Executive Culinary Team
Jonathan Jerusalmy, Culinary Director- Director of Sea Island Outlets
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.
Daniel Zeal, Executive Chef of Lodge and Retreat at Sea Island
Education / Training: Culinary Institute of America
Awards / Honors: Forbes Five-Star award 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014; James Beard House 2012 presenting chef; Best Chef's American List 2013, 2014.
Inspiration for becoming a chef: As his earliest idol, he names the charismatic TV-cook Martin Yan, and as with most Jewish families, his life revolved around sharing good food. At the age of ten Zeal was serving up family dinners igniting his passion for creativity and the satisfying aesthetics of cooking.
Career Highlights: Zeal began his professional career at The Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, FL, where he served as Chef de Partie of the resort’s AAA Five-Diamond Grill Room, with the privilege of working alongside his most influential mentors , Scott Crawford and Robert Ciborowski. Crawford recruited Zeal to open the Georgian Room at Sea Island as Sous Chef, in 2006. Under Zeal’s direction, the restaurant’s pastry program evolved significantly as well, achieving a polished continuity with its savory offerings. Upon Crawford’s departure in 2009, Zeal stood out as his natural successor, and served as Chef de Cuisine of the Georgian Room until moving into his current role in 2015.
Jason Russell, Executive Chef of the Beach Club
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, 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 most recently oversaw all Sea Island Event operations as Executive Chef of Sea Island Events, before moving into his current role in 2015.
Favorite Kitchen Tool: “A spoon, because it’s simple, timeless, and necessary, just like a sports coat”.
Bill Welch, Executive Chef of Sea Island Events
Education / Training: The Culinary Institute of America
Hometown: Hudson, MA
Career Highlights: After Graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Hospitality Management from The Culinary Institute of America, Bill began his professional career as Sous Chef at the Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Chatham, MA under Executive Chef Bill Brodksy. In 2009, Bill joined Sea Island as a Lead Line Cook in the Georgian Room, a Five-Star Restaurant. When Sea Island decided to open Tavola in 2011, Bill was promoted to Sous Chef and was instrumental in the opening of Tavola. In 2013, Bill assumed the role of Banquet Sous Chef and then Executive Sous Chef. Bill's latest promotion has led him to his current role of Executive Chef of Sea island Events.
First position in the kitchen: Started as a Dishwasher when I was 13 years old.
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, Director of Wines & Spirits, CS
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!”