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James Morin was recently hired as the executive chef at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa.
What are you looking forward to the most in your new role?
I’m looking forward to further acquainting myself with the vibrant, dynamic local cuisine of San Antonio and the Hill Country. By embedding yourself in the local cuisine, you gain an incredible knowledge of the culture and history of a particular region, allowing your culinary creations to be authentic yet fresh. Creating those dishes and experiences for the guests of Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa would be a thrilling achievement.
I am also very excited to perpetuate a positive environment for my team. I strive to lead by example, constantly learning and trying to grow. I am excited to focus on the continued professional development of the culinary team at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. I have found that fostering a positive and growth-centered environment leads to great creativity—and even better food.
How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?
I’ve been fortunate to participate in a variety of culinary experiences in the hospitality industry. Each hotel has its own unique history and culture, and it is important that you honor and respect those traditions. Each new opportunity is a chance to learn and grow. My diverse past experiences have solidified that belief and helped teach me how to quickly adapt to a new location while respectfully and effectively introducing my vision to a new team.
How did you get into the industry?
From a very young age, I've always been interested in everything about food: how different ingredients and meals tasted, the presentation of different dishes, how food is prepared, etc. Seeing how happy food can make people always had a strong allure to me, and early on I knew I wanted a profession that could bring that joy to people while satisfying my endless curiosity about food. So, beginning in middle school, I took every possible cooking class I could. By 18, I was running a high-traffic steakhouse and knew I had chosen the right path. After culinary school, I knew my passionate curiosity about food would not be satiated in one place; I needed to explore new places to explore new cuisines.
What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?
I want to create authentic and fresh culinary experiences that will elevate the cuisine at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. I look forward to creating a heightened experience for our guests by focusing on simplicity of design, quality ingredients and exquisite execution. Authentic Texas hospitality is an integral part of the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa identity and I look forward to maintaining that identity while infusing our cuisine with some modern and fresh elements.
What do you enjoy most about the industry?
I truly love creating a memorable experience for people—and knowing that an incredible meal was at the center of it. When it comes to food, trends are ever changing but quality ingredients infused with local culture will always produce an amazing meal and an even more memorable experience. I take great pride in creating those experiences for people, and in cultivating that same appreciation and dedication in the great chefs of the future.