April 18, 2024

Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk Chef Receives Development Grant to Explore Culinary Traditions in Oaxaca, Mexico

The Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk, a recently renovated hotel in the heart of downtown, is proud to announce that Chef Tournant Katelynn Garcia has been awarded a prestigious development grant from the San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association.

This first-of-its-kind grant in San Antonio will fund Garcia’s trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, where she will immerse herself in the local culture and culinary scene, honing her skills and bringing back new inspiration to the hotel’s guests.

“We are incredibly proud of Katelynn for receiving this grant and amazing opportunity,” said Philip Stamm, Area Vice President and General Manager of Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk. “Her hard work and talent are being recognized on a city-wide level, and we’re excited to see how her Mexican heritage and learnings in Oaxaca will be reflected in her future creations.”

Garcia’s passion for food began in her Brownsville, Texas, home kitchen, where she learned generations-old recipes passed down from her Mexican grandmother. Cooking alongside her grandmother while her single mother worked became a cherished tradition, sparking a love for the culinary arts that Garcia pursued with dedication.

Following graduation from the Culinary Institute of America in 2018, Garcia embarked on a successful culinary journey. She honed her skills as a line cook at the Sagamore restaurant in New York, then returned to Texas, working as lead line cook at The Driskill Hotel in Austin before arriving at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio. Her impressive resume also includes sous chef roles at Canopy by Hilton San Antonio and White Lodging Services.

Garcia recently represented the Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk in the San Antonio Hotel & Lodging Association’s “Culinary Hidden Gems” competition, showcasing her culinary talents. Looking ahead, she hopes to collaborate with local chefs on pop-up restaurants, fostering connections within the San Antonio food scene.

“This grant is a huge honor, and I’m especially excited to visit Oaxaca, the homeland of my family,” said Garcia. “I can’t wait to bring back the knowledge and expertise to share with the Hyatt Regency guests and the San Antonio community. Perfecting traditional Oaxacan dishes like barbacoa, mole, and tamales will be a major focus of my trip.”

In her free time, Garcia enjoys exploring San Antonio’s culinary landscape, catching movies, and hosting potlucks with friends. With seven years of experience under her belt, she credits her success to the support of colleagues, leaders, and fellow chefs.