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Former New York City St. Regis Chef Joins Crave Culinaire as Executive Chef

By September 30, 2021 Press Releases

Bonita Springs, Florida, September 30th, 2021– Upscale Southwest Florida caterer, Crave Culinaire, announces that Chef James Ortiaga has joined the team as Executive Chef. Crave Culinaire has a prominent presence in Southwest Florida, working alongside sister companies, Crave Management Group, Crave Event Staffing and Virtual Venue SWFL and a team of spectacular vendors, creating events that are not only exceptional, but also fit into new guidelines and safety protocols.

Originally from the Philippines, Ortiaga immigrated to the U.S. at the age of six, where he got a taste of the culinary world in Staten Island, New York. With a passion for food, Ortiaga’s dream was to pursue culinary arts; however, his original education path was in medicine. Although it was in his family’s genes to study medicine, Ortiaga ultimately decided that he was more geared toward culinary arts and made the switch. He is a graduate of the New York Restaurant School, perfecting his skills under Michelin Chefs, Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon. Ortiaga worked his way up to Chef de Cuisine at March Restaurant, and after six years, moved on to Sous Chef at the Essex House, where he began as an intern. He has also honed his skills at various hotels, including the Four Seasons in New York, as well as the St. Regis hotel, where he was promoted to Executive Chef in 2015. Upon his move to Southwest Florida, Ortiaga was honored to lead the team at Fiddler’s Creek as Executive Chef. When he is not busy creating culinary wonders, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children both at home and exploring the outdoors.

Led by industry veterans, Chef Brian and Nicole Roland, Crave Culinaire’s (www.craveculiniare.com) mission is to exceed client expectations through incredible food, outstanding service and creating moments to last a lifetime. Team Crave has been honored to be a part of numerous events here in Southwest Florida and beyond, including in-person small gatherings, virtual and hybrid events of all sizes.

The Rolands speak about Chef Ortiaga’s presence and what his skills bring to the team.

Chef James [Ortiaga] has studied under some of the most well-respected and talented chefs in the industry, and we have no doubt that he will bring that professionalism and creativity to our team. As we approach new stages of growth, we plan to work with Chef James on a larger level to increase our efficiencies and productivity, including the opening of new restaurants and additional opportunities we are not yet ready to announce,” they say.

Chef Ortiaga is also looking forward to a bright future with Team Crave.

Being inspired to follow my dreams has resulted in a career that I could have only dreamed of, and I’m blessed to be able to follow this path day after day. I made the choice all those years ago to deviate from the plan and pursue my passion, and I’ve never looked back. I am honored to be a part of the Crave team, and I am excited for what the future holds,” he says.

About Crave Culinaire

Crave Culinaire is a luxury catering company driven by the pursuit of excellence, immaculate presentation, and breaking boundaries to create the ultimate dining experience by igniting their passion for food in others. Founded by Chef Brian Roland and co-owned by Nicole Roland, their philosophy is simple: Give guests an experience that will heighten their senses, provoke their emotions, tease their palates, and make them smile. Crave Culinaire specializes in in-home dining, private and public events, cooking classes, customized catering, food and wine pairings, and more. Crave Culinaire works hand in hand with its sister companies, Crave Management Group, Crave Event Staffing and Virtual Venue SWFL, to create unforgettable events for charity organizations, businesses, and individuals. Crave Culinaire is part of the Crave Companies family of five-star culinary brands. For more information, visit cravecompanies.com.