White Lodging is pleased to announce that AJ Buchanio has been named the company’s corporate research and development chef.

Chef AJ most recently served as the Chef de Cuisine at the award-winning Magee Homestead, the adults-only boutique wellness retreat that is part of Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection, which is managed by White Lodging. During his three years at Magee Homestead, Chef AJ was responsible for all aspects of the culinary program at the Relais & Chateâux property, where he had full responsibility for menu design and development, as well as guest experience.

White Lodging operates more than 40 restaurants and bars across its portfolio, and is well-known in the hospitality industry for its premium food and beverage programs.  All of the company’s restaurant and bar concepts – from branding to menus to training – are started in White Lodging’s state-of-the-art test kitchen under the direction of its corporate restaurant team.

In his new role, Chef AJ will research and develop innovative menus, consult with White Lodging chefs, and support the creation and execution of new restaurant concepts.

“I am humbled and honored to be in this role – a dream job I’ve strived for my entire career,” said Chef AJ. “My goal is to continue to elevate the quality, creativity and guest experience across all of our restaurants.”

“Chef AJ brings a wealth of knowledge and a diverse culinary leadership background,” said Jason Druso, vice president of food and beverage. “I’m excited to have someone with his talent, passion and demeanor join our talented team.”

Prior to joining White Lodging, Chef AJ gained a wealth of experience working across the country, including roles as Executive Chef at True Food Kitchen in Denver, Colorado and Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group; assistant Maitre D’ at the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, Vermont; and Chef de Cuisine at Evergreen Lodge in Yosemite, California.