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The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina Names New Leadership
for it Food & Beverage Team

Appointing David Edwards as F&B Director, Duane Fernandes as Chef de Cuisine
of Horizons Dining Room, and Robert Alger as Executive Pastry Chef

October 26, 2012 (Asheville, NC) - The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina has announced new leadership for its Food & Beverage Team with David Edwards as F&B Director, Duane Fernandes as Chef de Cuisine of Horizons Dining Room, and Robert Alger as Executive Pastry Chef. Together, the trio has refreshed the hotel's renowned culinary operations with a new focus on local and regional products.

David Edwards
Food & Beverage Director David Edwards is responsible for all of the hotel's F&B outlets, including Blue Ridge Dining Room, Sunset Terrace and Asheville's only AAA Four-Diamond restaurant, Horizons Dining Room, as well as in-room dining, catering and banqueting for special events. Upon his arrival at the start of summer 2012, Edwards led a restructuring of the F&B department, hiring new managers and culinary staff and overseeing the introduction of new menus at Sunset Terrace and new buffet offerings at Blue Ridge Dining Room. The changes reflect the hotel's commitment to incorporating the highest quality product available and sourcing local whenever possible.

Before joining The Grove Park Inn, Edwards was Corporate Director Food & Beverage with Club Quarters Hotel Group where he managed dining operations for 15 hotels. Previous experience includes a turn as Vice President Operations and then Executive Director Food & Beverage at Trump SoHo/KNR Restaurant Group in New York; Principal and COO of Big Night Ventures, a high-end nightclub and restaurant company in Houston; and Assistant General Manager of Houstonian Hotel Club & Spa. Edwards got his start as Director of Rooms at Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco before quickly moving on to Director of Food & Beverage at Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City.

Edwards earned an Ordinary National Diploma in Hotel and Catering Management in the United Kingdom. He arrived in the U.S. in 1984.

Duane Fernandes
Duane Fernandes was recently re-appointed Chef de Cuisine of Horizons Dining Room in the spring of 2012. After a brief departure to the coast, Fernandes missed both The Grove Park Inn and the mountains and was welcomed back with open arms. One of the first things Fernandes created upon his return was a six-course tasting menu, at an affordable price. Menus change with the season and Fernandes chooses only the freshest, highest quality, products available from more than 24 farms across Western North Carolina.

Raised in Winston-Salem, Fernandes studied at Johnson & Wales University and The Culinary Institute of Charleston where he earned an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts. He worked at several city hotels including the acclaimed Peninsula Grill before becoming Executive Sous Chef at Lemaire, a New American restaurant at the Five-Star Jefferson Hotel in Richmond. After three years in Virginia, Fernandes headed to New York to become work alongside culinary legend Thomas Keller at the Michelin three-star restaurant Per Se.

Robert Alger
Bringing creativity to the art of pastry, Robert Alger joined The Grove Park Inn as Executive Pastry Chef in summer 2012. He oversees the dessert menus for three restaurants as well as for in-room dining, catering and special events.

Born in Boston and educated at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, Alger got his start as opening pastry chef for Westin Lenox Hotel in Atlanta. He moved onto Four Seasons Hotel Group with positions at Four Seasons Inn on the Park in Houston and Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. He then relocated to Southeast Asia, drawn by warm climate and the opportunity to discover new culture and cuisine at Shangri La Hotel in Singapore. Alger was responsible for pastry and desserts at seven hotel outlets, as well as a large retail outlet.

Alger returned to Atlanta to open The Cake Company, a wholesale bakery business that supplied high-end individualized desserts to hotels, restaurants and catering operations. Eleven years later Alger jumped back into the hotel industry, first as opening Pastry Chef of Loews Atlanta Hotel, then as Executive Pastry Chef at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Now he is creating the finest desserts in Western North Carolina at The Grove Park Inn.

KSL Partners acquired The Grove Park Inn on May 1, 2012. The Grove Park Inn became the third National Historic Landmark property in the KSL collection, joining the ranks of two other iconic hotels, The Del Coronado in CA and The Homestead in VA.   Founded in 1992, KSL Resorts manages nine time-honored resorts with outstanding recreational amenities including spa, golf, tennis and ski. Each is refined yet unpretentious, rich in legacy and genuine in service. The AAA Four-Diamond Grove Park Inn will undergo a $25 million dollar restoration and renovation, half to be completed by the end of 2012, to coincide with The Inn's centennial. For more information, please contact The Grove Park Inn at 800-438-5800 or 828-252-2711; visit, or follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at

About KSL Capital Partners
KSL is a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises in five primary sectors: hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services. KSL has offices in Denver, Colorado and New York. KSL’s current portfolio includes some of the premier properties in travel and leisure, including The Grove Park Inn, The Homestead, Montelucia Resort & Spa, Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, The Royal Palm, La Costa Resort and Spa, and ClubCorp, one of the world’s largest owners of private golf and business clubs. KSL also owns other premier recreation businesses, including Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, two of the leading ski resorts in North America; Western Athletic Clubs, the owner and operator of luxury fitness clubs on the West Coast of the United States; and Orion Expedition Cruises, a luxury expedition cruise operator based in Sydney, Australia.

For more information on KSL, please visit


Laura Lopez
Hawkins International
(212) 255-6541

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Also See: The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina Restructures its Sales Division with Tryg Brody, Director of Sales, Leading a Nine Member Team; The Historic Property was Recently Acquired by KSL Partners / September 2012

KSL Capital Partners Acquires The Belfry, a Renowned Hotel and Golf Resort in Wishaw, Sutton Coldfield, North Warwickshire, England; Resort to be Managed by De Vere Group; Comprehensive Renovation Planned / August 2012

KSL Resorts Officially Assumes Management of the 512-room Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Asheville, North Carolina; $25 million Renovation Planned for 2013 / May 2012

KSL Capital Partners Enters Into Agreement to Acquire the Historic 512-room Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa in Ashville, North Carolina From an Affiilate of Sammons Enterprises, Inc.; $25 million Renovation Planned for 2013 / April 2012

KSL Capital Partners Acquires the Royal Palm Hotel in South Beach, Florida for $130 million, or Roughly $318,000 per key; Plans Include Complete Renovation and Rebranding as The James Royal Palm; Denihan Hospitality to Remain as Property Management Firm / April 2011

Strategic Hotels and Resorts Completes Recapitalization of the Hotel Del Coronado; Establishes New Joint Venture with Blackstone Real Estate Advisors and KSL Resorts / February 2011

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