Cape Rey Carlsbad Appoints Teri McIllwain As Culinary Director

San Diego Bred and Trained, McIllwain Infuses Menus at Chandler’s Carlsbad with her Creative Approach to Local, Coastal Cuisine

This information originated in American English.

November 01, 2015

CARLSBAD, Calif. - Teri McIllwain has been named culinary director at Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort. In her new role, McIllwain will leverage her diverse industry experience and passion for locally sourced, healthy cuisine to develop fresh menus, social offerings and group activities both at the resort's ocean view Chandler's restaurant and through the catering and room service divisions.

"Teri's deep creativity and passion for food combined with her culinary knowledge and familiarity with the north county San Diego lifestyle, make her an ideal pick for crafting and delivering truly flavorful and eclectic California cuisine," says Clifton Carmody, director of food and beverage operations, Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort. "Her openness to learn, teach and lead stems from her love of the kitchen and promises to bring incredible dining experiences to our increasingly discerning guests."

McIllwain's fresh approach in Chandler's includes creating new seasonal, coastal-inspired menus that are centered on premium ingredients sourced from local and sustainable farms. Menus also feature weekly dishes inspired by the best ingredients from nearby farmer's markets. To help her in the quest, McIllwain has recruited Matt Geremia, formerly a chef at the popular Solana Beach eatery Crush, to step into the role of senior sous chef and her second in command.

"I want each guest to taste the essence of the coast through their palate," states McIllwain. "Food is so much more than fuel for the body; we create memories every time we gather around the table. Every meal is a memory, and it should reflect of our laid-back, SoCal vibe."

Prior to joining Cape Rey, McIllwain served as chef de cuisine at Omni La Costa Resort and Spa working in nearly all of the resort's culinary outlets including Diversions Sport Lounge, Bluefire Grill, Catering and Banquets. While at La Costa, she also served as a nutritional chef for the onsite, wellness-focused Premier Fitness Camp and Chopra Center. McIllwain attended the San Diego Culinary Institute after entering the field as a private chef and Bon Appetit culinary instructor for Sur La Table stores in San Diego.

To learn more about Cape Rey and Chandler's, visit the property's website on

About Cape Rey Carlsbad, a Hilton Resort
Located along the sunny San Diego coast directly across from Carlsbad State Beach, the 215-room Cape Rey boasts a modern, California Craftsman-style design with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Opened in June 2012, this North San Diego luxury hotel was honored with the AAA Four Diamond distinction in 2013. Guests of Cape Rey enjoy the best of the beach communities' lifestyle. On property amenities include the sea-inspired Ocean Crest Spa, an expansive, ocean view swimming pool and Chandler's Restaurant & Lounge, a stylish restaurant where guests can enjoy fresh, regional cuisine and stunning views. The perfect basecamp for exploring Southern California, Cape Rey provides easy access to the beaches, parks, shopping and dining in Carlsbad, Leucadia, Encinitas and Oceanside. Just 30 minutes north of San Diego, Cape Rey is minutes away from LEGOLAND California, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Disneyland California and a variety of other fun attractions. Visit for more information. 


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