Balboa Bay Resort announced the appointment of Rachel Haggstrom to executive chef of the luxurious Newport Beach resort. Haggstrom has been serving as the property’s chef de cuisine since October 2013.
In her new role, Haggstrom will oversee the resort’s dining restaurants, including Waterline Newport Beach, the resort’s signature bay front seafood restaurant and A&O Kitchen+Bar, the resort’s waterfront gastropub. Haggstrom will also manage the resort’s day-to-day culinary operations, including special events, galas and weddings.
“Rachel has been instrumental in spearheading the development and implementation of the resort’s culinary programs,” said Sam El-Rabaa, general manager of Balboa Bay Resort. “Her depth of knowledge and extraordinary experience, both at five star resorts and elite culinary destinations, make her the ideal candidate to lead us to new culinary heights.”
Balboa Bay Resort was previously under the culinary direction of executive chef Vincent Lesage, who is now the executive chef at the resort’s sister Meritage Collection property, Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, CA.
“I look forward to this next chapter and leading the culinary team to greater heights, Haggstrom said. “I am excited to use my training and expertise to create memorable dining experiences for resort guests and the local community.”
Growing up on her family’s citrus grove in Temecula, CA, Haggstrom became fascinated by the farming process, from planting seeds to harvesting and she naturally developed a passion for food and cooking with fresh produce. Haggstrom graduated from the California Culinary Academy – Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, CA, and went on to work at various elite culinary destinations, including The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, Wolfgang Puck ‘s Postrio at the Kimpton Hotel San Francisco, and Thomas Keller’s Michelin three-star restaurant, The French Laundry. It was during her tenure at The French Laundry that she developed her signature “farm-to-table” cooking style. Prior to joining Balboa Bay Resort as chef de cuisine in October 2013, Haggstrom served as sous chef at St. Regis Monarch Beach.
When Haggstrom is not in the kitchen, she enjoys relaxing and spending time with her husband and daughter.