Farm to Tray Stories: Chef Craig Reid, Westin New York Times Square

Soup Kitchen Stories: 2018

Biography: Chef Craig Reid, Executive Chef, Westin New York Times Square

Chef Craig lives with his family in Merrick, on the South Shore of Long Island. His passion for food began at the age of 7 when he and his father on Saturday mornings would watch cooking shows on PBS. They would both plan out the evening meal and then go shopping to recreate those recipes. His father wasn’t a chef but he loved cooking, so his enthusiasm inspired Craig to be a Chef. His culinary journey started at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, where he achieved an Associate’s Degree in Occupational Studies. He then graduated to contemporary plated desserts and then on to the CIA in St. Helene, CA focusing on Food & Wine Dynamics.

Chef Craig held several entry-level hospitality positions early in his career then moved south where he spent 8 years at various country clubs and restaurants as a Banquet Chef, Chef de Cuisine, Executive Sous and Executive Chef in Georgia. As the Executive Chef at the Doublegate Country Club in Albany, GA, Chef Craig managed all kitchen operations and designed & implemented seasonal menus for this 2,500 member private club.

In 2002, Chef Craig returned north to work as the Executive Sous Chef at Pier Sixty/ The Lighthouse in NYC. The following year he returned to the hotel industry by taking
a Sous Chef position at the Grand Hyatt on

East 42nd Street. During his 4 years at this 1,300-room property he was responsible for the restaurant and in-room dining and as the Banquet Sous Chef he oversaw the
production and execution of all functions in their banquet rooms.

Enthusiastic and loving the hotel industry, Chef Craig decided to move to an even larger property as the Banquet Chef at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel. In February of 2010, he was promoted to Executive Sous Chef, where he implemented new corporate initiatives, set up training for the culinary team of over 60 cooks and developed seasonal rotation menus for the restaurant, lounge and banquets.

Some of the most notable events at the property were the annual Clinton Global Initiative led by President Bill Clinton, the Yankees Homecoming Dinner and the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick Dinner. During Chef Craig’s time at the Sheraton he enjoyed participating in charitable events, including the Children’s Aide Society Annual Thanksgiving Dinner & Sip for the Sea to support the New York Aquarium.

In the fall of 2015, Craig was promoted to Executive Chef at the Westin New York Times Square. As he takes on new challenges at the Westin he continues to enhance his skills, develop flavors and create appetizing menus for guests, associates and his family