Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort announced the appointment of Matthew Krueger to executive chef of Hotel Effie. Chef Krueger assumes the position immediately, helming the kitchen at the hotel’s signature restaurant Ovide, the only Florida restaurant by James Beard Award-winning Chef Hugh Acheson. Acheson, who was awarded Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chef and known for television appearances on Bravo’s Top Chef, is responsible for curating the hotel’s culinary concepts based on southern cuisine and coastal flavors. Acheson conceptualized the menus for all of the hotel’s food and beverage outlets, including Ara Rooftop & Pool Lounge, The Lobby Bar (TLB) and Sweetbay Coffee.


As executive chef, Krueger will collaborate with Chef Acheson to oversee all aspects of food and beverage operations across the hotel’s four restaurant outlets and in-room dining. In his new role, he’ll supervise the culinary team, manage budgets and maintain the overall guest experience. Krueger will work closely with Steven Grubbs, the hotel’s sommelier and wine director, to create pairings for Ovide’s menu and Kellie Thorn, the hotel’s lead mixologist. He’ll also work closely with local farmers and vendors to ensure the hotel restaurants continue to serve farm fresh and sustainable ingredients whenever possible.


“We are delighted to welcome Chef Krueger to our Hotel Effie family,” said Brad Busby, general manager of Hotel Effie. “At our core, we are defined by Effie’s role as the ultimate southern hostess and serving wonderful food is a large part of that experience. We have no doubt that Chef Krueger will work well with Chef Acheson to continue to please our guests with outstanding service and cuisine at Ovide and our other culinary outlets.”


Chef Krueger is a 15-year veteran of the hospitality industry. He graduated from the Art Institute of Salt Lake City, where he received a degree in culinary arts. He proceeded to work in kitchens at prestigious luxury resorts across the US,  including J&G Grill at the St. Regis Deer Valley in Park City, The Lodge at Sea Island Resort in Georgia and Homestead Resort in Utah. During his time at The Lodge, the restaurant received its 5-star rating from Forbes, among other accolades.


“It’s a dream come true to work alongside Chef Acheson and the team of chefs at Hotel Effie,” said Chef Krueger. “I look forward to expanding our menus, showcasing some of the beautiful, fresh seafood found here along the Emerald Coast and welcoming our guests into our restaurants.”


Hotel Effie Sandestin is managed by Highgate, a premier hospitality investment and management company whose growing portfolio includes more than one hundred properties in gateway cities worldwide.


Hotel Effie is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts Lifestyle Collection. All guests of Hotel Effie are eligible to enroll in the I Prefer hotel rewards program, which extends points redeemable for cash-value reward certificates, elite status, and special benefits such as complimentary internet to members upon every stay at more than 700 participating Preferred Hotels and Resorts locations worldwide.


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Highgate is a leading real estate investment and hospitality management company widely recognized as an innovator in the industry. Highgate is the dominant player in major U.S. gateway cities including New York, Boston, Miami, San Francisco and Honolulu, with a growing footprint in Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. The hospitality forward company provides expert guidance through all stages of the property cycle, from planning and development through recapitalization or disposition. Highgate has a proven record of developing its diverse portfolio of bespoke lifestyle hotel brands, legacy brands, and independent hotels and resorts with contemporary programming and digital acumen. The company utilizes industry-leading revenue management tools that efficiently identify and predict evolving market dynamics to drive outperformance and maximize asset value. With an executive team consisting of some of the most experienced hotel management leaders, the company is a trusted partner for top ownership groups and major hotel brands. Highgate maintains corporate offices in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Seattle, Waikiki and London.



Hugh Acheson is the chef and owner of Five & Ten and The National located in Athens, Georgia, as well as Empire State South and Spiller Park Coffee in Atlanta. He is also the founder of Seed Life Skills, a living, multimedia curriculum built to serve the needs of the modern family & consumer sciences (founded as home economics) classroom, empowering youth to be sustainable stewards of food and financial resources. Adding to his list of dining establishments, Acheson opened Atlanta restaurant Empire State South in the summer of 2010 and coffee shop Spiller Park Coffee in November 2015. Most recently, he opened By George in Atlanta’s historic Candler Hotel in 2019. A six-time James Beard nominee and 2012 winner for Best Chef Southeast, Acheson’s fresh approach to Southern food has earned him a great deal of recognition including Food & Wine’s Best New Chef and the Atlanta Journal Constitution Restaurant of the Year. In 2010, Acheson competed on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters: Season 3.” He returned to the hit series as a judge on “Top Chef” as well as “Top Chef: Duels.” He also hosted Bravo’s online complement to “Top Chef Masters,” “Battle of the Sous Chefs.” Acheson’s cookbook titled “A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen” won the award for Best Cookbook in the category of “American Cooking” by the James Beard Foundation in 2012.



Hotel Effie, situated on Florida’s Emerald Coast, features 250 guest rooms and suites, four culinary concepts by acclaimed Chef Hugh Acheson, a luxury spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and the only rooftop pool on Florida’s Emerald Coast. The hotel also features 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 13,000-square-foot ballroom. Guests have access to the full complement of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort amenities including more than seven miles of pristine beaches and bayfront, four championship golf courses, 15 world-class tennis courts, a 223-slip marina, and an additional 65,000 square feet of meeting space. Additionally, the Village of Baytowne Wharf, a charming pedestrian village with events, shopping, dining and nightlife, is located within walking distance of Hotel Effie. Visit to learn more and follow the hotel on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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