Executive ChefChef Cory Garrison's career hasn't stopped, even for a second, since his graduation from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona. A Texas native, he packed up his freshly-honed Classical French techniques and quickly returned to his home state, adding regional Texan cuisine to his culinary repertoire. The next fifteen years presented Cory with many versatile opportunities to serve as Chef De Cuisine, Executive Sous Chef, and Executive Chef at fine dining, avant-garde European concepts, and luxury hospitality restaurants, garnering multiple industry awards and "best of" distinctions throughout his professional journey. In 2015, Cory became the Executive Chef of the Grand Hotel, inspiring the entire culinary team with his impeccable standards, extensive knowledge, and endless innovation.
Executive Sous Chef - Restaurants
A native of Germany, Chef Markus Haeusler began his culinary career as an apprentice under European Executive Chefs. After graduating with a culinary degree from Schloss Hotel in Karlsruhe, Germany, he honed his skills in some of Europe's finest restaurants, even working with a Michelin Star Chef. In pursuit of his childhood dream, he moved to the United States and joined the culinary team at the Grand Hotel as a Junior Sous Chef for three years. He then ventured out along the gulf coast to become Executive Chef at multiple establishments, cooking for guests, country club members, and an impressive list of celebrities. In 2014, Markus returned to the Grand Hotel as Restaurant Chef and became the Banquet Chef in 2017.
Executive Sous Chef - Banquets
Born and raised in the South, Chef Mike Wehner took his love for food and developed an intense early culinary career by working in a diverse group of establishments in Georgia and Alabama. In 2007, he refined his skills and talent at Atlanta's Le Cordon Bleu, graduating with a degree in Culinary Arts. Mike's current role as Executive Sous Chef of Banquets comes after ten years of award-winning leadership in our family of luxury hospitality hotels and resorts, and his deep-rooted passion for Southern food shines through in each and every Banquet experience.
Born in Delaware and raised in Alabama, Kimberly discovered her passion for cake decorating while working at an ice cream shop. After serving as their cake decorator for two years, she received her diploma in Pastry Arts from Culinard in Mobile, Alabama. Kimberly joined the Grand Hotel culinary team in 2013 as Pastry Cook, and after three years of tireless work on the sweeter side of the hospitality industry, she was promoted to Pastry Chef in 2016. Kimberly's confectionary masterpieces win the hearts of our guests, young and old alike.
Lakewood Chef & B
Born in London, England, Chef Victoria Read moved to the United States as a young child. After a rigorous education and successful career in microbiology, her passion for cooking called her to a new profession and she soon graduated from the Art Institute of Florida's Culinary School with honors. Since then, Chef Victoria has worked under award-winning chefs and managed kitchens throughout the Southeast. She joined the culinary team at the Grand Hotel in 2016 as a Kitchen Supervisor, and became Restaurant Chef in 2018.
Mobile native Leighton Parnell discovered his passion for the culinary arts at an early age while working for a catering company during his high school years. Leighton chose to seek out the hospitality industry while he was attending The University of Alabama. After graduation, Leighton moved to Birmingham to work with Haller McGee and Patrick Horn at the restaurant Satterfield. In 2012, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana where he continued to study under award winners : James Beard, Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery and Donald Link at Herb Saint. After several years of being away, home was calling Leighton back to Lower Alabama. In 2018, he landed at the Grand Hotel bringing diverse experiences, out of the box creativity and adding a playfulness to learning in the kitchen.
Tevin fell in love with food and cooking as a child assisting his mother in her kitchen; this passion followed him through adolescence and led him to seek knowledge at The Heart College of Hospitality Services. After school Tevin began cooking at Club Hotel Riu. In 2014, Tevin joined the culinary team here at the Grand Hotel to work through the J-1 training program where he focused on the specifics of Southern food while touring through the kitchens. After a short hiatus, Tevin returned to the Grand with his unmatched determination and passion for the craft. He quickly moved through the ranks and was recently promoted to Restaurant Chef.