Skip to Content
  • seafood dining

The Sea Island Culinary Team

Your palate is in very good hands

With such a remarkable range of dining options, from Forbes Five-Star dining to laid-back food truck, it’s no surprise that Sea Island has a deep bench of top culinary talent from around the world. Each restaurant offers a unique take on regional flavors. And each chef offers up a menu that is more than a meal, it’s an experience. Every restaurant’s culinary excellence is maintained through a strong relationship with local farmers, butchers, fishermen and artisans, whose freshest products are incorporated into each innovative menu. And of course, through the skill and talent of our extraordinary culinary team. Sea Island dining is a foodie’s dream. Here’s why…

Jonathan Jerusalmy

Chef Jonathan Jerusalmy

Resort Director of Food and Beverage

Chef Jonathan Jerusalmy has traveled a long, winding, and delicious road throughout his distinguished culinary career.

Chef Jonathan Jerusalmy has traveled a long, winding, and delicious road throughout his distinguished culinary career. From his education at the Institute Technique des Métiers de L’Alimentation in Tournai, Belgium, to internships at Michelin-rated restaurants in France, to kitchens at top resorts, Chef Jerusalmy is one of only 350 Master French Chefs in the world. He has worked and traveled around the globe, committed to using home-grown, seasonal ingredients right here, at Sea Island.

Chef Daniel Zeal

Chef Daniel Zeal

Resort Executive Chef

Daniel Zeal joined Sea Island in February 2006 as the Sous Chef of the opening team of the Georgian Room in pursuit of a Forbes Five-Star Award.

Daniel Zeal joined Sea Island in February 2006 as the Sous Chef of the opening team of the Georgian Room in pursuit of a Forbes Five-Star Award. Chef Zeal was promoted to Chef de Cuisine in February 2009 and was the Chef de Cuisine until mid-2015. In July 2015, he was promoted to Executive Chef of The Lodge and Retreat. Chef Zeal has been in the industry for 24 years at multiple levels, and was a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. A native of Jacksonville, Danny grew up in a relatively large family where food was always extremely important, and southern hospitality was in their DNA. He took a position that landed him at the Amelia Island Ritz Carlton, where he trained in the Five-Diamond Restaurant, “The Grill Room”, for over 3 years. Chef Zeal has been an integral part of our Forbes Five-Star ratings over the last 12 years, as well as achieving a Forbes-Four Star rating in Colt & Alison for 2018 and 2019.

Chef Eric Fullem

Chef Eric Fullem

Executive Chef, The Lodge

Chef Eric Fullem started his career at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 2004.

Chef Eric Fullem started his career at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 2004. Chef Eric has made it a personal goal to work at the highest level of luxury hotels and Forbes Five-Star rated properties across the country. In addition to his time at Nemacolin, Chef Fullem’s career has been molded at properties such as The Inn at Dos Brisas, Lacroix Restaurant at The Rittenhouse, as well as Sea Island; his previous position held at Sea Island was Chef de Cuisine of the River Bar. Chef Fullem returned to Sea Island in February 2018 as Executive Sous Chef of the Sea Island Beach Club and was promoted to Executive Chef of The Lodge in 2021.

Greg Smith

Chef Greg Smith

Executive Chef, Sea Island Beach Club

Growing up in a home where the art of cuisine was celebrated, Greg Smith always had a strong passion for food.

He found a personal connection to gastronomic culture from a young age, but it wasn’t until age 23 that he decided to pursue a career as a chef. Greg graduated from the Art Institute of California—Los Angeles in 2003, with a degree in Culinary Arts, after which his culinary career began to take off, notably with the prime opportunity to become part of Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills’ fine dining restaurant. As a newly-trained chef with local ingredients at his fingertips, Greg became fascinated with California cuisine and the art of fresh, bold, and spicy flavors as a base for his work. Following Neiman Marcus, he went on to become a banquet cook at Four Seasons Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Banquet Sous Chef for The Peninsula Beverly Hills. Before coming to Sea Island, Greg worked as Executive Banquet Chef at the Omni La Costa in Carlsbad California, Banquet Chef at the Four Seasons Resort Nevis, Sous Chef at New York City’s Robert Restaurant (under famed Chef David Waltuck), Sous Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Westchester, and most recently, Banquet Chef at the Ojai Valley Inn.

Get a Taste of the Beach Club

Pete Page

Chef Pete Page

Executive Chef, Sea Island Events

Pete is culinarian passionate about cooking as well as the culinary traditions and heritage of regional cuisines. 

He has a background in a variety of cuisines as a cook, sous chef, banquet chef, catering chef, and executive chef, with a long enduring love for creole and Cajun cuisine. Chef Pete also has experience in regional Mexican and Mexican American, Southern soul food, Caribbean, Vietnamese, and Thai cuisines.

Get a Taste of Sea Island Events

Armando Gomez

Chef Armando Gomez

Executive Sous Chef

Chef Armando found a passion for the art of cooking at the ripe age of 12.

Growing up in Mexico City, he was influenced by one of the most unique and versatile cuisines in the world, where his best memories were created in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother. But even from an early age, he realized his true love was French and European style cooking. After continuing his culinary studies at the Glion Institute of Higher Education, his post-graduate travels took him to such notable venues as Gabriel Kreuger in New York, Guy Savoy’s in Las Vegas, and the River Bar at Sea Island. In 2021, Chef Armando was promoted to Executive Sous Chef for the resort.

Paula Garrett

Chef Paula Garrett

Chef de Cuisine, Broadfield

Chef Garrett grew up in a small town among farms and fields of fresh food. 

Being the sixth child of 10, her responsibilities included cooking dinner for the family, helping in the garden, and preserving food. With a desire to learn the classic cuisine, she began classes at Le Cordon Bleu in Mendota Heights, Minnesota, in 2001 and interned at Sea Island during the G8 Summit. Her first restaurant was PK’s Place in 2004, moving on to Cabin Bluff in 2007. In 2009, she started at Little St. Simons Island and returned to her farm-to-table roots. In 2013, she moved a few islands to the south to Jekyll Island Club Hotel, working at Courtyard at Crane and with the banquets department. In 2015, she returned to Cabin Bluff while opening her restaurant, Isaac’s Country Bistro, in 2016. She joined Sea Island’s team at Broadfield, a Sea Island Sporting Club, as Chef de Cuisine in late 2018.

Get a Taste of Broadfield

Michael McKenzie

Chef Michael McKenzie

Chef de Cuisine, The Market at Sea Island

As early as 8 years old, Chef Michael McKenzie was in the kitchen learning how to prepare food with his grandmother.

He studied at the Florida Culinary Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida, and worked for Café Boulud at The Brazilian Court and The Breakers in Palm Beach. While working as the Sous Chef of a small local New England-style restaurant, his passion for fresh, local, and sustainable seafood grew immensely. He later moved to Savannah, where he was the Executive Sous Chef at The Mansion on Forsyth Park. To further his career, he moved to Orlando for an opportunity at the Grand Bohemian hotel as the Chef de Cuisine. Chef Micael came to Sea Island in spring 2019 and has brought his fun energy, vast culinary knowledge, and deep passion for the culinary arts to the Sea Island team.

Get a Taste of The Market

Chris Culin

Chef Chris Johnson

Chef de Cuisine, Oak Room

Chef Chris Johnson’s eyes have been fixated on the culinary world since he was 13 years old. 

Inspired by watching world-class chefs in his family’s living room, he enrolled in the Great Lakes Culinary Institute in Traverse City, Michigan, where he began to expand his knowledge and sculpt his craft. Upon graduation, he went on to work in many high-end establishments, in multiple states across the US. His travels brought him to the Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes, as well as the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota. He moved his way through the ranks to Sous Chef in Jack Dusty, when he seized the opportunity to be Chef de Cuisine at EAU Palm Beach. Chris brings his propensity for perfection and joy for his art to Sea Island and enjoys continuously learning about his craft from everyone around him.

Get a Taste of Oak Room

Nikolaus Shrum

Chef Nikolaus Shrum

Chef de Cuisine, River Bar

Chef Nikolaus Shrum was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, graduated with honors from Georgia Tech, and worked in the pharmaceutical industry as a design engineer.

When he was laid off due to financial difficulties at his company, he went to work in a local restaurant. Unfortunately for the pharmaceutical industry but luckily for the culinary industry, Nikolaus discovered a love of cooking and has not looked back since, working at Spotted Trotter and Empire State South in Atlanta as well as Blackberry Farm in Maryville, TN. In early 2020, he joined the Sea Island team as the Chef de Cuisine in the River Bar.