Executive Chefs and Culinary Team

Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s culinary team features a roster of talented chefs who create the dining experiences that keep guests and groups coming back to the table for more, year-after-year. Let’s meet them…

Chef Matt Fitzgerald
Matthew Fitzgerald
Executive Chef, The Sanctuary Hotel

Upon graduation from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University with an A.A.S. in Culinary Arts and a B.S. in Food Service Management, Chef Matthew Fitzgerald applied his culinary skills as sous chef at some of Charleston’s leading restaurants, including Fish, 39 Rue De Jean and Coast. Matthew joined Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s culinary team in 2006, deeply compelled by the resort’s uncompromising dedication to culinary excellence and outstanding guest service philosophy. He began his career at the resort in the kitchen at Jasmine Porch, advancing to sous chef in less than one year. In 2009, he moved to Turtle Point Clubhouse as sous chef. After playing an instrumental role in conceptualizing and opening Tomasso, he was soon promoted to chef de cuisine for the restaurant. Matthew then moved to The Sanctuary, first overseeing the Banquet Division before assuming his current role as Executive Chef. Matthews culinary approach combines fresh, high-quality ingredients with straightforward preparations—a simple approach that equally satisfies all palates.
Chef Jason Cote
Jason Cote
Executive Chef, The Villa Resort

After completing his AAS in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, Chef Jason Cote spent 16 years traveling the country, honing his skills and gaining experience—from cooking for seaside resorts on the rocky coast of his hometown, Kennebunkport Maine, to catering for big-budget feature films in California and working as a personal chef on a yacht off the coast of Florida. Upon moving to Charleston, Jason held positions with several prestigious restaurants, including Magnolias and the Kiawah Island Beach Club, before joining the resort’s culinary team in 2008. During his time here, Jason has been instrumental in transforming a lunch-only burger restaurant into our acclaimed Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House. Jason also held positions as chef de cuisine of Jasmine Porch at The Sanctuary and executive sous chef of the Villa Resort before being named executive chef. His passion for food and quality continues to contribute to the resort’s culinary success.
Pastry Chef Jordan Snider
Jordan Snider
Executive Pastry Chef, The Sanctuary Hotel

Chef Jordan Snider was born in upstate South Carolina, but was raised in Charleston. He began his culinary career in 2002 as a bread baker, and continued working for various restaurants, including Oak Steakhouse, Carolina Yacht Club, and the Five Loaves/Sesame Burgers group. In 2010, he relocated to Las Vegas, where he further honed his skills under the direction of numerous leading chefs, most notably at the Mandarin Oriental, the Paris Resort and Christophe Mandalay Bay. In 2014, he moved to San Diego to become the executive pastry chef of the Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Jordan competed in the National Showpiece Championship at Pastry Live in 2014, earning the Audience Choice Award, and the Pastry Chef of the Year contest at the US Pastry Competition in 2017, earning Honorable Mention. Later in 2017, he earned his place as an alternate team member for the US Pastry Team, which competed in the 2019 Coupe du Monde de la Patisserie in Lyon, France. In 2018, Jordan returned home to the Charleston area to assume his current role as executive pastry chef at The Sanctuary, where he oversees pastry operations for hotel banquets along with The Ocean Room and Jasmine Porch.
John Ondo
Executive Chef, The Atlantic Room and Ryder Cup Bar at The Ocean Course

A native of Charleston, Chef John Ondo comes to us with over 20 years of experience. Through his studies at culinary school and working front-line at several well-known Charleston restaurants, he has been able to hone his own approach to food. Having earned degrees in hospitality management and culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, he extended his education in Italian cuisine with a lot of book-learning and hands-on experience in several prominent Italian kitchens, notably Il Cortile Del Re. He developed further knowledge of broader cuisines and techniques in the kitchens of institutions like McCrady’s and Carolina’s. His unpretentious presentations of “just good food” got their own showcase when Ondo launched Lana in Charleston in 2005. As Chef/Owner of Lana restaurant, he spent 13 years refining his rustic approach to refined Mediterranean cuisine, making every effort to interpret his ideas through local ingredients and to maintain a respect for the basic elements of a dish while still allowing it to be influenced by seasonal changes. He was involved in every aspect from construction to the sale of the restaurant in 2017. In addition to his role as Chef/Owner, Ondo has been an adjunct professor of Mediterranean cuisine at the Culinary Institute of Charleston and most recently, completed recipe, menu, and product development for Kairos, a New Greek QSR franchise. He has been evolving ever since and is looking forward to expanding his working knowledge and experience. Ondo was appointed by the governor to serve as the 2022 South Carolina Chef Ambassador representing the foodways and rich agricultural heritage of the state’s Lowcountry region.
Chef Kyle Bowling
Kyle Bowling
Chef de Cuisine, Jasmine Porch at The Sanctuary

Growing up in Indiana, Chef Kyle Bowling worked in a restaurant where he was first exposed to local sourcing. He came to understand and appreciate the honesty and the pride that came from using an ingredient that another member of the community had poured their own pride and effort into. After attending Vincennes University, Kyle further honed his skills in Cincinnati’s Iron Horse Inn and Great Wolf Lodge. In 2008, while visiting Kiawah Island Golf Resort, he experienced one meal at Jasmine Porch and resolved that he must become a part of The Sanctuary culinary team. Upon his return home, he immediately resigned and moved to Charleston. After serving almost a year as a line cook at Jasmine Porch, Kyle joined the newly-branded Ocean Room as grill cook before being promoted to sous chef in the hotel’s Banquets Kitchen. He then returned to The Ocean Room as Chef de Cuisine, where he focused on elevating the cuisine and creating a refined, gracious dining experience. Kyle's most recent transition to Jasmine Porch allows him to return to the kitchen that sparked his initial passion for culinary excellence at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
Keith Richardson
Chef de Cuisine, Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House

A Pinehurst, North Carolina native, Chef Keith Richardson has held positions at Gabrille’s at Richmond Hill Inn in Asheville, Hege’s Restaurant in Freshfields Village and, most recently, as chef de cuisine of the Kiawah Beach Club before joining Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2015. Cooking has always been an interest of Keith’s—the food, the chaos and the love of making people happy. With his passion for barbecue, he is completely in his element at the helm of Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House in the Osprey Point Clubhouse, known for its genuine Southern BBQ, house-smoked over local hardwoods. While not helming the pit at Osprey Point, Keith leads the award-winning team in barbecue competitions throughout South Carolina.
Andrew Raeside
Chef de Cuisine, Tomasso at Turtle Point

Chef Andrew Raeside was born in Cape Town, South Africa and graduated high school in Singapore before moving to the States to obtain a BA in History from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. Andrew’s interest in cooking blossomed at a young age, heavily influenced by the array of culinary styles he experienced throughout his international travels. After college, he moved to London for culinary training at Butler’s Wharf Chef School. He then worked for 10 years in London, mostly with gastro pubs and French bistros, including with restauranteur Sir Terrance Conran. Andrew then relocated to New Jersey, where he specialized in farm to table restaurants, including 10 years with the Harvest Restaurant Group. Andrew joined Kiawah Island Golf Resort in 2021 as the chef de cuisine of Tomasso at Turtle Point, and credits the island’s world-class golf courses, beautiful surroundings and availability of locally-sourced ingredients for drawing him to the area. His culinary passions include cheesemaking and charcuterie, as well as whole-animal butchery.
Arthur Kukoda
Chef de Cuisine, Town Center Market

Raised in a small New Jersey town, Chef Arthur Kukoda’s love of the culinary arts stems from a life-long enjoyment of the interactions that take place around the dining table—engaging with family and friends over good food and conversations. Arthur formally learned the culinary arts and refined his natural skills at Middlesex County College and Johnson & Wales University (Providence, Rhode Island). After owning a restaurant in Princeton, New Jersey for 32 years, Arthur was first drawn to the South Carolina Lowcountry in 2012, when his son decided to attend the College of Charleston, and frequently visited before he permanently moved. Having always been intrigued by the foodways of Charleston and its surrounding environs, Arthur joined the kitchen at Town Center Market, where he developed the “take-and-bake” home meal and grab-and-go menus. When he’s not cooking, Arthur enjoys free time with family, reading and trying to hit a good golf shot.
Jeff Cali
Executive Banquet Chef, The Villa Resort

Chef Jeff Cali’s best childhood memories were centered around Sunday family dinners. Coming from an Italian-American family, he has always had a huge appreciation for food. This appreciation turned into a passion when Cali began working at the NHL Hockey Arena in Tampa, FL, chef’s hometown. Working as a line cook to pay for school, Cali found himself an outlet for his creativity. After earning a degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management from Hillsborough Community College, he worked his way up the culinary ladder, holding positions at Amelie Arena in Tampa and Longboat Key Club & Resort and Sands Pointe in Sarasota. In May 2011, Cali made his way to the Lowcountry and was named the Executive Sous Chef of Wild Dunes Resort, overseeing the banquet program and 9 additional food outlets. In 2013, Cali ventured into the downtown culinary scene where he led the kitchen at CO Banh Mi & Noodle Bar and Lee Lee’s Hot Kitchen. Enjoying the resort/hotel scene more, Chef Cali made his way to Kiawah Island Golf Resort and is currently the Executive Chef of Villa Banquets. Chef brings his passion for food to large group settings and elevates it beyond people’s expectations for banquet cuisine. When he’s not behind the stove or breaking down the catch of the day, you will find Cali camping, hiking, watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, rocking out at concerts, and if you’re lucky, playing the saxophone.
Banquet Chef Bob Gibson
Bob Gibson
Executive Banquet Chef, The Sanctuary

Chef Bob Gibson grew up in Northwest Indiana near the suburbs of Chicago. He started washing dishes as a cook's apprentice at age 15, and has been cooking ever since. After graduating from Purdue University, he moved his young family to Charleston to work at Tomasso at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, and then transferred to The Sanctuary to eventually work his way up to become the Banquet Chef. After 8 years with the Resort, Chef Bob relocated downtown to open a new hotel as the Executive Sous Chef, then was promoted to Executive Chef. When the opportunity arose to return to The Sanctuary as Executive Banquet Chef, he was happy to rejoin his family at Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
Cory O’Connor
Chef Tournant, The Villa Resort

Born at the Naval Hospital in Norfolk Virginia, Chef Cory O'Connor grew up traveling the country during his father’s naval drills. After graduating with his A.S. from Johnson & Wales University at the age of 20, Cory sought opportunities to further develop his culinary creativity. While earning his B.S. in Food Service Management, Cory competed in competitions for JWU as a teaching fellow. One of note was the World IBA Bread Cup held in Munich, Germany, where he and his team represented the United States. Cory spent the three years after graduation working in various restaurants along the West Coast, including a stint as the Executive Sous Chef at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Washington. In 2015, Cory moved to Charleston, where he served as sous chef at Jasmine Porch. After sojourning for a few years as the Executive Chef at a restaurant in nearby Mount Pleasant, Cory returned to Kiawah Island Golf Resort to open The Players’ Pub at the new Cougar Point Clubhouse, where he served as chef de cuisine, before transitioning to his current role as chef tournant for the resort, allowing him to lend his skills and experience to all Villa resort restaurants.
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