The AAA Four Diamond InterContinental Houston – Medical Center has named Harol Ortiz as Executive Chef. In this role, the hospitality veteran brings his international culinary flair to the acclaimed Safina, the all-day, modern Mediterranean restaurant and the hotel’s cosmopolitan craft cocktail destination, The Naturalist Café & Lounge Bar.

The 354-room luxury hotel is located at the western gateway to the Texas Medical Center, steps from Hermann Park and Rice University, and in close proximity to attractions such as NRG Stadium, Rice Village and the Museum District InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) for the top-rated The company’s customer service in North America and is currently ranked as one of the top three Houston customer service hotels by TripAdvisor.

“Chef Ortiz has the expertise, creativity and skill to deliver the world-class dining experiences that guests of the InterContinental Houston – Medical Center have come to expect,” said Doug Kelly, director of sales and marketing for the hotel. “His experience at some of the top hotels on the IHG list proves this is a seamless transition and we are particularly pleased that he is realizing his vision for Safina, which has become a culinary destination in its own right.”

Ortiz brings its own touch to the focus “Land meets sea” at Safina and is in the process of bringing a steak menu onto the market that will harmonize with the hotel’s extensive wine list. He’ll also be adding poched pear salad with cambozola cheese and mixed organic vegetables to the summer menu, along with bone-in short ribs with potato pave, bundles of green beans and carrots, and a Merlot demi-ice cream. He’ll also bring in seafood dishes like grilled octopus with fried fennel potatoes and yellow romanesco sauce and fried Chilean sea bass with toasted corn puree and green beans.

Originally from Caracas, Venezuela, Ortiz stretches from Washington, DC to Miami, where he was a two-time winner of the Greater Miami and The Beaches Hotel Association Inn Key Awards for Best Chef. Prior to joining InterContinental Houston – Medical Center, Ortiz was Executive Chef at Hotel Colonnade Coral Gables, an Autograph Collection hotel in the Miami area, where he was also the head chef and owner of La Churuata, a prestigious Latin American BBQ restaurant special focus on Venezuelan specialties. Prior to that, he was Executive Chef of the famous InterContinental The Willard Washington DC

Ortiz began his culinary career in Miami as a line cook at the Blue Café and later worked at The Setai Miami Beach, where his encounter with Asian, Indian and French techniques sparked his interest in the culinary school. He began his studies at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Miami, earned his associate degree in culinary arts and then his bachelor’s degree in food and beverage from San Ignacio University. Ortiz has also served as Sous Chef at Hotel Victor South Beach and Executive Sous Chef at Miami’s Shiraz Catering.

Follow the link for a press photo by Harol Ortiz.

About InterContinental Houston – Medical Center

Enjoy modern design paired with unparalleled hospitality in the heart of the Texas Medical Center at the InterContinental Houston – Medical Center. Adjacent to the largest medical center in the world, this AAA Four Diamond hotel is ranked in the top 5 of TripAdvisor recommended hotels and offers easy access to major city attractions such as NRG Stadium, Houston Zoo and Hermann Park METRORail or rental bikes. just a few minutes’ walk from the property. Discover Houston’s fine dining, renowned international art and the famous Museum Quarter. If rest and relaxation is your goal, you can make yourself comfortable in the hotel’s spacious luxury suite or discover Safina’s acclaimed Mediterranean flavors and beautiful decor, or enjoy cocktails made in The Naturalist Café and Lounge.

Via Safina and The Naturalist Café and Lounge Bar

Lebanese for boat, Safina transports not only its food, but also a luminous ambience that beautifully captures the spirit of the Mediterranean with high ceilings, glass walls, whitewashed plaster and dramatic accents of color including mosaic tiles. While maintaining an open atmosphere, the restaurant is divided into four areas: The Naturalist Café and Lounge Bar, Coffee Bar, Dining Room and Private Dining Room. The guest enters the lounge, which is reminiscent of the beach with its sand-colored, colorful stone floors, blue upholstered seats and an impressionistic glass bird or fish-depending on the eye of the beholder, floating installation. The transition to the three increasingly formal areas is through a series of characteristic stone arches that lead to the private dining room, where they frame an intensely lively garden painting by Mahmoud Farshchian, an internationally recognized master of Persian painting and miniatures.

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