Richard Gras is the Executive Chef of the Sammons Wing at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. In this role, Gras leads and directs all kitchen operations and menu creation for the Sammons Wing restaurants and bars including Sunset Terrace, Sunset Cocktail Terrace, The Great Hall Bar, EDISON Craft Ales + Kitchen, Vue 1913 and the Presidents Lounge.
Gras joined the resort following his time as Executive Sous Chef at the Ritz-Carlton Charlotte property where he oversaw the culinary division, curated locally driven menus and received a five-diamond rating in 2018. He has also worked as the Executive Chef at Florida’s Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Chef de Cuisine at Pier A, The Harbour House in New York City and Executive Chef at OAK Restaurant in Dallas.
Gras was raised in the Hudson Valley in New York and began his culinary career while studying at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island where he earned his culinary arts degree. After he graduated, Gras headed to Florida for his first job with the Ritz-Carlton. Through his previous experience working directly with Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Thomas Keller and Jordi Valles, Gras developed a strong appreciation for what food can become, the thoughtfulness behind a dish and how to step out of your comfort zone for dishes that go beyond the mainstream.
Over 20 immersive signature events are featured throughout the weekend! Tours, dinners, parties, foraging and more await.
This inspired, friendly and free-spirited food scene tucked in the mountains of Appalachia has been called “Foodtopia,” but the locals just call it home. Plan your trip now.
Access to affordable and healthy food and reducing food waste are important initiatives of the signature event’s charitable giving goals.