As a leading hospitality brand with a collection of venues, event services and investments in New York, Backal Hospitality Group (BHG) announces Executive Chef German Villatoro has been named vice president of culinary, overseeing F&B operations that BHG operates and/or owns in New York including VERSA Restaurant and Rooftop in the Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel; Apella, an Alexandria Event Space and Riverpark located on the edge of the East River; Event Management Firm State of the Art Enterprises; all events at the Mandarin Oriental New York; CNVS Event Space located in the Hudson Yards district; AOG Design which provides modern event décor; and recently opened Cellar Dog in the West Village. In addition to overseeing the brand’s F&B operations, Chef Villatoro will spearhead BHG’s menu development introducing new concepts and seasonal flavors, manage the culinary team, and launch new culinary concepts.
In addition to BHG’s restaurants and luxury event spaces, Villatoro will oversee the culinary operations of the popular Hampton Road Trip, creating curated experiences for individuals and smaller groups to experience in a safe way during COVID-19. Food can be brought to guest’s own homes, complete with a private chef, small event catering and personalized experiences from Southampton to Montauk.
“With his innovative culinary approach and seasoned experience in New York and beyond, we are thrilled to welcome Chef German Villatoro as part of our creative team, as New York City continues to reopen from the pandemic, welcoming locals and guests back to experience the best in hospitality,” says Arthur Backal, Founder of the Backal Hospitality Group.
With more than 25 years of experience in restaurants, luxury hotels, events and the hospitality industry, Villatoro started his culinary career in Washington D.C., followed by Austin, Dallas and throughout the Caribbean. Most recently, Chef Villatoro was director of culinary at Convene in New York where he oversaw the brand’s growth from five properties to 32 with expansion throughout the U.S. He also held culinary leadership positions at the Four Seasons; Conrad New York Downtown; Hudson Hotel New York of Morgans Hotel Group; The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel; La Grenouille in New York; The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, A Rosewood Hotel; Little Dix Bay Virgin Gorda; and Jumby Bay Antigua.
“From luxury venues to fast casuals to curated pop-up experiences, Backal Hospitality Group has such a diverse array of properties and offerings that is truly inspired by New York, which is an exciting opportunity to create innovative menus, introduce new flavors and elevate our guest experience,” says Villatoro.
As a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine in Washington, D.C., Villatoro was born in El Salvador, raised in Dallas, Texas, and Marshall, Missouri, and credits his mother’s cooking for his culinary inspiration and approach to utilize local flavors and sustainable ingredients.
Backal Hospitality Group (BHG) is a recognized and respected leader in New York’s make-it-happen hospitality community. With over three decades in the business, BHG Founder Arthur Backal is an expert in all aspects of dining, hospitality and gatherings to celebrate and has managed, operated and/or owned over 20+ event spaces including iconic hotels, restaurants and renowned venues throughout New York City. Businesses that Backal currently operates and/or owns include VERSA Restaurant and Rooftop in the Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel; Apella, an Alexandria Event Space and Riverpark located on the edge of the East River; Event Management Firm State of the Art Enterprises; events at the Mandarin Oriental New York; CNVS Event Space located in the Hudson Yards district; AOG Design; and Cellar Dog in the West Village. In addition to operating restaurants and luxury event spaces, Backal recently introduced curated experiences for individuals and smaller groups to experience in a safe way during COVID-19 including Hampton Road Trip, offering customized food and wellness programs, along with lifestyle events that can be brought to client’s own homes, complete with a private chef, small event catering and personalized experiences. For more info, visit backalgroup.com. Follow BHG on Instagram @BackHospitalityGroup and LinkedIn.