Marriott Irvine Spectrum Appoints Leonel De Leon as Executive Chef

USA, Irvine, California. June 11, 2019

Marriott Irvine Spectrum is pleased to announce the appointment of Leonel De Leon as Executive Chef. De Leon brings over 16 years of culinary experience to Marriott Irvine Spectrum, where he oversees all food and beverage for the 271-room hotel, curating menus of inventive, responsibly sourced California cuisine.

The hotel's indoor-outdoor design sets the stage for De Leon's casually sophisticated menu inspired by the Orange County lifestyle. At the signature restaurant, Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen, the stone fired oven is central to its harvest-to-hearth cuisine with innovative seasonal dishes starring ingredients from local farms that heighten flavor profiles. At the lively rooftop bar, Hive & Honey—Irvine's first such perch—De Leon elevates shareable plates alongside trendy cocktails and local brews.

De Leon's passion for cuisine stems from his mother's cooking along with her love and respect for quality and tradition. He studied at the California School of Culinary Arts Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and further honed his skill of fine-dining finesse. De Leon's culinary repertoire led him to multi-faceted positions in several of Southern California's fine dining restaurants and hotels. He sharpened his knife at the Omni Hotel Los Angeles and Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel and became a staple within the Marriott family.

While rising through the ranks, De Leon successfully led culinary operations at the JW Marriott Palm Desert, Marriott Hotel and Spa in Newport Beach and most recently the JW Marriott Desert Springs. During his tenure at JW Marriott Palm Desert as executive sous chef, De Leon oversaw menu development while increasing food quality, presentation and the overall food and beverage experience.

Off duty, Executive Chef De Leon spends time with his wife Cindy, five-year-old son Isaac and one-year-old daughter Ellie Sage. His favorite family vacations include packing up the car and pursuing national parks, fishing, hiking and camping.

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Revenue Management: Focus On Profit

Revenue Management is still a relatively new profession within hotel operations and as such, it continues to evolve. One significant trend in this area is a shift away from using revenue as the foundation to generate key performance indicators (KPIs) and to instead place the emphasis on profit. Traditionally, revenue managers have relied on total revenue per available room (TrevPAR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) as the basis of their KPIs. Now, some revenue managers are using gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) as their primary KPI. This puts profit at the center of revenue management strategy, and managers are increasingly searching for new ways to increase the profitability of their hotels. Return on Investment is the objective of any hotel investment, so it is only logical that profitability and ROI will be emphasized going forward. Another trend is an expanded focus on direct hotel bookings. Revenue managers know that one way to increase profitability is to steer guests away from online travel agencies (OTAs) and book directly with the hotel. This tactic also reinforces brand identity and loyalty, and encourages repeat business. In addition, it provides a valuable platform to market the hotel directly to the customer, and to upsell room upgrades or other services to them. Another trend for revenue managers involves automation in their software programs. Revenue management systems with automation are far more desirable than those without it. Automating data entry and logistics increases efficiency, allowing managers to spend more time on formulating strategy. As a bonus, an automated system helps with aggregating and interpreting data. The October issue of the Hotel Business Review will address these developments and document how some leading hotels are executing their revenue management strategies.