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Executive Chef Andy Ardnt, Newport Beach Marriott

Executive Chef Andy Arndt
Executive Chef, Andy Arndt is the culinary guiding light at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. He oversees and creates stunning cuisine for the restaurant, banquets and in-room dining. His journey to this prestigious job started at the age of 14 when Andy started washing dishes at a restaurant near his house in Ramona, California. It didn’t take long for him to be recruited as a prep cook because his mother cooked almost every day and he helped prep, so he was a natural.

While attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Chef Andy had the opportunity to work at one of the city’s finest restaurants, Boulevard! The mentorship with Chef Nancy Oakes would shape his career, having learned the importance of abundant seasonal ingredients. In 1998, he chose to broaden his culinary horizons by accepting a position at San Francisco’s award-winning Mc2 with Chef Yoshi Kojima. He spent the following two years perfecting his French-Californian cuisine, inflected with subtle Japanese elements.

Eager to expand his repertoire, Chef Andy left the West Coast for New York City. His first stop was Union Pacific, where he worked with acclaimed celebrity Chef, Rocco Dispirito. From there, he elevated his journey at March with Chef Wayne Nish and soon after was lured to Gramercy Tavern by Master Chef, Tom Colicchio, which expanded his knowledge of East Coast ingredients. Chef Andy was then hired as chef de cuisine at Halcyon Restaurant at the Rihga Royal Hotel and managed a kitchen staff of 40. Under his tenure, Halcyon received some of its best critical reviews since its opening. Next, he ascended to stage under iconic chef, Thomas Keller at The French Laundry.

At Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Chef Andy became Executive Chef for four years, led the food program at all restaurants and banquets with a large focus on seasonality and a farm-to-table mentality. During his tenure, the resort acquired a Five Diamond AAA Rating.

Being back in Southern California has been like coming home for him and by utilizing the local community, farmers, he has been able to show international hotel guests what the region has to offer. Today, Chef Andy’s inventive dishes range from comfort-driven short ribs to wildly inventive fare like gin and tonic gelee-topped salmon. His imagination and resourcefulness continue to astound!