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Andaz Maui Chef Jonathan Pasion and Grand Hyatt Baha Mar Chef Leo Minelli Win Americas Regional Hyatt Culinary Challenge
Competing against 11 up-and-coming chefs, Jonathan Pasion and Leo Minelli Awarded First Place in Regional Cooking Competition: The Good Taste Series Americas Regional Competition.
Grand Hyatt Baha Mar hosted 11 up-and-coming chefs from Hyatt Hotels in North America to compete in The Good Taste Series Americas Regional Competition.

CHICAGO (September 27, 2018) – Hyatt today announced the winners of its fifth-annual culinary competition The Good Taste Series Americas Regional Competition: Chefs Jonathan Pasion of Andaz Maui and Leo Minelli of Grand Hyatt Baha Mar. Judged by a panel of food and hospitality industry professionals, 11 regional winners from Hyatt properties in North America prepared two reception-style dishes designed from a mystery basket of ingredients. The dishes also incorporated local ingredients, regional influences and represented Hyatt’s global food philosophy, Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. Each plate was judged on flavor, presentation, creativity, and the chef’s interaction with their audience.

“We are extremely proud of our culinary talent in the Americas, and congratulate both Chef Jonathan, Chef Leo and all of our talented competitors,” said Colleen Kareti, vice president, operational experiences, Hyatt, Americas. “As we continued this annual competition for the fifth year in a row, we centered this event around furthering the development of our culinary talent and showcasing Hyatt’s commitment to culinary excellence.” 

Utilizing all of the mystery ingredients, which included Hog Snapper, Pigeon Peas, local Squash and Sugar Apples, Chef Jonathan presented Kaffir Hog Snapper Tataki and Nori Emulsion dishes and Chef Leo presented Cured Snapper Tartare and Hog Snapper with Pigeon Pea Baba Ghanoush.

“Being part of The Good Taste Series has been an honor as I continue to hone my culinary skills,” said Chef Jonathan Pasion. “Winning this competition is a huge accomplishment, and I am proud to have presented dishes that represent my training and background alongside extremely talented Hyatt competitors whom I’ve learned so much from this week.”

As the winners of The Good Taste Series Americans Regional Competition, Chef Jonathan and Chef Leo received a $2,000 check and will also be attending the global competition, where they will compete against Hyatt chefs from around the world in spring 2019 in Hong Kong.

“I feel very fortunate to have been part of this competition and lucky to work for a company that gives me the freedom to explore my culinary passions,” said Chef Leo Minelli. “Cooking alongside my talented Hyatt colleagues has been a great learning experience as well, and I look forward to bringing all that I’ve learned during the competition back to my team and our guests at Grand Hyatt Baha Mar."

The Good Taste Series Americas competition was comprised of 11 chefs who won regional competitions that took place earlier this year:

  • Michael Cantin, Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
  • Alejandro Ceja, Hyatt Regency Morristown
  • Bladimir Garcia, Andaz Mayakoba
  • Chris Ingmire, The Driskill
  • Bradley Jones, Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead
  • Nikolaos Kapernaros, Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Michael Lombardo, Grand Hyatt Denver
  • Leandro Minelli, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar
  • Jonathan Pasion, Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
  • Ricardo Sanchez, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale
  • Keisha West, Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay

The Good Taste Series Americas Regional Competition was judged by a panel of esteemed industry journalists that included:

  • Danica Lo – Digital Director, Food & Wine Magazine
  • Karrie Holland – Food & Travel Contributor, The Daily Meal
  • Brother Luck – Celebrity Chef
  • Klaus Mueller – Global Master Chef Culinary Director – Swiss Chalet Fine Foods
  • Kris Moon – COO of the James Beard Foundation

For more information about Hyatt’s global Food. Thoughtfully Sourced. Carefully Served. philosophy, visit:

The term “Hyatt” is used in this release for convenience to refer to Hyatt Hotels Corporation and/or one or more of its affiliates.

For further information:

About Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a portfolio of 14 premier brands. As of June 30, 2018, the Company's portfolio included more than 750 properties in more than 55 countries across six continents. The Company's purpose to care for people so they can be their best informs its business decisions and growth strategy and is intended to attract and retain top colleagues, build relationships with guests and create value for shareholders. The Company's subsidiaries develop, own, operate, manage, franchise, license or provide services to hotels, resorts, branded residences, vacation ownership properties, and fitness and spa locations, including under the Park Hyatt®, Miraval®, Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt®, Andaz®, Hyatt Centric®, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt®, Hyatt Place®, Hyatt House®, Hyatt Ziva™, Hyatt Zilara™, Hyatt Residence Club® and exhale® brand names. For more information, please visit



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Jennifer Rubin