Our Culinary Team


Nick Marchesano
Executive Chef

Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Nick’s Culinary education began young. As part of the local parish’s Men’s Club, Nick’s Father would dawn an apron to cook for the annual Spaghetti Dinner hosted by the parish. In the days leading up to the event, Nick’s father would peel garlic, chop herbs, and roll and sear thousands of meatballs and of course, Nick would help. After high school, Nick travelled from his father’s kitchen to Johnson & Wales University to formalize his culinary education. While there, he studied in Italy with Chef Andrea Trapani at the Apicius International School of Hospitality in Florence, Italy. Chef Nick’s enthusiasm for excellent cuisine took him to the Charlotte Country Club and then eventually The Atlantic Room at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort as a Sous Chef, working closely with the Executive Chefs to further his skills as a Chef and manager. In 2011 his experience gained him a position supporting the world-renowned annual Augusta National Masters Tournament by assisting in the opening of Berkman’s Place under Chef John Johnstone CMC. 2016 found Nick assisting in the creation of the menu and team for Charleston, South Carolina’s Dewberry Hotel as the Opening Executive Sous Chef. Charleston’s intimate food network allowed Nick to build relationships with local, small farms and purveyors to provide guests with genuine glimpse at low country cuisine. Cooking in Charleston instilled in Nick the importance of a Chef’s responsibility to source ethically and locally while maintaining the regions historic foodways. In 2017, Chef Nick embraced the challenges and opportunities of preparing locally-sourced meals throughout Europe and the United States as the Touring Chef for Grammy Award-winning musician Ed Sheeran. Nick met his wife Casey during the 2018 Master’s tournament and the two became engaged backstage at an Ed Sheeran concert in Riga, Latvia. With his wanderlust sated, Chef Nick and his wife moved to Colorado and joined the team at the Broadmoor in 2019 as The Chef De Cuisine of Ristorante Del Lago and Play. After transitioning through several renown golf clubs, boutique hotels, and resorts, Nick is now working for The Gasparilla Inn as their Executive Chef. Nick believes that The Gasparilla Inn has always been a key player in the culinary arena and has been home to many renown culinarians and he hopes to continue that tradition.

Logan Gise
Executive Sous Chef

Growing up in Frederick, Maryland, a city equidistant from both D.C. and Baltimore, Logan started his cooking career from the ripe age of 14 in a small seafood restaurant. Upon finishing high school he decided to move to Charlotte, North Carolina to attend Johnson & Wales University to pursue a Bachelors degree in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management. During Logan’s junior year of college, he completed one of his required semesters at the At-Sunrice Globalchef Academy in Singapore. Upon graduation, Logan found a job at a local upscale fish market in Charlotte and learned the trade of being a fishmonger. He quickly fell in love with the high end, hard to find ingredients and specialty fish in which the market supplied. A few years later he moved to Charleston, SC to open the Dewberry Hotel with Chef Nick Marchesano. It was here he honed his skills in French Cookery and fine dining. A few years later, an opportunity to open a Restaurant in downtown Baltimore, MD fell into his hands. He opened as a sous chef but was quickly promoted to Executive Chef of one of Baltimore’s premier find dining restaurants serving upscale Baltimore cuisine all while keeping his French rooted cooking close to his heart and menu. He remained in Baltimore until Covid was at its peak and decided it was time for a change. This led him 1600 miles from home to the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs as a Sous Chef of Ristorante del Lago and Play while once again working alongside Chef Marchesano. It was here that he exchanged his knowledge of French butter and cream for fresh pasta and olive oil in the regional Italian restaurant. When life took a turn, Logan traveled back home to Maryland to be closer to family as well as take on the role of Chef de Cuisine at the well established Annapolis Yacht Club. Some time later, Logan spoke with Chef Marchesano and he offered a new experience at the Gasparilla Inn and Club as the Executive Sous Chef where they both currently reside and embrace the cuisine and lifestyle in which South Florida has to offer.

Kono Wendel
Executive Sous Chef

Kono Wendel is currently the Executive Sous Chef at The Gaspparilla Inn & Club for almost 30 years . Having been raised in a military backdrop, he had the opportunity to travel around the globe. Growing up, his culinary journey began with his first trip to the markets of different cultures he encountered while traveling. In 2004 he was invited to the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt Germany to see the best of the best from around the world compete. In 2006 he was one of the first students at the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio campus with his focus in Latin Flavors. Kono’s favorite quote about food is “A recipe has no soul or passion. You, as a cook , must bring soul and passion to the recipe.” -Thomas Keller. When not in the kitchen he loves to spend time at his home in Vermont, play golf, read and work on his Jeep.

Amanda Houdek
Executive Pastry Chef

Executive Pastry Chef Amanda Houdek was born and raised in Hendersonville, NC. Her mother shared her love of cooking and baking, which helped inspire Chef Amanda to pursue culinary arts at Asheville-Buncombe Community Technical College in Asheville, NC. After graduating with her A.A.S. Degree in Baking and Pastry Arts, she began her career in Asheville at The Bistro, an open kitchen concept restaurant connected with America’s most visited winery located on grounds of the Biltmore Estate. Chef Amanda gained valuable leadership experience at Filo Pastries, a European themed bakery, as kitchen manager. At the same time, she furthered her development in specialty chocolate and sugar work studying in with Ewald Notter and John-Pierre Wybauw in Orlando, FL and Johan Martin in Charlotte, NC. She then moved on to the Omni Grove Park Inn to plan and prepare desserts at both The Edison and The Vue Restaurants. Located in Asheville, the Forbes four-star resort is the home of the National Gingerbread Contest. Having refined her pastry skills, Chef Amanda spread her wings and relocated to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she worked with Executive Pastry Chef Adam Thomas for seven years at the Broadmoor Hotel as Pastry Sous Chef & Chocolatier. She prepared desserts for the five star Penrose Room and assisted with the opening of Cafe Julie’s, the hotel’s Parisian Patisserie. During her tenure, she created pastries, chocolates, and showpieces for the cafe and resort. One of her favorite activities was conducting informative pastry and chocolate classes for both guests and staff members. While at the Broadmoor, Chef Amanda was named the 2022 BOH Employee of the Year by the Colorado Restaurant Association. She appeared on the Disney+ show Foodtastic, Rocky Mountain PBS, FOX Colorado and has been featured in multiple publications. In 2023 Chef Amanda decided to go on an adventure by moving across the country to join the culinary team at The Gasparilla Inn & Club. She knows this extremely talented and creative team will continue to challenge and inspire her skills as pastry artist and chocolatier. She, her husband, and their adorable toddler love spending time together at the beach and in the Florida sunshine.

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