Kitchen stalwart hangs up his chef whites after 30 years behind the stove


One of the industry’s top hotel chefs is hanging up his whites after 30 years of service.

John Harris, executive chef and director of food and beverage at The Sheraton Sand Key Resort in Clearwater Beach, has stepped down after three decades with the property.

“It was an honor to work with this talented team and create life-long friendships. I will truly miss it here at Sheraton Sand Key, it has become my second home over the past 30 years,” he said.

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Winning multiple awards, including the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and numerous Golden Spoon awards, Mr Harris gained an outstanding reputation among industry peers and was renowned for creating unique dishes using fresh, bold-flavored foods and local seasonal ingredients.

He was recently featured in the Great Chefs of Tampa Bay event, which raised over $100,000 for the Family Resources Center.

He is also one of the founders of “The Evening of the Chefs,” which gave high school culinary students the opportunity to cook alongside notable area chefs, while raising funds for culinary scholarships.

In 2019, chef Harris and his talented team were honored with the eighth consecutive Golden Spoon Award from Florida Trend Magazine for Rusty’s Bistro. The Tampa Bay Times also recognized Rusty’s Bistro as one of the top 50 restaurants in Tampa Bay.

Before arriving in the Sunshine State, Mr Harris honed his culinary skills in Utah under the expertise of Bernhard Gotz, a classically-trained German chef.

Russ Kimball, president of The Sheraton Sand Key Resort, said: “John has been a tremendous asset to our resort. His outstanding leadership, culinary skills and dedication to this team for 30 years is unprecedented.”

The Marriott-owned Sheraton Sand Key Resort is located directly on the beach at Sand Key and offers 390 rooms.

Tags : chefsHotelskitchensMarriottpeopleSheraton
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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