Epicurean Hotel Announces New Hires in Food & Beverage

Posted: November 7, 2019

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TAMPA, Fla. (November 7, 2019) – The 137-room Epicurean Hotel located in the trendy Hyde Park historic district of South Tampa recently announced two key additions to the hotel’s award-winning culinary team: Executive Chef Jason Bamford and Restaurant General Manager Vicente Lavayen.

“We couldn’t be happier to welcome Jason and Vicente to the Epicurean table,” said Kevin Scott, general manager, Epicurean Hotel. “Their respective talents, skills and creativity in the kitchen and at the bar are outstanding additions to the Epicurean and our mission.”

As the new Executive Chef at the Epicurean Hotel, Jason Bamford directs daily culinary operations at the signature Élevage SoHo Kitchen & Bar and EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge, and oversees food and beverage offerings for the Epicurean’s 5,200 square feet of function space for meetings, corporate parties, local catering events and special occasions. Prior to joining the Epicurean, Bamford worked as Chef de Cuisine at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo. Bamford also worked at the famed Delano Hotel on Miami’s South Beach as the Chef de Cuisine and Interim Executive Chef. With more than 20 years in the industry, Chef Bamford also honed his craft at the Waldorf Astoria Bonnet Creek in Orlando and Bottega Ristorante in Napa. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Bamford is a native of Michigan and now resides in Tampa.

New Restaurant General Manager Vicente Lavayen oversees day-to-day operations of the food and beverage departments, including the Epicurean’s Élevage, and EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge. Lavayen was most recently a managing partner with South Tampa’s On Swann, where he developed the beverage program for them and another new restaurant, Oak & Ola. A former General Manager for TAPS Restaurant Bar & Lounge in Tampa, his other industry experience includes Hudson at Waterway East, JB’s on the Beach, and the Boca Raton Resort & Club. A native of Miami, Lavayen holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Johnson & Wales University and is a certified specialist in wines and spirits and a platinum level certified mixologist.

The food-focused Epicurean Hotel features a state-of-the-art culinary classroom known as the Epicurean Theatre; Élevage SoHo Kitchen & Bar signature restaurant; EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge; Bern’s Fine Wines & Spirits wine shop; Evangeline full-service spa; B&G’s Little Midway Ice Cream & Pastry Parlor and 5,200-square feet of flexible event space. The Epicurean Hotel was developed in collaboration with Mainsail Lodging & Development and the legendary Bern’s Steak House and is the first newly constructed hotel property in the United States to join the prestigious Autograph Collection® of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR).

For information and reservations at the Epicurean Hotel, call (855) U-AWAKEN (829-2536) or visit EpicureanHotel.com.

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About Mainsail Lodging & Development LLC

Mainsail Lodging & Development is a Tampa-based hospitality company that develops and operates lodging products in the Southeastern US and the Caribbean. Their property portfolio includes four Autograph Collection hotels: Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina (ScrubIsland.com), a private island resort in the British Virgin Islands; the boutique, food-focused Epicurean Hotel (EpicureanHotel.com) in Tampa, Florida; Waterline Marina Resort & Beach Club (WaterlineResort.com) on Anna Maria Island, Florida; and the historic Fenway Hotel (FenwayHotel.com) in Dunedin, Florida; as well as Mainsail Beach Inn (MainsailBeachInn.com), a boutique beachfront hotel on Anna Maria Island, Florida. The company also operates corporate housing throughout the Southeast, exclusively managing the Florida, Georgia and Tennessee markets for Oakwood® under both its ExecuStay® (ExecuStay.com) and Oakwood® (Oakwood.com) brands. Mainsail Lodging also manages a portfolio of private vacation homes through its Mainsail Vacation Rentals (MainsailVR.com) brand and is a select partner of Homes & Villas by Marriott International. Additional future projects include Luminary Hotel & Co. (LuminaryHotel.com) in Fort Myers, Florida; a 128-room Residence Inn in conjunction with an indoor sports complex in Pasco County, Florida; and a historic boutique hotel in Macon, Georgia. Mainsail Lodging’s corporate charity is Feeding Tampa Bay, the largest food rescue and distribution organization in the community. Mainsail actively supports the cause through a variety of employee and guest programs ranging from packing and sorting at the warehouse, to annual events such as the Epic Chef Showdown. Learn more at MainsailHotels.com.

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