Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa, the largest full-service beachfront resort hotel on Northwest Florida’s Gulf Coast, has appointed Laurie Graupner as the new executive chef of Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, the resort’s AAA Four-Diamond restaurant.
Chef Graupner joined the Seagar’s team five years ago as a part-time prep cook who quickly learned and moved up as a line cook then earned title of Sous Chef.
She trained under the leadership of Chef Dan Vargo, the previous executive chef of Seagar’s and newly appointed executive chef of Hilton Sandestin Beach.
“Working closely with Chef Vargo for many years, Chef Graupner shares his passion for locally sourced ingredients and partnering with local purveyors,” said Gary Brielmayer, general manager of Hilton Sandestin Beach. “Building on her experience with Chef Vargo, she will continue to enhance Seagar’s fine-dining experience and bring new and innovative ideas to our thriving culinary team.”
With 14 years of experience in the culinary arts, Chef Graupner has held a wide array of positions in the industry, training and studying alongside a diverse group of chefs. Originally from Menasha, Wisconsin, Chef Graupner moved to Florida to broaden her culinary skills, relishing the opportunity to experiment with the state’s abundant and accessible fresh, local produce and seafood.
“Moving to Florida opened a whole new world of culinary possibilities for me,” said Graupner.
“I really enjoy using all of the fresh products available on the Gulf Coast and I’m excited to continue Chef Vargo’s legacy here at Seagar’s.”
Northwest Florida’s longest-standing AAA Four-Diamond Restaurant, Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, has been extolled by critics as a premium dining destination. Seagar’s has long been acclaimed for its 600-label wine list, dramatic table-side food preparation and nightly live entertainment. Seagar’s interior colour palette takes inspiration from the restaurant’s beach-side location, featuring soft blues, greens, platinum and sandy hues, set in striking contrast to traditional Brazilian cherry and mahogany accents.