Chef James Aptakin – Executive Chef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Winner of the Food Network Caterers Challenge, Florida native, Executive Chef James Aptakin, is spicing up the Hilton San Francisco Financial District kitchen with fiery Miami heat! Influenced early on by South American and Spanish flavors, Chef Aptakin is classically trained in French cuisine. With an appetite for Pan Asian tastes, Aptakin plans to demonstrate his combined culinary passions on a splashy new menu.

James began career aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, where he earned his stripes by feeding over 6,000 people. Upon finishing his tour of duty in Alameda, California, Aptakin honed his skills at both the California Culinary Academy and the Culinary Institute of America.

A philanthropist at heart, James strongly believes in giving back. As a chef consultant to the Boys & Girls Club of Napa, he gives cooking classes and inspiration. Co-creator of Chefs for Charity, James uses his talent to raise money for victims of tragedy. Competitive in nature, Aptakin has made a celebrity name for himself in the Bay Area. In addition to his first place in the Food Network Caterers Challenge, Chef James placed first in the Iron Chef Tomato Competition and Oakland Jambalaya Cook Fest, too. With a dash of spice, James plans to infuse his good-natured competitive spirit hotel-wide, and put the culinary team at the Hilton San Francisco Financial District on the map!

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