Karol Hotel announces Thomas Parker as new executive chef

Thomas Parker has joined The Karol Hotel as executive chef. He will oversee the hotel’s K Club Bar & Bistro and Vantage Rooftop Bar, as well as F&B offerings in its meeting and event space.
Thomas Parker has joined The Karol Hotel as executive chef. He will oversee the hotel’s K Club Bar & Bistro and Vantage Rooftop Bar, as well as F&B offerings in its meeting and event space.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. – The Karol Hotel in Pinellas County, Fla., recently announced the appointment of Thomas Parker as executive chef.

Parker will direct daily culinary operations at the hotel’s K Club Bar & Bistro and Vantage Rooftop Bar, while overseeing food and beverage offerings for meetings, corporate events, local catering functions, and special occasions in the hotel’s 7,340 square feet of events space.

“Thomas has been honing his craft in kitchens across Ohio since he was 15 years old,” said Adam Duffey, general manager at The Karol Hotel. “We’re thrilled to bring his passion and expertise to the Sunshine State and look forward to sharing with guests the creative culinary vision he’s bringing to The Karol.”

Parker was most recently executive chef of the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Canton, Ohio, the partner hotel of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Prior to that, he was chef de cuisine of the Hilton Hotel in downtown Cleveland and held chef positions with Landmark Restaurant and Metropolitan at the 9, both based in Ohio. He is a native of Warren, Ohio.

According to a media release, Parker will be adding his own touch to current menus at The Karol, incorporating a few Italian favorites to the New American cuisine inspired by the flavors of the Florida coast. Coming this summer, K Club Bar & Bistro will feature new dinner options such as an espresso crusted filet and apple brined pork chop, as well as local snapper and grouper dishes. Short rib and sausage Bolognese, shrimp and mussel arabiatta, and even a vegan spaghetti and meatballs will also grace the new menu. The new dessert menu with highlights including peanut butter and jelly bread pudding, “Froot Loop” cereal cake, and Chocolate 4 Ways. The Vantage Rooftop Bar also has a new menu highlighted by filet tartare, oysters on the half shell, smoked fish dip, and the vantage charcuterie board, which is chef-selected daily.

In the downstairs lobby adjacent the restaurant, the K Club Bar welcomes guests in a relaxed, leather-trimmed retreat, while Vantage Rooftop Bar is the only climate-controlled rooftop bar in the area, where guests sit 12 stories high while taking in stunning views of downtown Tampa and beyond.

The Karol Hotel is named for and inspired by Karol Kelly Bullard, “Miss Karol K,” wife of Fred Bullard, CEO of The Bullard Group, developer and owner of the property. The hotel’s design and décor are a reflection of Miss Karol K’s life–from her early days as Miss Florida and the state’s first “weather woman” to her current role as community activist and philanthropist.

The hotel is located 12 minutes from St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport and 20 minutes from Tampa International Airport.

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