ChefConnect: Newport Beach Host Chapter & Conference Chef

Meet the Host Chapter

ACF Chapter, ACF Orange Empire Chefs & Professional Cooks Assn. will host ChefConnect: Newport Beach. Learn more about the chapter and how you can get involved.

Richard Reilly

Richard Reilly, CEC, CCA, AAC

Corporate Executive Chef, Custom Culinary, Inc.


Current, Custom Culinary® Corporate Executive Chef, Nestlé USA, Coorporate Executive Chef, Hoag Hospital, Executive Chef, Universal Studios, Executive Sous Chef, Marriot Management Services, Executive Chef, Walt Disney Resorts, Executive Sous Chef/Chef de Cuisine, Ritz Carlton Hotel, Saucies


American Culinary Federation (Currently President Local Chapter since 2015), World Associations of Chefs Societies


2016 American Academy of Chefs inductee, 2016 Antonin Carême medal recipient, 2014 American Culinary Federation local chapter Chef of the Year, 2006 United States Navy, National Corporate Chef Navy Chapter Award, 2010 Certified Executive Chef (CEC), 2009 Certified Culinary Administrator (CCA), 1995 Southern California Restaurant Writers Award the Blue Bayou, 1992 American Culinary Federation- Culinary Salon Bronze Medal, 1994 American Culinary Federation- Culinary Diploma

Andrew Arndt

Meet the ChefConnect: Newport Beach Chef

Andrew Arndt

Executive Chef, Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa

At the age of 14 Andy Arndt started washing dishes at a restaurant near his house in Ramona, California. After a few months Andy started to help with the prep work in the kitchen. It was easy for him to quickly became accustomed to his first kitchen role as Prep cook, because at home, his mother always cooked and he helped. The family rarely ate out (only on special occasions), so he understood a lot of preparing items in the kitchen. Soon after that he was hooked into the kitchen family and wanted to make it his career.

Eager to expand his repertoire, Arndt left the West Coast for New York City, where he embarked on a series of stages with the city's leading chefs. His first stop was at Union Pacific where he worked with Chef Rocco Dispirito. The next stop was at March with Chef Wayne Nish. Soon after, Arndt was lured to Gramercy Tavern by Chef Tom Colicchio. There, Arndt spent the next year absorbing Colicchio’s culinary vision and expanding his knowledge of East Coast ingredients. Arndt was then hired as chef de cuisine at Halcyon Restaurant at the Rihga Royal Hotel. While at Halcyon, he managed a kitchen staff of 40. Under his tenure, Halcyon received some of its best critical reviews since its opening. Arndt leapt on the opportunity to stage under iconic chef Thomas Keller at The French Laundry. At Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, where Arndt was executive chef for four years, he was responsible for the food program at all restaurants and banquets with a large focus on seasonality and farm-to-table mentality. During his tenure, the resort acquired a Five Diamond AAA Rating.

Today he lives in Laguna Niguel. And while he took his lessons in seasonal cooking under Oakes to heart, his own friendly brand of inventive cuisine is all his own. From comfort-driven dishes like short ribs, to wildly inventive fare like gin and tonic Gelee-topped salmon, Arndt's inventiveness is obvious and continues to astound.

Being back in southern California has been great it feels like coming home, utilizing the local community, farmers etc. and showing our international hotel guests what southern California has to offer As The executive Chef at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa Chef Arndt oversees the restaurant, banquets and in room dining.

Andy is married and has 2 children, Daughter Sabine 14 & Son Milo 14

Favorite Wine – Jayson Cabernet

Hobbies – Surfing, Skateboarding, coaching his son’s Basketball

Food – Authentic Fried Chicken & Bbq Ribs