Hotel Online  Special Report

 Kajsa Dilger Appointed Chef at the Resort
at Deer Harbor on Orcas Island


May 6, 2004- Seattle, WA - The Resort at Deer Harbor on Orcas Island has recently reinvented its waterfront restaurant, Starfish Grill. With new Northwest inspired culinary creations to please resort guests, the Northwest boating crowd or the casual traveler, this dockside jewel is ready to serve its guests. 

Newly hired executive chef, Kajsa (pronounced, Sasha) Dilger brings to the dining table a varied culinary background from around the world, but will stick to the traditions of Northwest cuisine, with added flare. Chef Dilger brings over 15 years experience along with her to Starfish Grill. Dilger plans to incorporate many local meats, cheeses, produce and of course, seafood. “The San Juan Islands offer such an amazing selection of locally grown ingredients, it would be hard to make bad food with them,” said Chef Dilger. “It’s so real here, there are so many hidden treasures, and beautiful, friendly  people.  I think the general public doesn't’t realize what incredible flavors are found in this part of the country.” Cooking to put herself through school in Graphic Arts at the Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, Chef Dilger quickly turned her creative juices toward pleasing palates, and has been doing it ever since.

Recently, Chef Dilger was the opening executive chef at CARLYLE Restaurant in Portland Oregon. While at CARLYLE, Dilger received rave reviews and oversaw the operations of both the fine dining restaurant as well as the full service catering operations. Prior to moving to the Northwest, Dilger spent her time in Southern California, as the corporate chef at Border Grill. Border Grill is the brainchild of The Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales,” Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger. Here, Dilger oversaw the daily operation and management of five unique Latin flavored bistros for the famous TV chefs. Dilger worked for the pair as a sous chef for four years in the early 1990’s at the famed CITY and Border Grill, but found her way back in 1999, as their Corporate Chef. Dilger has also worked at the famed Zuni Café in San Francisco and Restaurant Sent Sovi in the Santa Cruz Mountains in California she was also the Kitchen Event coordinator for the 2000 Democratic National Convention.

“To work on Orcas is an exciting opportunity for me.  I have always thought that restaurants these days are becoming more about the Chefs than making good food,” Said Dilger.  It’s a great honor for me to be surrounded with people who care about eating as it was meant to be.” Adding to the dinner operations at Starfish Grill, Dilger is planning a breakfast buffet, which will include warm comfort food such as eggs, bacon, oatmeal and of course The Resort’s famous homemade granola. Also added to the operations will be an expansive lunch menu and a kids menu including homemade mac n’ cheese and, fish n’ chips!

As of June 15, 2002 the management team of Seattle-based Columbia Hospitality, Inc. (CHI) assumed the operations of the restaurant. CHI also manages the operations of the 26 cottages at The Resort at Deer Harbor. Taking on the operations of the restaurant is a compliment to the success of sister properties in the CHI portfolio including, Friday Harbor House on neighboring San Juan Island and the award-winning The Inn at Langley on Whidbey Island. John Oppenheimer, president and CEO of Columbia Hospitality said, “Starfish Grill now enables us to offer an extraordinary experience as well as an extraordinary menu to our guests at the resort.”

Columbia Hospitality, Inc. (CHI) is a Seattle based hospitality management and consulting firm formed in 1995 after corporate leaders consulted with the Port of Seattle for two years on a waterfront conference center project - Bell Harbor International Conference Center. CHI now manages a growing property portfolio that includes Bell Harbor International Conference Center, World Trade Center Seattle, the Water’s Edge on Shilshole Bay, Talaris Conference Center, Harbor Steps Conference Center, and The Inn at Langley, Friday Harbor House, and The Resort at Deer Harbor. CHI was the developer and is now the operator of the Washington Mutual Leadership Center at Cedarbrook, which opened in December 2002. In June of 2003, CHI was awarded the management contract for The Center of Bremerton slated to open in summer 2004.

 Columbia Hospitality, Inc. 
Rich Johnson
Communications Manager
Columbia Hospitality Inc.
Phone: (206) 239-1809
Also See: Robert Southall Appointed Innkeeper of Resort at Deer Harbor on Orcas Island / Feb 2003

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