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Naples Grande Beach Resort is reaching out to the foodie universe to announce the appointment of Jim O’Connor as their new executive chef. This Long Island, New York native is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and has a stellar resume that began in Colorado and moved through California to Nashville, Tennessee, and Montana. Upon his return to Tennessee, he established a farm-to-table program at The Grove that included harvesting honey from onsite bee hives.

O’Connor’s experiences with the farmer’s markets in California and his work with farmers in Nashville created a love for fresh ingredients and working with the community. He brought this energy with him to Naples, where he dove into the local culinary scene to reap the best of it for the eateries of the Naples Grande Beach Resort.

Naples Grande Beach Resort
Jim O’Connor, new executive chef at Naples Grande Beach Resort.

“I am honored to be leading the extraordinary culinary team at Naples Grande Beach Resort, where I have been able to meet and serve guests from all over the world,” said O’Connor. “I look forward to bringing my experiences from my travels across the country to Naples, and finding inspiration throughout the Sunshine State.”

A Look at Naples Grande Beach Resort

With 474 guestrooms—including 29 rooms with direct views of the Gulf of Mexico and 50 garden villas—Naples Grande Beach Resort has seven on-site restaurants and bars. As the new executive chef, O’Connor will oversee all menus for The Catch of the Pelican, Mantra Lounge, Rhode’s End, Aura, Gulf Coast Oasis, Spressi Marketplace, The Sunset Veranda, in-room dining and banquets (the resort has over 83,000 sq. ft. of event space). He will lead the culinary teams and manage all F&B operations, among other things.

The resort boasts three heated outdoor pools, a full-service luxury spa, a golf course, an 8,000-square-foot fitness center, a business center and a tennis facility with 15 courts. A huge part of its charm is its location in the middle of 200 acres of protected mangrove estuary that’s crisscrossed with a system of bridges and elevated walking paths that give your clients access to the three miles of beachfront on the Gulf of Mexico. The shoppers on your list will also be happy to know it’s also right by the Waterside Shops, the swankiest mall in Southwest Florida.

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