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Executive Chef James Clark Introduces New Culinary Team Members at The Carolina Inn’s Carolina Crossroads Restaurant

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (August 2012) – New executive chef James Clark announces three members of his culinary team at the award-winning Carolina Crossroads Restaurant at The Carolina Inn – one of only three Forbes Four-Star restaurants in North Carolina and a AAA Four Diamond-rated restaurant specializing in Contemporary Southern Cuisine committed to a strong emphasis on local fresh sustainable ingredients.

Clark tapped his Southern connections to bring aboard Bill Hartley as executive sous chef and Sara Beth Thomas as executive pastry chef. Meanwhile, Christian Tondre has been promoted to chef de cuisine.

For almost four years, Hartley worked with Chef Clark at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, S.C., in both executive chef and sous chef capacities and assisted setting the standard of local sustainable “Farm to Table” cuisine in the Grand Strand. Hartley also helped open the Tommy Bahamas’s Tropical Café in Myrtle Beach and served as executive sous chef for four years at the Myrtle Beach Marriott at Grande Dunes. Earlier, he held positions at Marriott properties in Williamsburg, Va., and Park Ridge., N.J., plus two other restaurants in New Jersey. Hartley earned his Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

Thomas boasts experience working at other nationally-acclaimed luxury properties, most recently as pastry chef at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach. She also held pastry positions at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in Charleston, S.C., The Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne, Fla., The Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch in Avon, Colo., Wintergreen Resorts in Wintergreen, Va., and Boar’s Head Inn & Private Club in Charlottesville, Va. Among her many talents, Thomas has produced various Modern American and European pastries and breads, different specialty sculptures, chocolate, sugar, and modern class wedding cakes. She earned an Associates Degree in Pastry Arts from Pennsylvania Culinary in Pittsburgh, Penn.

Tondre has been a member of the Carolina Crossroads team for almost two years in lead line cook and line cook capacities.  He previously spent time working in the Northeast at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., Ward’s Publick House in Warwick, R.I., and Palmieri Foods in New Haven, Conn. Just like Hartley, Tondre earned his Associates Degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

Built on the campus of UNC Chapel Hill in 1924 by John Sprunt Hill – distinguished alumnus, successful businessman and University trustee – The Carolina Inn’s original concept was “to provide for the special wants and comforts of the University alumni...and University visitors.” The historical Carolina Inn features 185 charming and well-appointed guestrooms including 7 luxury suites.

Destination Hotels & Resorts is a privately held hospitality management company headquartered in Colorado. With more than 35 independent, luxury and upscale hotels, resorts and golf clubs, Destination is the third largest hospitality management company in the country. The company’s portfolio features more than 8,970 guest rooms, 15 golf courses and 16 full-service spas. Destination Hotels & Resorts properties are located in key metropolitan and resort markets including Washington, D.C., Seattle, Denver, San Diego, Santa Fe, Aspen, Austin, Phoenix, Portland, Palm Springs, Palos Verdes, Maui and Lake Tahoe. The company is a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based investment, development and management firm Lowe Enterprises. For a complete list of properties in the Destination Hotels & Resorts collection, please visit