Christopher Schaefer is the executive chef at Geraldine’s at the Hotel Van Zandt. Born and raised in New Jersey, Schaefer’s love affair with food began at an early age and has since carried out through his career. Growing up in a large Italian family where food was at the forefront of every family function, Schaefer spent nearly every weekend cooking with his Grandma and Mom in the kitchen.
Schaefer joined the Marines at age 18 and traveled to California, Japan and South Korea, where he was exposed to a wide variety of foods, ingredients and culinary styles. When his tour was over four years later, he decided to settle in Florida and attend the Florida Culinary Institute where he received degrees in Culinary Arts, Baking & Pastry and Hospitality Management.
The years following, Schaefer worked his way up the restaurant ladder, fine-tuning his skills with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company where he excelled as Sous Chef under Éric Ripert. Schaefer then spent five years as Chef de Cuisine at Seagate Beach Club before joining Kimpton Hotels + Restaurants as Executive Chef at Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa. During his time at Tideline, Schaefer built upon his impressive portfolio, bringing the hotel’s restaurant, Brandon’s, to the James Beard House in New York City. After nearly two years at Tideline, Kimpton expanded Schaefers role to Executive Task Force Chef for the entire Kimpton brand.
Schaefer’s dedication and background in the hospitality industry has made him an asset to the Kimpton brand. In his new role as Executive Chef at Geraldine’s, Schaefer oversees the entire hotel culinary team and is responsible for working with local growers and producers to curate the seasonal menus for Geraldine’s and Café 605.