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CHARLOTTE, NC – October 4, 2016 -- The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is expanding its culinary team to welcome Executive Sous Chef Juan Pablo De La Sota Riva, who joins the hotel from The Ritz-Carlton,  Naples. Chef De La Sota Riva will direct culinary operations for The Punch Room, Bar Cocoa, The Lobby Lounge, In-Room Dining and the hotel’s group, banquet and wedding division, featuring events presented both on site and at the adjacent Urban Garden.

The new chef brings an accomplished background to The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, having served not only as Chef de Cuisine for The Ritz-Carlton, Naples but also as its Banquet Chef, overseeing one of the largest luxury food and beverage operations in the Southeast.  He has also provided his award-winning talents to The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun, where he was Chef de Cuisine from 2010 to 2012.

“Juan Pablo De La Sota Riva brings tremendous experience and creativity to our culinary team, and we’re excited about the innovation he will bring,” said David Rothwell, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. “His career with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company brings a depth of knowledge and experience that promises to raise the culinary bar throughout the hotel.”

Known for special expertise in capturing the distinctive flavors of Mexico, Chef De La Soto Riva also has an extensive background in sous vide and molecular cuisine, pastry and chocolate, international preparations from throughout the Americas and Europe, and the use of fresh harvests, bold flavors and artistic presentations throughout dining menus.

“I grew up in a family where meals were an important tradition, and we made a celebration out of every lunch and dinner. I look forward to bringing that same spirit of celebration to our Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte menus,” said Chef Juan Pablo. “It amazes me that you can drive just a few minutes from Charlotte and find wonderful local farms providing fresh vegetables and fruits as well as great cheeses. Working with local partners and ingredients is inspiring to me, and our first such project is already underway. We’re creating a new cheese platter especially for The Punch Room, and it will use local products and even in-house ingredients that we have cultivated directly at the hotel. I’m also very excited about local barbecue. Its flavor is truly amazing.”

Juan Pablo De La Sota Riva studied at the Mexican Culinary Center/Ambrosia and began his career in Madrid, Spain at La Broche -- a two Michelin Stars restaurant. He also served as a chef for Royal Caribbean International and for Le Cirque in Mexico City. He and his family are avid soccer fans.