Rodriguez prepares to roll out cooking classes, farm-to-table menus, and other exciting dining events at Innisfree’s properties throughout the Gulf Coast and beyond.
GULF BREEZE, Fla. — Innisfree Hotels is pleased to announce the promotion of chef Manuel Rodriguez to Corporate Director of Food & Beverage, overseeing all dining and drinking experiences at Innisfree’s Gulf Coast properties in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina.
Rodriguez, who is classically trained in culinary arts and has spent more than a decade leading professional kitchens, joined the Innisfree family in 2020 to direct culinary operations at one of its hotels. He quickly showed that his organizational skills, managerial talents, and passion for culinary excellence were worthy of a much bigger assignment.
“Chef Manny really wowed us and our guests since day one,” said Ted Ent, President and CEO of Innisfree Hotels. “We know he’s got a great vision and plan to elevate our food and beverage offerings across the board, and we can’t wait for our guests to benefit from having Chef Manny in charge of their culinary experiences.”
Originally from Washington, D.C., and having cooked for politicians and dignitaries from around the world, Rodriguez has enjoyed living on the Gulf Coast and getting to work with its fresh ingredients, calling it “the closest thing to a perfect job — I love it.” His excitement is evident in dishes that combine local fish with his South American cooking flair: grilled red snapper with fried green plantains, or pan-seared pompano with goat cheese croquettes and a Champagne vinaigrette sweetened with local honey.
“I’m working with each of our chefs to incorporate more local, farm-to-table ingredients into our menus, and to create different events where we can share our love of food and cooking with guests,” Rodriguez said. “I want our restaurants to be the first choice not only for our guests but for locals as well. That’s what we’ll be pushing toward in 2022.”