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Chef José Andrés Names Sam Bakhshandehpour CEO of the World

José Andrés has made a significant move by appointing Sam Bakhshandehpour as the global chief executive officer of the José Andrés Group (JAG). In this new role, Bakhshandehpour will work closely with Ron Parker, the president and chief operating officer, and Nester Nova, the chief financial officer, to guide the group’s ambitious plans for growth and innovation.

Andrés expressed his confidence in Bakhshandehpour, stating that he understands the power of restaurants to create meaningful connections and foster community engagement on a global scale. This appointment aligns with Andrés’ vision of leveraging food as a transformative force in society.

Alongside this leadership change, JAG has also announced key appointments within its culinary and creative teams. Chef Rick Billings has been named chief culinary officer, while chef Carles Tejedor steps into the role of chief creative officer. These changes reflect the group’s ongoing commitment to culinary excellence and innovation in dining experiences.

The company’s board of directors has been strengthened with the addition of Justin Heyman, managing director at global investment firm RockCreek, and Carlota Andrés, senior associate of partnerships at Wonder. RockCreek’s partnership with JAG aims to support the company’s next phase of growth. Heyman highlighted JAG as a prime example of how the food and hospitality industry can be both a successful business and a catalyst for positive change.

José Andrés will continue his role as founder and executive chairman of JAG, overseeing a diverse portfolio of nearly 40 restaurant concepts in major cities across the U.S. and internationally, including Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Orlando, Washington D.C., The Bahamas, and Dubai. Additionally, José Andrés Media, established in 2021, continues to drive content that highlights the social impact of food.

Bakhshandehpour emphasized the importance of staying true to the group’s higher purpose at this critical juncture, uniting their talented team and attracting partners who share their vision. His leadership is expected to play a crucial role in navigating the company through its growth trajectory.

JAG’s future plans include a new development project with Hyatt Hotels and its first waterfront residential development in West Palm Beach at Olara. This summer, JAG will open Bazaar Mar and Bar Centro at The Shops at Crystals in Las Vegas, followed by new locations at The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California. The company is also focused on expanding its existing concepts, with EagleBank leading debt refinancing to support this expansion.

These strategic initiatives underscore JAG’s dedication to innovation, community involvement, and culinary excellence. With Bakhshandehpour at the helm and a strengthened leadership team, the José Andrés Group is poised for a dynamic and impactful future in the food and hospitality industry.

Sadhna B

Sadhna B

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