Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, Appoints Keith Potter as Executive Chef

USA, Big Sur, California. July 04, 2019

Ventana Big Sur, an Alila Resort, has appointed Keith Potter as executive chef of the celebrated luxury resort tucked between towering redwood trees and the California coastline in Big Sur. Potter, who brings over 15 years of culinary experience at acclaimed restaurants in Chicago, will oversee all food and beverage operations for the 59-room resort including its signature indoor-outdoor restaurant, The Sur House.

"I could not be more thrilled to join the team at Ventana Big Sur, a premier culinary destination in California," said Potter. "California's abundance of fresh, high-quality ingredients is so inspiring, and I look forward to creating unforgettable dining experiences that showcase the level of excellence which Ventana Big Sur is known for."

Potter most recently served as chef de cuisine at Cindy's Restaurant, a popular rooftop restaurant overlooking Lake Michigan at the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel in Chicago, Ill. Previously, Potter was sous chef at Perennial Virant at Hotel Lincoln in Chicago, which was named to the Michelin Guide's 2013 Bib Gourmand list. His additional culinary experience in Chicago includes serving as executive sous chef at Park Hyatt Chicago's Michelin-starred NoMi Kitchen and working under Chef Bill Kim at Belly Shack.

Chef Potter received his culinary training at the Illinois Institute of Art. He is currently a nominee for Hyatt's Culinary Leader of the Year award and is a 2013 recipient of Hyatt's Rising Star of the Year award. When not helming the kitchen, Potter enjoys cycling, hiking, yoga and reading military history.

A hilltop resort overlooking Big Sur's rugged coastline, Ventana Big Sur is tucked among towering redwoods and meadows along California's most iconic stretch of Highway 1. The resort invites guests to get away from it all with mind-body-soul experiences including meditation, art classes, guided hiking excursions, photography workshops and more. In addition to luxury resort accommodations, the resort offers a rustic-luxury twist on traditional camping with 15 safari-style, canvas tents in its Redwood Canyon Glampsites.

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Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.