in Fort Myers, Fla., where he rose from entry-level cook to production manager of the chocolate factory and, ultimately, executive pastry chef over the 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, Fla.

Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., 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.
Nightly rates at the historic mountain retreat start at $249 per night. For more information about events at The Omni Gove Park Inn or to book a reservation, contact (800) 438-5800 or visit www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park.

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About The Omni Grove Park Inn
Set in the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains and just minutes from downtown Asheville, N.C., The Omni Grove Park Inn provides a one-of-a-kind escape for modern day travelers. The award-winning, 513-room resort originally opened in 1913, showcases a wide range of Arts & Crafts furnishings from Stickley and Roycroft throughout guest areas, guestrooms and suites. Following the renovation of the Vanderbilt Wing in 2013, The Inn revealed the redesign of the historic Sammons Wing's 204 guestrooms in 2017. The world-class Spa is an experience like no other, with 43,000 square feet of subterranean space and an array of unique treatments incorporating indigenous elements. The resort's historic 18-hole Donald Ross golf course is considered among the top golf experiences in North Carolina, and the Sports Complex includes indoor and outdoor tennis courts. The Inn also focuses on local ingredients and chef driven menus in their four signature restaurants, each offering panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Omni Grove Park Inn is well suited for meetings, weddings and events, with 26 meeting rooms and two ballrooms totaling over 58,000 square feet, including the Skyline Room and Mountain View Terrace. The Inn's newest event addition is the Seely Pavilion with 3,260 square feet of function space, exposed trusses, and six pairs of picturesque, floor-to-ceiling doors and windows, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain range. To get additional information or book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.

About Omni Hotels & Resorts

Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at 60 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business and leisure destinations across North America. With more than 25 iconic golf courses and 16 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination. Reflected through local color, personalized service, unique wellness options, signature restaurants and creative culinary offerings, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every guest and a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest loyalty program. As a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance, Select Guest is further expanded through the DISCOVERY® loyalty program offering members additional global benefits. Omni is committed to reducing hunger and is on a mission through its Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative to provide millions of meals each year for food banks to feed children, families and seniors in communities in which it operates. For information or to book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.

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