Meet our Culinary Team at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center

If you’ve ever dined with us at The Class Act Restaurant, than you know our culinary team has an exciting vision and passion for creating delicious food. We want you to get to know our talented team better and learn more about what drives their passion for food.

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From a fledgling bartender in college to food and beverage operations at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, Kasi has always been drawn to the world of hospitality. With a career journey that encompasses diverse roles and experiences, she brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her current position.

Kasi's journey in the food and beverage industry began with her first job in food service, where she quickly realized her natural affinity for the fast-paced environment. Transitioning to bartending, she found her niche, reveling in the autonomy and excitement of running her own little world behind the bar. This early exposure laid the foundation for her future endeavors.

Driven by a desire to excel, Kasi pursued formal education in Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts at Kirkwood, setting her sights on the pinnacle of the industry: Director of Food & Beverage. Along the way, she honed her skills in both front-of-house and back-of-house roles, recognizing the importance of understanding every aspect of the operation to lead effectively.

Her journey led her back to Kirkwood when the opportunity arose to join the opening team of The Hotel at Kirkwood Center. After gaining invaluable experience in Colorado, Kasi returned to her roots, embracing the challenge of overseeing food and beverage operations at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center.

For Kasi the most rewarding aspect of her role lies in the camaraderie and dedication of her team. Together, they transform the basic needs of food and care into a world-class experience, delighting guests with personalized service and attention to detail. Whether it's remembering a guest's favorite drink or orchestrating a flawless wedding celebration, Kasi finds fulfillment in creating memorable moments.

At The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, Kasi and her team are committed to innovation and excellence. Through continuous learning and adaptation, they stay ahead of trends, infusing creativity into every aspect of the dining experience. From monthly World Culinary Tour menus to unique wedding offerings, they delight guests with unforgettable experiences.

Central to Kasi's approach is fostering a culture of hospitality and teamwork. She values authenticity and a genuine desire to serve above all else, believing that passion and dedication are qualities that can't be taught. With a team that goes the extra mile for each other and for their guests, Kasi is proud to lead by example, shaping the future of the industry one exceptional experience at a time.

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We are pleased to announce the appointment of Jim Vido as executive chef for The Hotel at Kirkwood Center. Jim oversees banquets, catering, and The Class Act Restaurant. Having earned his AAS in Culinary Arts from Kirkwood, he is thrilled to be back. Jim has a rich culinary background, having worked at The Vue Rooftop & Hilton Garden Inn in Iowa City, played a significant role in opening Hotel Millwright in Amana, and even owned and operated The Ladora Bank Bistro in Ladora. We invite you to experience Jim’s cuisine at The Class Act Restaurant soon!

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SOUS CHEF: Aiden Wheat

Meet Adin Wheat, a culinary virtuoso with over 30 years of experience. His journey began at 13 under Master Chef Hiroshi Hayashi, leading him to culinary adventures across the US and Italy. Adin has left his mark at renowned establishments like Jeff’s Maine Seafood, Crescent Moon Bakery, and Paradise Guest Ranch. For 18 years, he co-founded Café Dodici in Washington, IA, and showcased his talents at Cedar Ridge Winery and Cedar River Landing. Now, Adin brings his expertise to The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, eager to collaborate with a talented team and elevate the dining experience for all guests.

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Introducing Cat Grimsley, our esteemed Pastry Chef at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, where her sweet creations adorn our dessert menus. With a rich culinary background, Cat has honed her skills as a baker for Zin’s, The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, and as a Pastry Chef at Bread Garden Market. At The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, Cat's expertise and dedication to the craft elevate our dessert experience, leaving guests with memorable tastes of indulgence.

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BANQUET CHEF: Marcela Billmeyer

Introducing Marcela Billmeyer (Barrera), a mother of two and born in Mexico City, Mexico. Raised in the US from a young age, Marcela's culinary journey began cooking with her grandparents, Silvia and Guillermo. Starting at Pizza Ranch, Marcela has worked her way up, joining Kirkwood in 2015. Graduating from the Kirkwood Culinary Arts program in 2016, Marcela's dedication led to her promotion to Banquet Chef. Family is Marcela's foundation, and she sees mealtime as a cherished opportunity to unite loved ones. At The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, Marcela's passion for food and family converge, creating unforgettable dining experiences for guests.