Wild Dunes Resort Announces New Food and Beverage Team Members

Wild Dunes Resort

Wild Dunes Resort

CHARLESTON, S.C. (November 15, 2021) – Wild Dunes Resort, a Destination by Hyatt property in Isle of Palms, is pleased to announce the appointment of three new food and beverage team members at the resort’s on-site restaurants, Coastal Provisions and Oystercatcher Restaurant & Bar. At the Oystercatcher, located in the brand-new Sweetgrass Inn, Austin Blake joins the team as the chef de cuisine. At Coastal Provisions, located in the Boardwalk Inn lobby, Joshua Smolik joins the team as the general manager and Thalita Smith is the new chef de cuisine.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Chef Austin, Chef Thalita and Joshua Smolik to the food and beverage team at Wild Dunes Resort,” says Robb Walker, managing director of Wild Dunes Resort. “We look forward to the continued growth of Wild Dunes’ culinary department under the helm of these staff members and their wealth of knowledge and experience.”

Please see biographies below:

Austin Blake, Chef de Cuisine, Oystercatcher Restaurant & Bar
Born and raised in Springfield, Va., his mother was well versed in preparing great meals, while his father was an executive chef in D.C. Chef Austin comes from a large family, the middle of seven children. Sunday suppers were memorable, chaotic, filled with extended family and bountiful. Opting to pursue a career in culinary rather than college Austin began climbing the kitchen ladder at The Salamander Resort in Middleburg, Va., where he was commis on all stations of the brigade, being promoted to sous chef within three years. Chef Blake then became sous chef at Vernick Food and Drink in Philadelphia, Pa. and the Inn at Swarthmore in Swarthmore, Pa. Chef Blake enjoys teaching techniques and methods of food preparation, combining food elements and ingredients, feeds off the pace of the kitchen and the comradery it presents. Chef Blake enjoys following trends that blend the practical and avant-garde and enjoys foods that blend or blur the lines between being adventurous and friendly.

Thalita Smith, Chef de Cuisine, Coastal Provisions
Born and raised in Brazil, Chef Thalita moved to the United States in 2012 and began her career as a culinary apprentice at Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Wood, N.H., where she worked for a year in the Stickney’s Steakhouse. Chef Thalita made her next career move to Philadelphia and began working for R2L Restaurant as sauté station commis and was quickly promoted to junior sous and eventually sous chef during her six years. Needing a change, Chef Thalita opted to direct her career path on a different style of food preparation, one that was more intimate, stylized and food focused. Chef accepted a line position at Laurel in Philadelphia, chosen because it was small, technique driven, with a creative tasting menu. After her first year at Laurel, Chef-Owner Nicholas Elmi created a sous chef position for her, where she remained for another year and a half. After a short stay at Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Philadelphia, Chef Thalita decided to move to Charleston and join the Wild Dunes culinary team as the chef de cuisine at Coastal Provisions. Chef Thalita enjoys showcasing ingredients prepared in different ways within a dish, making people happy, creating memories and building relationships with her team and guests. Chef Thalita’ s favorite style of food is Brazilian because of the memories, family and fun times, Thalita is fluent is both Portuguese and Spanish.

Joshua Smolik, General Manager, Coastal Provisions
As the general manager of Coastal Provisions, Joshua Smolik will plan and direct all restaurant operations at the restaurant. He has worked in the hospitality industry for 11 years and previously served as the general manager at Monza Pizza Bar, Del Frisco’s Grill and Henrietta’s at the Dewberry, all of which are in Charleston. Smolik also served as the food and beverage manager at Charleston’s Grand Bohemian Hotel.

To learn more or to book a stay at Wild Dunes Resort, please visit https://www.destinationhotels.com/wild-dunes.


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