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Vincent Russo Appointed Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

Media Contact:

Char Thian
Director of Public Relations
The Ritz-Carlton Hotels of New Orleans
Tel: (504) 670-2817
Cell: (504) 913-4114

Vincent Russo Appointed Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS, La. – May 16, 2011 – Executive Chef Vincent “Vinny” Russo has been appointed to the position of Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans. Russo will join the New Orleans culinary team in June of 2011 to oversee the operations for M bistro, The Davenport Lounge, banquets, in-room dining, garde manger, pastry, employee cafeteria and spa café for the city’s premier luxury property. He joins Executive Sous Chef Chad Gray, who was appointed eight (8) months ago to his current position and previously worked at The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne.

Before becoming the Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, Russo was the property’s Executive Sous Chef. During his five (5) year tenure in St. Thomas he oversaw culinary operations for four (4) restaurants (Bleuwater, Great Bay Lounge, Coconut Cove and Sails), banquets, in-room dining, garde manger, pastry, employee cafeteria and all culinary operations for the Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas.

A graduate of the New York Restaurant School in 1994, Russo has worked at The Palms Resort in Turks and Caicios, the CordeValle Resort and Club in San Martin, California, the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, California, the La Quinta Resort and Club in Palm Springs, California and The Drake in New York, New York. He has consulted for the Millenium Hotels and has been selected to travel to pre-opening Ritz-Carlton properties to set up and launch their culinary operations.

Russo is a native of Jamaica Queens, New York and is excited to immerse himself in a city that honors his Italian heritage. His first job at age sixteen was that of a pizza maker in a “mom and pop” pizzeria in Rockville Centre, New York. He plans to share his paisan pizza recipe along with a few others, including his mother’s meatballs and stuffed artichokes as well as Grandma Russo’s pasta fasul. On Sunday’s Vinny would “hang out” in his grandmother’s kitchen and help with the preparation of the weekly Italian family-style feast. “I was there to help, but I also wanted to be the first person to try the gravy with some fresh-baked Italian bread or be the first one to have a meatball. When I was small, I would use a stepladder to reach the gravy that looked like a red colored crayon, oil at the top. There was always a wooden spoon, ready to fall out of the pot with gravy running down the sides. I would call that love at first sight.”

Chef Russo describes his style of cooking as “fresh, flavorful, inviting and simplistic.” He “enjoys working with fresh seafood, especially after spending five years in the Virgin Islands. I love preparing fish and infusing Italian, French and Asian influences into my cuisine. I love experimenting with food, as long as it’s not during a plate-up for 500 guests. I guess I’m unpredictable…you never know what to expect.” This from a man who’s personal e-mail address begins with “yochefvinny.”

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 75 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, an award that originated in 1987. Its purpose is to promote the awareness of quality excellence, recognize quality achievements of companies and publicize successful quality strategies. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company won the award in 1992 and 1999. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company web site at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR).

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