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Jim Herd Named Executive Chef by Oasis Hotel Near Montgomery, Alabama

Fifteen-Year Culinarian to Bring Taste of Adirondacks to Central Alabama Lodging Property

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (October 2009) -- Jim Herd, a 15-year culinary professional who has served several hotels and restaurants on the East Coast, has been named executive chef for the soon-to-open Oasis Hotel at VictoryLand Greyhound Park near Montgomery, Ala.

Herd most recently served as the executive kitchen manager for the High Peaks Resort in Lake Placid, N.Y.   In his new role, he
will oversee the menu planning and food preparation for the hotel's fine dining restaurant, as well as meals and hors d'oeuvres for banquets and receptions.

The Oasis Hotel, an upscale corporate and leisure travel property, will open on Nov. 1.  It will feature 300 luxury guest rooms and suites, a fine-dining restaurant called Whitfield's Steakhouse, O's Lobby Bar, and the O Brew cafe' offering Starbuck's coffees.  An 80,000-square-foot conference center for groups of all kinds will open in late 2010.

"I am delighted to join the Oasis Hotel as the first executive chef," Herd said.  "My goal will be to provide the best meals available in the Southeast.  The hotels and restaurants in Lake Placid and the Adirondacks are famous for that."

Herd spent the past two years with Lake Placid's High Peaks Resort Hotel, helping open Reflections Restaurant, the Dancing Bears Lounge, PR's Lobby Lounge, and the banquets operation.  Before that, he was the executive chef for Charlie's Restaurant in Lake Placid; kitchen manager for Schue's Adirondack Bar & Grill in Saranac Lake, N.Y.; kitchen supervisor for Lake Placid Lodge; and sous chef for the Hotel Saranac of Paul Smith's College in Saranac Lake. He began his career as the assistant kitchen manager for Outback Steakhouse in Jupiter, Fla.

Herd earned an associate's degree from Palm Beach Community College in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.  He studied the culinary arts at Paul Smith's College. He earned his Service Safe certification at High Peaks Resort in 2008.

"Jim is one of the most respected culinary professionals in the Adirondacks region, and we are excited that he has decided to join the Oasis Hotel as executive chef," said hotel general manager Rusti Price.  "Under his leadership, Whitfield's Steakhouse will quickly become the premier fine-dining option in central Alabama.  He also will oversee the preparation of banquet meals when our conference center opens next year."

The Oasis Hotel, which will be located approximately 18 miles east of downtown Montgomery, will have 300 guest rooms, including eight luxury suites.  All accommodations will include plush bedding, 32-inch LCD TV's, touch-screen phones, and 24-hour room service.  Whitfield's Steakhouse will offer signature beef and seafood, as well as fine wines from an extensive wine collection.  The hotel's conference center will be able to handle conventions, meetings, concerts and trade shows.  

The adjoining VictoryLand is open every day of the year.  Guests will only have to walk a few steps to watch live greyhound and simulcast races or play one of the more than 6,000 bingo games at Quincy's Triple Seven Bingo.  

The VictoryLand complex is owned by Milton McGregor of Montgomery.  The contractor for the Oasis Hotel project is Brasfield and Gorrie. The architect is Evan Terry & Associates.  The hotel site is located off Interstate 85 at Exit 22 in Shorter, Ala., just 27 miles from the Montgomery Regional Airport.

The Oasis Hotel is currently taking reservations for stays beginning on Nov. 1.  For more information, or to make a reservation, call (800) 688-2946 or (334) 727-0450, or visit  Meeting planners can contact the property for future bookings by calling (334) 720-1149 or sending an e-mail to


Chuck Whiting
Whiting Publicity & Promotions
615) 242-9857
 Rusti Price
The Oasis Hotel
(334) 538-4714

Also See: Erik Mrdak Named Director of Food & Beverage for Oasis Hotel Near Montgomery, Alabama / September 2009

Bill Dowling Named Director of Sales & Conference Services for Soon-to-Open Oasis Hotel Near Montgomery, Alabama / August 2009

Oasis Hotel at Victoryland, Near Montgomery, Alabama to Open November 1, 2009; Rusti Price Named General Manger / August 2009


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