By Samantha Husted
The Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa has recently announced the appointment of Executive Chef Corey Hepburn and Food and Beverage Director Joseph Fisher.
The two will work together as a team to oversee all facets of food and beverage on the Marco Island property. This includes seeing new dining options for the resort, such as The Deck at 560 Bar and Restaurant and 560 Market, come to fruition.
Chef Corey Hepburn has been cooking professionally for about 28 years. He got his start in the culinary arts in high school working for a Holiday Inn hotel. Originally he had plans to pursue a career in aeronautics, but was convinced by his chef to continue cooking. By the age of 20 Hepburn earned the title of Sous Chef and by the age of 28 he became the Executive Chef.
“I spent 14 years at this property honing my skills,” said Corey Hepburn. “I found my passion when I was introduced to ice, fruit and vegetable carving.”
Corey has since held the title of Executive Chef for a country club, restaurants, and several resorts throughout the Pennsylvania (his hometown) and New Jersey areas.
According to Corey, who grew up in an Italian household, most family gatherings were centered around food. This had a huge influence on him in terms of his relationship to cooking and eating. While Italian cuisine will always be a huge inspiration, Corey is also interested in creating bold flavors and fusion recipes and loves to expose himself to “different cultures and regional ingredients.”
An example of Hepburn creative amalgamation of dishes can be found in his Salt and Pepper Shrimp and Grits—a recipe he has innovated as part of the Hilton team. Corey explains that he took a traditional dish, shrimp and grits, and added sea salt and Sichuan pepper, a commonly used spice in Chinese, Tibetan and Indian cuisines.
“Sichuan intrigued me because for a very long time the import was banned here in the United States,” said Corey Hepburn. “Also, when you consume Sichuan pepper it has a unique aroma and flavor that is not hot or pungent like black, white, or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth.”
In terms of his future plans at the Hilton Marco Island, Corey says that the “sky is the limit.”
“The Olshan family has reinvented their brand in Marco Island and have committed to the success of this beautiful property,” said Corey Hepburn. “As employees of this company, we have been granted an opportunity to be a part of that and help grow that brand. I’m here to help support their vision.”
Food and Beverage Director, Joseph Fisher got his start in the culinary world in 2001 as the Assistant Food and Beverage Manager for a five-star, five-diamond Four Season Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. He then moved on to the Four Seasons Hotel in Brickell, Miami. Over the past 16 years, Joseph has held leadership positions at various hotels in the South Florida area. Most recently Joseph held the position of hotel manager for the Marco Beach Ocean Resort & Tarpon Club on Marco Island.
Together Joseph and Corey will oversee all aspects of food and beverage for the resort as well as collaborate on new initiatives. This includes the Deck at 560 Bar & Restaurant. Chef Corey created the concept, which focuses on providing local and sustainable seafood and produce to guests using seasonal ingredients.
“Chef and I are thrilled to join the team here at Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort & Spa,” said Fisher. “It’s been an exciting experience to bring these news concepts to life and bring our backgrounds and passions to these new menus.”