The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC has appointed two new executives chefs. The luxury resort has named Josh Thomsen as executive chef of the newly renovated Sammons Wing and John Cook and the executive pastry Chef.
As executive chef, Thomsen will oversees kitchen operations, menu creation and the overall dining experience for three of the four signature restaurants: the chophouse Sunset Terrace, EDISON craft ales + kitchen, and Vue 1913.
Thomsen previously worked at Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa in Manalapan, FL, where, as executive chef, he oversaw four dining venues, a large banquet space and in-room dining for 300 guestrooms. He also helped raise the property from a Forbes four-star/five diamond ranking to five-star/five-diamond status, a rating it held for the duration of his two-year service.
He has also worked as executive chef/partner of Agricola in Princeton, NJ, one of the top-rated restaurants in the state, and as executive chef of Claremont Resort in Berkeley, CA, where he was recognized as a "Rising Star Chef" by StarChefs.com in 2010.
Thomsen graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He spends time giving back to the community and has supported Meals on Wheels, The James Beard Foundation, Edible School Yard and The V Foundation of Cancer Research.
As pastry chef, Cook will lead his team in creating sweet and beautiful creations for the Inn’s eight restaurants and lounges, as well as in-room dining and banquet operations.
Cook formerly worked at the Norman Love Confections in Fort Myers, FL where he rose from entry-level cook to production manager of the chocolate factory and, finally, executive pastry chef over 13 years. There, he also spent a a decade teaching chocolate, pastry and baking classes.
A native Floridian, Cook earned degrees in culinary arts and international baking and pastries from Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach. He has also studied at the Cocoa-Barry School of Chocolate in Montreal. In addition, Cook was recognized as Pastry Chef of the Year at the U.S. Pastry Competition in 2017.