Our Culinary Team
Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage – The Sanctuary
Executive Chef Brendon Bashford is excited by the opportunity to lead the culinary team at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Chef Bashford has traveled the world working within the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts collection of fine hotels. After starting with the hotel company at the Chateau Lake Louise & Banff Springs, Chef Bashford opened hotels in Dubai and rose to Executive Chef in Bermuda before moving to the Plaza Hotel in New York City where he oversaw four different restaurants including the famous Oak Room. He most recently served as the Executive Chef charged with opening the Fairmont Battery Wharf in Boston. When asked about his new role at The Sanctuary, Chef Bashford remarked on the similarities between the Lowcountry and his hometown in Australia and the rich abundance of traditions and native ingredients found here. “I look forward to the responsibility of directing all culinary activities at The Sanctuary. We are fortunate to have such a wealth of traditions and native ingredients here in the Charleston area. It fits into my philosophy of sensible, sustainable and straightforward cuisine.”
Executive Banquet Chef – The Sanctuary
Matthew Fitzgerald, Executive Banquet Chef of The Sanctuary, knows how to combine fresh high quality ingredients with simple straightforward preparations to achieve dishes that satisfy all palates. Upon graduation from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University with an A.A.S. in Culinary Arts and a B.S. in Food Service Management, Matthew applied his culinary skills as Sous Chef at some of Charleston’s leading restaurants such as Fish, 39 Rue De Jean and Coast. He joined the Kiawah Island Golf Resort culinary team in 2006 because of his deep appreciation for the resort’s uncompromising dedication to culinary traditions and guest service philosophies. He began his journey in Jasmine Porch working his way up to Sous Chef in less than one year. In 2009, he moved to Turtle Point Clubhouse as Sous Chef and became an instrumental part in creating the concept and opening of Tomasso, while soon after moving his way up to Chef de Cuisine. Now overseeing the Banquet Division, chef continues to explore and develop his talent and creations within The Sanctuary.
Executive Chef of the Villa Resort
Jason Cote has been a member of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s food and beverage team since 2008. After completing his AAS in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, Chef Jason took his knowledge and passion for cooking on the road. He spent sixteen years traveling the country honing his skills and gaining experience. Chef Cote has gained a wealth of experience that has made him a strong and versatile chef, through cooking for seaside resorts on the rocky coast of his hometown, Kennebunkport Maine, catering for big budget movies in California and working as a personal chef on a yacht off the coast of Florida. Upon relocating to Charleston, Cote held positions with several prestigious restaurants including Magnolias, located in downtown Charleston, and Kiawah Island Beach Club before joining the Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s culinary team. During his time here, Cote has been instrumental in the transformation of a lunch only burger restaurant, into the hottest new restaurant on the island that is now Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House. He also held a position as Chef de Cuisine of Jasmine Porch at The Sanctuary and most recently was the Executive Sous of the Villa Resort before being named Executive Chef. His passion for food and quality continues to make our operation a huge success, and when Jason is not working, you can find him on the golf course or at home cooking for friends and family.
Executive Pastry Chef – The Sanctuary
When you think of pastry, the French artisan concept comes to mind which has been a guiding passion in Remy Funfrock’s family. During three years of formal pastry study at the Lycee Jean Rablais in Lyon, France, Chef Funfrock gained professional experience working alongside his mentor Chef Patissier, Jacques Frery combining his academic training with invaluable practical experience. Upon completing his studies, Funfrock went on to work under such renowned professionals as Pierre Herme of Fauchon fame as well as master chocolate maker, Pascal Brunstein. Chef Funfrock left his native Lyon for the South of France to become an ice cream maker for Bechard, the world famous Provencal confectioner. Later he led some of the best pastry teams while with Cap Estel, one of the Cote d’Azur’s most prestigious palace hotels, Roger Verger’s Michelin three-star Moulin de Mougins, DANIEL in New York City, The Four Seasons Hotel & Resort, as well as the Penrose Room of The Broadmoor. Chef Funfrock shared his talents and creativity with his teams while crafting the most extraordinary artisan work throughout his journeys. It is with no surprise that his early inspirations as a child would result in an award winning career with accolades that include a bronze medal for his chocolate and hazelnut tart with mango-black tea ice cream at the First National Dessert Competition (November 1999), two silver medals at the Beaver Creek National Pastry Team Championships (June 2000 & 2001) and Pastry Art & Design Magazine’s award “one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America” (June 2002). Then in 2009, Chef Funfrock participated as part of the US team at the “La coupe du monde de la patisserie” in Lyon, France. We are pleased to have Chef Funfrock at the head of The Sanctuary’s pastry department as Executive Pastry Chef at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. “I always look forward to implementing all that I have learned when joining a new team and now I am excited to be supporting this great pastry department at The Sanctuary.”
Chef de Cuisine – The Ocean Room
Chef de Cuisine of The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kyle Bowling, grew up in Brookville, Indiana, a small farming community in southeast Indiana. He began cooking as a teenager at a family style restaurant named The Case House. It was there that he was first exposed to the beauty and freshness of using local ingredients by The Case House chef who sourced ingredients from the historic Metamora Grist Mill that is still in production on the local canal. “I saw the honesty and the pride of using an ingredient that another member of the community had poured their own pride and effort into, as opposed to just buying a factory farmed ingredient,” said Bowling. After attending Vincennes University, Bowling began honing his skills in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Iron Horse Inn, where he eventually was promoted Sous Chef. He then joined the opening team at the Great Wolf Lodge where he rose to the level of Banquet Chef. He left Cincinnati in 2008 because of one dining experience – “I had the good fortune to dine in Jasmine Porch while visiting Kiawah Island on vacation,” said Bowling. “I knew right then, I had to be a part of that experience that was delivered to me. I went home and immediately resigned from the Banquet Chef position at the Great Wolf Lodge and relocated to Charleston.” Upon arriving to the area, Bowling was hired as a line cook at Jasmine Porch. After almost a year, he had the opportunity to assist in the opening of the newly-branded Ocean Room as their grill cook. After a couple of years he was promoted to Sous Chef in the Banquets Kitchen and was part of a very successful team that oversaw the benchmark year for the department with the successful execution of servicing the PGA Championship. Shortly after, he returned to The Ocean Room as the Sous Chef and immerse himself in pursuing the continuing refinement that the premier restaurant on the resort is known for – an unsurpassed dining experience as one of the most acclaimed steakhouses in the U.S. “My goals are to continue the passion and the pursuit of elevating the Ocean Room’s cuisine, delivering on our promise to providing a refined, gracious dining experience,” said Bowling.
Chef de Cuisine of The Atlantic Room and The Ryder Cup Bar
The Atlantic Room’s Chef de Cuisine Nicholas (Nick) Torno discovered the love of cooking by watching his grandmother’s every move in her kitchen. He eventually started preparing family dinner a few nights each week. Since graduating from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, he’s sharpened his culinary skills and become an expert on the unique characteristics of every variety of fish and shellfish served in Kiawah Island Golf Resort’s premier seafood restaurant. He explains, “I’m always inspired by the infinite possibilities of seafood”.
Chef de Cuisine – Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House
Pinehurst, North Carolina Native, Chef Keith Richardson, made his way to Kiawah Island Golf Resort in June of 2015. He has held positions at Gabrille’s at Richmond Hill Inn in Asheville, NC, Hege’s Restaurant in Freshfields Village, and most recently as Chef de Cuisine of the Kiawah Beach Club before making his way to Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Cooking has always been an interest of Chef Richardson’s, the food, the chaos and the love of making people happy. As far as cooking is concerned, his passion is barbecue. Recently named Chef de Cuisine of Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House at Osprey Point Clubhouse, he is in his element. Know for it’s genuine Southern BBQ, house-smoked over local hardwoods Keith feels right at home. When he’s not in the kitchen, you will find him enjoying the simple things in life, beautiful scenery, beautiful food, relaxing and spending time with his family.
Chef de Cuisine – Tomasso at Turtle Point
Wisconsin native Derick Wade attributes his love of cooking to the time spent by his grandmother’s side in her kitchen and how food brings people together. His culinary training in restaurants and resorts around the globe – from Alaska to Russia, Hawaii to Bulgaria, and well-traveled destinations between – is a product of his wanderlust. These diverse personal and professional experiences have positively shaped Derick’s worldview, culinary skills and love for lifelong learning and teaching. His passion for authentic Italian cuisine and simple, but beautiful, dishes made with fresh, local ingredients shines through in every plate served at Tomasso.