HALF MOON BAY, CALIF.—The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay—the San Francisco Bay Area’s only oceanfront spa and golf resort—announced the appointment of Alain Zhang as Chef of The Conservatory, the resort’s acclaimed restaurant featuring homegrown, handcrafted California cuisine. Zhang joins the award-winning resort from The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay, where he served as Chef de Cuisine for Sand restaurant.
Zhang was raised in Hohhot, the capital of Inner Mongolia, China. Surrounded by cooking throughout his childhood—his mother’s exceptional cooking was famous around town and his aunt and uncle owned a restaurant in Ordos—Zhang knew at an early age that he wanted to pursue a career in the culinary arts.
After completing his general education and working in his aunt and uncle’s restaurant for a year, Zhang began his formal culinary career as a cook at the Portman at Inner Mongolia International Hotel, Hohhot before working his way up to Chef de Partie. For the next five years, Zhang continued honing his gastronomic skills before advancing to Sous Chef as part of the opening culinary team at Shangri-La Hotel Hohhot at Xin Café, the first restaurant in the capital to feature an open-theatre kitchen concept inviting diners to view the quality of ingredients that go into every dish.
Zhang Worked in Abu Dhabi
Looking to expand his culinary scope internationally, Zhang joined the opening team of Quest Restaurant at Jumeirah Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi as Chef de Partie. During his year there, the fine-dining Pan Asian cuisine restaurant won the “Best Newcomer Restaurant Abu Dhabi” and “Best Chef” awards in 2011 and 2012 by What’s On Awards Abu Dhabi.
Shortly after, Zhang sought out new opportunities in his homeland with a continued focus on fresh regional ingredients, including serving as Chef de Cuisine at Le Meridien Qingdao where he crafted menus and oversaw all culinary outlets. In 2014, he accepted a Sous Chef position at Sand restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay before being promoted to Chef de Cuisine.
Zhang looks forward to developing relationships with the local farmers and fishermen of the Half Moon Bay coast to source the finest produce and sustainable meat and seafood that is, and will continue to be, at the heart of The Conservatory menu.