Appointed Executive Chef
At Villas of Grand Cypress in Orlando - FL, USA
BENCHMARK®, a global hospitality company, has named Robert Gioia executive chef for Villas of Grand Cypress, a Gemstone Collection property located in Orlando, Florida. Mark Cox, BENCHMARK's general manager at the resort, made the announcement. "It is a pleasure to welcome Robert to our outstanding team of hospitality professionals at Villas of Grand Cypress," said Mr. Cox. "His background in running multidimensional food and beverage operations will be a great asset to our resort. We look forward to his contribution in guiding the vision for the Villas' restaurant, in-room dining, and catering business."
Robert Gioia comes to Villas of Grand Cypress with 18 years of exemplary culinary experience, innovation and entrepreneurship, working in multiple positions of increasing responsibility within the culinary profession. He was previously the executive sous chef for Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, where Chef Gioia was highly valued for successfully running five onsite and distinctively unique dining outlets.
Prior to this, Chef Gioia invested over a decade of his career with the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida, rising from executive sous chef at the property's opening to executive restaurant chef and finally to general manager for three onsite, high volume food & beverage outlets. Mr. Gioia has also exercised his entrepreneurial gifts by opening, operating and serving as executive chef for Alfresco, a Mediterranean-style restaurant near Winter Garden, Florida.
Chef Gioia began his career at a young age as a dishwasher and was quickly promoted to head cook by the age of 16. He subsequently joined the culinary department of Walt Disney World® in Orlando. Mr. Gioia obtained his Associate in Culinary Arts degree from Schenectady Community College in Schenectady, New York. He later pursued advanced culinary education in Italy, studying and honing his skills within the Venice culinary scene. He resides in Orlando.