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Jesse Souza Appointed Executive Chef for The Portofino Hotel
& Yacht Club, Redondo Beach, California

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (June 15, 2010) – The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club has named Jesse Souza as executive chef for the luxurious 161-room property situated on a private peninsula along the Pacific – Los Angeles’ only waterfront hotel – owned and operated by Noble House Hotels & Resorts. 
According to Portofino general manager Malia Osterbauer, Souza will spearhead culinary operations for the hotel’s popular stand-alone restaurant and bar, BALEENlosangeles; as well as in-room dining, the Lobby Lounge and banquet operations for 8,000 square feet of picturesque event facilities. “Chef Souza has worked for over 17 years in fine dining at high-end coastal destinations, and brings a wealth of hospitality experience along with his inventive cooking style to Portofino. We are delighted to have him on board,” says Osterbauer. 
At BALEENlosangeles, Souza plans to add some new offerings to the eclectic seafood-centric menu, such as Pan-Roasted Sea Scallops with Goat Cheese Fondue and Heirloom Beets; and BALEEN Bouillabaisse, featuring the best of local fish and shellfish with tomato, saffron, Pernod and aioli. The focus on local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients will remain; and restaurant regulars will still enjoy signature favorites such as Roquefort-Crusted Filet of Beef, Crab Cake with Shrimp Mousse and Tomato Jam; and Roasted Natural Chicken with Goat Cheese Dumplings and Wild Mushrooms.
Souza joined Noble House Hotels & Resorts in 2007, working at the Seattle-based company’s Florida properties, most recently as the executive chef for La Playa Beach & Golf Resort in Naples, and prior to that, for Grove Isle Hotel & Spa in Coconut Grove. He also worked for Noble House in 2002 and 2003 as the executive sous chef under Chef Adam Votaw at the award-winning Little Palm Island Resort & Spa in the Florida Keys. 
A native New Englander, he worked closely with local farmers, fishermen and foragers as the executive chef at Natasha’s in Portland and Havana Restaurant in Bar Harbor on the coast of Maine. Prior to that, Souza was the chef de cuisine and executive chef for Miami chef Robbin Haas to help launch Chispa Restaurants in Miami and Doral, Fla., where they created nouveau Latin cuisine.
Souza began his culinary career at age 18 at the seaside Asticou Inn, near Acadia National Park in Maine. He also worked at the San Francisco Bay area landmark Claremont Hotel Club & Spa for six years, cooking his way through almost every available position until becoming the executive sous chef. 
Before deciding to become a chef, Souza honed his creative spirit studying art, English and theater at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine. His interests include motorcycles, books, cartooning, baseball and music. Souza is happily married to his wife, Shannon.
About The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club
A haven for business and leisure travelers alike, The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club is located only seven miles from Los Angeles International Airport, in the beach town of Redondo Beach at King Harbor. A fixture in Redondo Beach for nearly 50 years, the property – Los Angeles’ only waterfront hotel – recently underwent an extensive $11 million renovation of its guestrooms, public and meeting spaces, BALEENlosangeles restaurant and 181-slip marina. For more information on rates, reservations and activities call 800-468-4292, e-mail, or visit

Marguarite Clark  
(949) 295-2801


Also See: Malia Osterbauer Named the General Manager of The Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club in Redondo Beach, California / December 2009

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