New dessert menu will feature modern, playful twists on old favorites

AUSTIN, TEXAS – September 21, 2015 – Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants adds a sweet new addition to their impressive culinary lineup, with the appointment of Callie Speer as the Executive Pastry Chef of Geraldine’s. Critically acclaimed for her innovative and nostalgic desserts, Speer brings an exciting, fresh perspective to the role. Set to open October 2015 on the fourth floor of the Hotel Van Zandt, Geraldine’s will feature contemporary, Austin-inspired cuisine, daily live music and expansive views of Lady Bird Lake.

A Texas-native, Speer got her start working in the kitchen of Austin’s Cipollina, before landing a highly-coveted pastry position at the neighboring fine dining establishment, Jeffrey’s. From there, Speer served as the Pastry Chef of Mars, before accepting a position working alongside famed Chef Shawn Cirkiel at his contemporary American concept, Parkside. In 2009, Speer joined Chef Cirkiel at his James Beard Foundation dinner, where she created the dessert pairing.

Prior to joining Geraldine’s, Speer worked with the Chameleon Group, serving as the Executive Pastry Chef of Swift’s Attic and as the Head Pastry Chef and Creative Director of Delish Bakery and Wu Chow. During her time with the group, Speer appeared on Bravo’s “Best New Restaurant” and developed a cult following for her whimsical dessert menu, earning a Food & Wine “People’s Best New Chef” nomination in 2013 and the title ofPastry Chef of the Year” by CultureMap in 2015.

In her role as Executive Pastry Chef, Speer will be responsible for menu conception and day-to-day pastry operations. The menu, holding true to Speer’s pastry aesthetic, will put a fresh, new spin on childhood favorites, offering diners approachable treats with nostalgic undertones. The fall menu will feature a selection of seasonally-driven crowd pleasers, such as the Lemon Buttermilk Pie with apple butter and cornflake crunch.

After playing an instrumental role in setting Geraldine’s up for success, Kyle McKinney has parted ways with the restaurant to explore other opportunities.

Geraldine’s will be open for breakfast and dinner service seven days a week, in addition to Sunday brunch. For more information, please

ABOUT GERALDINE’S              

Opening fall 2015, Geraldine’s is located on the fourth floor of Hotel Van Zandt, the latest concept from the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. In homage to its Rainey Street location, the restaurant is named after the street’s famous former resident, Geraldine the guinea fowl. In addition to its contemporary Austin menu and cocktail program, Geraldine’s will feature daily live music and breathtaking views of Lady Bird Lake. The menu, curated by Chef Frank Mnuk, offers seasonally-driven dishes inspired by the flavors of the city.  Designed as a shared dining experience, Geraldine’s encourages customers to socialize, taste and share bites from a variety of small plates and select few large format dishes. For more information, please visit


Kimpton has over 70 unique restaurants, bars and lounges across the country helmed by renowned chefs and bartenders that offer guests a chance to dine like a local. Common cornerstones of each restaurant and bar include heartfelt care; chef-crafted, seasonal menus that celebrate local farms and purveyors; and striking interiors with vibrant style and design. Wines are chosen with a nod toward artisanal and sustainable selections by Master Sommelier Emily Wines and signature cocktails are created by expert local bartenders. Kimpton restaurants also demonstrate a dedication to preserving the environment through the use of local and sustainable ingredients, including adhering to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guidelines; the use of compostable “to go” packaging; and recycling and composting practices. With concepts ranging from rustic Italian cuisine in the Pacific Northwest to oceanic fare on the Florida coast and alluring rooftop lounges and bars tucked away in the nation’s capital, each Kimpton restaurant is as distinct and expressive as its location. For more information, visit