Executive Culinary Team
Jonathan Jersualmy, Resort Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Programming
Education / Training: Bachelor of Arts in food service, wine technology and hospitality management from the Institute Technique des Métiers de L’Alimentation in Tournai, Belgium. Early in his career, he completed several prominent internships at Michelin-rated restaurants in France, studying under Master Chefs of France, Paul Bocuse and Gerard Boyer.
Awards / Honors:French Master Chef
Career Highlights: Prior to joining Sea Island, Jerusalmy served as the Executive Chef at St. Regis Atlanta. His eclectic background includes stints as Executive Sous Chef of St. Regis Monarch Beach in California, Executive Banquet Chef and Executive Sous Chef at Loews Miami Beach Hotel in Florida, and Chef de Partie at Hubert Keller’s Fleur de Lys.
Childhood Favorite Food: His mother’s blinis with smoked salmon as it reminds him of spending the Christmas holidays with family.
David Carrier, Executive Chef for The Cloister and Beach Club
Education / Training: Cazenovia College & The French Culinary Institute
Inspiration for becoming a chef: Having spent the majority of his childhood in his parent’s Northern Italian restaurant in Queens, NY, Carrier knew at a young age he was meant for hospitality.
Career Highlights: Carrier has studied under world-renowned Chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry. It was there that he sharpened his skills, developed his cooking philosophies, and earned the opportunity to work alongside Grant Achatz, then Sous Chef of The French Laundry. In 2004, Carrier opened his own restaurant, Avenue Sea in Apalachicola, FL. After its success, Carrier returned to Chicago to open Kith & Kin restaurant in Lincoln Park, where his food garnered many accolades including a Michelin’s Bib Gourmand nod. Carrier joined Sea Island’s culinary team in 2011.
Foodie Fun Fact: Carrier’s favorite meal growing up was corned beef and cabbage. As far as his least favorite, he says “does it look like there is something I won’t eat?!”
John Helfrich, Executive Chef for The Lodge and Retreat
Education / Training: Johnson and Wales University
Career Highlights: Helfrich found his way to Sea Island in 1999 and was part of the opening team for The Lodge. He has also contributed his talents to the Walker Cup, the openings of three Forbes Five-Star hotels, numerous PGA TOUR events, and was heavily involved in the success of the G-8 Summit at Sea Island in 2004. He has also served as Executive Banquet Chef before moving into his current role in 2009.
Foodie Fun Fact: If not a chef, Helfrich could see himself being a schoolteacher.
Jason Russell, Executive Banquet Chef
Education / Training: Art Institute of Atlanta, Culinary Arts
Inspiration for becoming a chef: Born and raised in South Georgia, Russell cut his culinary teeth on home-grown, southern cooking. While spending his childhood helping his mother and grandmother cook for the family, he found his passion for entertaining through food.
Career Highlights: Prior to joining the Sea Island family in 2007, Russell served as Executive Sous Chef for a large, upscale country club in Georgia. Since starting at Sea Island’s Beach Club, Russell has climbed the epicurean ladder and shaped his creativity and signature cooking style into what he calls “sophisticatedly southern”. In 2009, Russell became Chef de Cuisine for the River Bar at The Cloister, followed by Chef Tournant in 2011; and has been in his current role since 2012.
Favorite Kitchen Tool: “A spoon, because it’s simple, timeless, and necessary, just like a sports coat”.
Cortney Harris, Executive Pastry Chef
Education / Training: Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park
Career Highlights: While completing the externship program at the Culinary Institute, Harris worked at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa in Grand Geneva, WI. Upon graduation, Harris was promptly recruited by Sea Island and continued her career in the Sea Island Bake Shop. Over the next seven years, Harris’ talent, strong work ethic and attention to detail enabled her to work her way through the leadership ranks and moved into her current role in January 2014.
Foodie Fun Fact: As an animal lover, Harris would be a veterinarian if not a chef.
Ryanne Carrier, Wine and Spirits Manager
Education / Training: Kendall College- Chicago, IL; also holds certifications in Professional Cookery including Baking and Pastry
Career Highlights: Carrier’s career can be split into two categories – food and wine – and she has committed significant amounts of time to her love of both. After being in the kitchen for several years, Carrier began pursuing her sommelier certifications with the Court of Master Sommeliers. She joined Sea Island in 2010 as the Sommelier in Georgia’s only Forbes Five-Star restaurant, the Georgian Room. In 2012, she moved into her current role.
Favorite Drink: When she was cooking, Carrier was often asked what her favorite dish was to cook; her answer, “all of them!” Now that her focus has turned to wine, her answer for this isn’t all of them; she says “it depends on the meal…the company…the setting…the season…and the time of day of course!”