Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort names new executive chef

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The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort has promoted Dan Herman to executive chef from his previous role as executive sous chef.

Chef Herman will oversee all culinary operations of the resort’s 17 food and beverage outlets, banquets and staff of over 200.

Herman began his career at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort nearly 20 years ago in 1999 and has since played a vital role in the resort’s culinary success. He has developed multiple training and development programs and was instrumental in creating the resort’s Food & Wine Classic. Herman also helped expand the food and beverage scene at the resort, overseeing the openings of critically acclaimed restaurants including Il Mulino and Todd English’s bluezoo, recognized by USA Today as a Top 10 Foodie Spot.

With over 23 years of culinary experience since receiving his degree in food service management from Radford University, Chef Herman’s creative menus and his profound ability to lead profitable hotel culinary operations have been credited as key components of the resort’s numerous dining awards. Among the honors Herman and his teams have received during his tenure include numerous recognitions from the National Association of Catering Executives, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, AAA, TripAdvisor, USA Today, Orlando Sentinel and multiple opportunities to present at the James Beard House.

Prior to becoming the resort’s executive chef, Herman was named executive sous chef in 2006 and was successful in overseeing five casual dining restaurants and a multi-faceted commissary kitchen. In this position, he designed, planned and implemented innovative new menus focused on seasonality, incorporating local, organic and sustainable products. Under his leadership of banquets, the resort continually achieved Marriott’s highest Event Satisfaction Scores.

Herman initially joined the resort’s culinary team as a restaurant chef. Two years later, he was promoted to complex banquet chef where he thrived in leading the culinary department of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort’s award-winning banquets division. He was responsible for developing new menus with an elegant flair and intimate style for VIP groups and banquets, sometimes as large as 400 guests.

Before joining the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin culinary team, he was chef de cuisine of Arthur’s 27 at Wyndham Palace Resort and Spa in Orlando.

“Chef Herman’s dedication to his craft and the resort is unmatched,” said Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort General Manager Fred Sawyers. “His talent and experience make him a unique asset to the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort.”

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