TAMPA, Fla. – The dual-branded Aloft and Element Hotel in midtown Tampa has appointed Johnathan Rodriguez as its new dual-brand executive chef and food and beverage director.
Rodriguez will direct daily culinary operations at the hotel’s rooftop bar, Sal Y Mar, and oversee food and beverage operations for meetings, corporate events, local catering functions, and special occasions in the hotel’s 5,250 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.
“Johnathan fully embraces our mission of providing an elevated dining experience to our guests and locals alike, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the team,” said Evette Torres, dual general manager for Aloft and Element Hotel. “He has wasted no time putting his culinary talents to work, already introducing a new menu and management team to help execute his vision for Sal Y Mar.”
With more than 18 years of experience, Rodriguez’s culinary career spans Italian, Spanish, French, Mediterranean, and American cuisines. Most recently executive chef at Sea Salt in St. Pete, he has worked at Trump National Golf Club Westchester in New York, as sous chef for Opal Sands Resort in Clearwater, and chef in training at Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort. Rodriguez worked and trained at two Michelin grade restaurants and has won numerous awards and honors.
While taking in 360-degree views of the Tampa, Westshore, and St. Petersburg skylines, guests at Sal Y Mar can experience a new menu inspired by Rodriguez’s Spanish background and influences from the Mexican coastal town of Tulum. The new menu features dishes like ceviche, chef’s selection charcuterie board, a deconstructed paella, and the signature Sal Y Mar Tomahawk (32 to 34 oz). Sal Y Mar also serves a wide array of classic and artisanal craft cocktails, local craft beers, and Spanish and Italian wines curated by Rodriguez himself.