KAPALUA, HI. (January 27, 2016) –The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is delighted to announce the appointment of Daniel Schmidt as Executive Chef and Shehu Fitzgerald as Banquet Chef. Schmidt and Fitzgerald are dedicated to leading the food and beverage efforts of this picturesque Hawaiian resort, situated just steps from the ocean on Maui’s famous North Shore. The Ritz- Carlton, Kapalua features six exquisite dining venues including the newly renovated Banyan Tree, Kai Sushi, The Terrace restaurant, Alaloa Lounge, The Beach House, and The Pool Café.
Schmidt joins The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua from The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain Hotel in Marana, Arizona where as Executive Chef he planned and managed all aspects of food preparation for the resort’s six restaurants, club lounge, in-room dining, and banquets.
Previously, Schmidt served as Executive Sous Chef for The Ritz-Carlton, Guangzhou in Guangzhou, China for two years before being promoted to Executive Chef. Schmidt has earned several prestigious awards for his culinary talent, including first place winner of the Cook Olympics, Chaîne des Rôtisseurs in Berlin, and World Championship in Holland. Schmidt began his culinary career in his hometown of Berlin, Germany where he served as captain of the German Culinary Youth National team and studied at Staatliche Realschule Berlin/Marzahn followed by Hotel Academy Berlin.
Prior to joining The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Fitzgerald served as Senior Sous Chef of the New York Marriott Marquis in New York, New York where he managed the main kitchen and banquets, ensuring that hotel guests received an exceptional dining experience. Previously, Fitzgerald served as Executive Chef of the The Phunky Elephant Gastropub in Staten Island, New York and Restaurant Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Battery Park in New York, New York. In May 2011, Fitzgerald achieved celebrity chef status after winning the Food Network show “Chopped” in season seven. Fitzgerald has also competed on Food Network’s “Chopped Champs” and ABC’s “The Taste.” Fitzgerald began pursuing his lifelong dream of becoming a chef with his studies at Johnson and Wales University, the Culinary Institute of America, and the Birmingham College of Food.
Schmidt and Fitzgerald, along with newly appointed Pastry Chef Yoshi Kizu, will be at the helm of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua’s signature restaurant, The Banyan Tree, which plays host to numerous local events including monthly tastings benefiting various local Maui charities, as well as a monthly wine dinner led by a different sommelier for each occasion. Additionally, The Banyan Tree carries an impressive wine-by-the-glass list, courtesy of Coravin, where the servers can pour amazing, expensive wines without having to pull the cork – so the wine staysfresh and preserved.