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Rick Whorf Appointed as Head Chef at Lake Lanier Islands
Resort in Buford, Georgia

Buford, June 13 – No stranger to the demands of serving a slew of discerning guests, Rick Whorf brings three decade’s worth of experience in the hospitality industry to his new role as Head Chef at Lake Lanier Islands Resort. Having played the role of Banquet Chef and Saucier for the highly revered Hyatt Pittsburgh early in his career, rising to the ranks of Sous Chef for the esteemed Hyatt Regency Atlanta, and landing the challenging position of Garde Manger for the 3-diamond rated Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill make him the ideal fit for any luxury resort. The things that set Chef Rick apart, making him the ideal fit for Lake Lanier Islands Resort in particular, is his entrepreneurial spirit and understanding of the personal nature of a family business. Before donning his Chef’s toque blanche in the kitchen of this popular resort set on the shores of Lake Sidney Lanier in North Georgia, Chef Rick had left Hyatt’s well-scrubbed industrial kitchens in pursuit of a dream – the dream of owning his own restaurant. Over the course of the next two decades, he would do just that – serving as master chef and proprietor of not one, but four restaurants in Dahlonega, Georgia including Nature’s Cellar Café, Renee’s Café, French Kiss Restaurant & Bartini, and Rick’s Creative American Cuisine. As the economy took its toll on so many small business men and women during the past few years, Chef Rick made the difficult decision to shutter his doors and return to the business he enjoyed most – preparing excellent cuisine for a guaranteed steady stream of guests. His quest led him to Lake Lanier Islands Resort.

“What I appreciate most about Chef Rick – beyond his superb talent in the kitchen – is the fact that, as a former business owner, he understands the value of each visitor who passes through our gates and pulls up a chair to one of our tables,” explains Virgil Williams, Islands Management Company CEO and patriarch of the Williams’ family business which includes the lakeside Resort. “I believe our guests will be pleasantly surprised by the positive changes they will see – and taste – coming from the kitchens of each of our restaurants here at Lake Lanier Islands Resort as we seek to give them far more than just a meal. We want to provide them with no less than a dining experience.”

The Resort’s restaurants consist of Windows Restaurant and BullFrogs Bar & Grille, located in Legacy Lodge & Conference Center and open year-round. Seasonal restaurants – many new this year with the debut of LanierWorld, a boardwalk-themed entertainment district at the Resort – include Sunset Beach Café & Club, Gianni’s, Fire & Ice House, Dog & Draft House, the Tiki Hut, and The Islands Grill. Chef Rick will utilize his great love of food and his signature brand of controlled chaos in the kitchen to bring something new to the table for guests of Lake Lanier Islands Resort.  “I hope to offer some fresh perspectives on the quality of food, service and training,” conveys the new Chef.  “I would like to create an atmosphere in the kitchen where our hard work is fun while building self esteem. A good chef understands that they are only as good as the people who work for them and invest their time in training instead of primping their self-image.”

Having come from a large family who shared many meals around the dinner table, Chef Rick calls upon that experience with regard to his unique food philosophy. “I believe that eating a meal together helps to strengthen our bonds with the people we care about.  When we share a meal it should be with good food and not be stuffy and stanch, but warm and friendly.” When asked how he plans to enhance the Lake Lanier Islands guest experience through dining, Chef answers simply, “The best way is to remember that we are here FOR THE GUEST and we should be enjoying our work.  It just so happens that I LOVE my job and look forward to many happy years at Lake Lanier Islands Resort.”

To learn more about special dining events at the Resort or make a reservation, please visit or call (770) 945-8787.

About Lake Lanier Islands Resort: Nestled on the southern-most shoreline of Lake Sidney Lanier at the foothills of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains lies the truly distinctive Lake Lanier Islands Resort. Situated less than 45 miles from downtown Atlanta on 1,500 pristine acres of forests, meadows and beaches, this luxury resort is quickly growing in size, scope and reputation as one of the Southeast’s leading lakeside retreats. The Resort’s crown jewel – Lake Sidney Lanier encompasses 38,000 miles of surface area and 690 miles of shoreline in Northeast Georgia, and is one of the United States’ most popular man-made lakes. The recent additions of Legacy Lodge & Conference Center and Legacy Villas enhance the Resort’s broad assortment of accommodation choices and meeting sites – making it the ideal choice for corporate meetings and company retreats. This year’s debut of the boardwalk-themed entertainment district, LanierWorld in addition to popular amenities such as the Equestrian Center and Harbor Landing – offering Lake Lanier’s largest fleet of rental boats – make the Resort a terrific choice for families vacationing or “staycationing” in the South. Tranquility – the Spa and the picturesque 18-hole course at Legacy on Lanier Golf Club are major draws for visitors looking to relax or play, and with more than 20 wedding venues to choose from, the Resort is rapidly gaining favor with brides- and grooms-to-be as a highly sought-after Destination Wedding site. Operated by Islands Management Company, LLC since 2005, Lake Lanier Islands Resort is steadily securing a solid standing for their unique vision of the future of this luxury retreat, their unswerving dedication to the comfort and enjoyment of their guests, and their signature brand of Southern Hospitality. For more information, schedule a tee time, learn package details or make reservations, call (770) 945-8787 or visit our website at

Stephanie Orr
Director of Sales & Marketing
7000 Lanier Islands Parkway
Buford, Georgia 30518
Phone:  770-945-8787


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Also See: Anthony J. Burke Appointed Executive Chef at Lake at Lanier Islands Resort, Georgia / September 2008

Lake Lanier Islands Resort Completes First Phase of Multimillion Expansion, Transformation; the Former Emerald Pointe Hotel & Conference Center Rebranded to Legacy Lodge & Conference Center / August 2008

Georgia Businessman Virgil Williams Plans to Acquire the Rights to Operate Lake Lanier Islands, Which Includes the 216-room Emerald Pointe Resort, Conference Center and Golf Club / August 2005
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