Chef on the move

Richard Mendoza, a nearly three decade veteran of the culinary arts, has joined The Westin The Woodlands' pre-opening team as Executive Chef.  In this capacity, he now oversees culinary operations, ranging from staffing and cost controls to sourcing and quality levels, for room service, banquets and food and beverage outlets, including CURRENT, SideBar and the Lobby Bar.Slated for a late February 2016 debut, The Westin The Woodlands’ much-anticipated unveiling by The Howard Hughes Corporation® represents a milestone in the booming Texas community’s evolution as a nationally recognized business and leisure destination. Just under 30 miles from downtown Houston and approximately 20 miles from George Bush Intercontinental Airport, The Woodlands has emerged as one of the fastest growing areas in the country, while earning accolades for its pedestrian-oriented urban core, architectural standards, preservation of natural resources and quality of life.A Florida native, who honed his skills around the Sunshine State, Mendoza contributes three prior hotel openings to his experience.  Before joining The Westin The Woodlands, Mendoza was the Clubhouse Executive Chef at Streamsong, an acclaimed golf and spa resort in Central Florida.  In his role, he managed Restaurant 59, a prime steakhouse servicing two golf courses and a ballroom.  Prior to that, as the Executive Chef for The Westin Orlando Universal Boulevard, he was part of a team that conceptualized the highly-regarded Fiorella’s Cucina Toscana restaurant.Mendoza was employed by Marriott International for 13 years. He joined the company in 1992 with the opening of The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, where he earned gold and silver medals from the American Culinary Federation and rose to the position of Executive Sous Chef. His early career, which was primarily devoted to private restaurants and clubs in Tallahassee and Atlanta, included a pivotal appointment under a Michelin Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, where he sharpened his fine dining abilities.Recognized for his ability to develop culinarians, Mendoza has also fed his entrepreneurial spirit and love of fresh seafood as the former owner of a catering and restaurant consulting firm and as a captain for a commercial fishing company.


Stuart Rosenberg - Studio Communications713.524.2800/