Visit San Jose hires new Executive Chef Michael Riddell to lead culinary activities at San Jose Convention Center and San Jose Theaters

Visit San Jose hires new Executive Chef Michael Riddell to lead culinary activities at San Jose Convention Center and San Jose Theaters


In addition to overseeing food and beverage staff at Team San Jose, Riddell will collaborate with the organization’s Events Operations team and the Visit San Jose Sales and Destination Services department to advance the city as a vital meetings and convention location. He’ll elevate Team San Jose’s menu offerings with customized options for meetings clients and attendees.

“We are very excited to have Chef Riddell onboard to bring new innovation to our culinary menus,” says Karolyn Kirchgesler, President & CEO of Team San Jose. “His extensive experience at Ritz Carlton and most recently, at Porta Blu at Hotel Nia, will provide an elevated dining experience to build upon San Jose’s already solid reputation in the meetings space.”

Visit San Jose provides a turnkey experience for all meeting planners and visiting attendees, from booking until conclusion of the event. With multiple lines of business under one roof, including the vertical integration of a full-service catering operation, the addition of Riddell continues to make San Jose the premier meetings destination for Silicon Valley through unparalleled menu options and culinary experiences.

Riddell is a Bay Area native and a proud graduate of California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. His training led to his career at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, earning him valuable experience at the hotel’s renowned restaurants, The Conservancy and fine-dining concept Navio. After a decade with the brand, he took on the opportunity to be Chef de Cuisine at Porta Blu, the restaurant at brand-new Silicon Valley luxury property, Hotel Nia.

Riddell’s classic French training combined with Mediterranean influences will be served at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center and four city-owned cultural theaters – California Theatre, the Center for the Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater, and the San Jose Civic.

Hi-Res Photo Here:­­­­­­­

Visit San Jose is the destination marketing organization (DMO) for the city to increase tourism’s economic impact to San Jose through destination development and brand strategy. Its parent company, Team San Jose, is an innovative partnership unifying the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotels, arts, community business leaders, labor and public venues to deliver an exceptional visitor experience and serve as the gateway to San Jose as a destination. Team San Jose manages and operates the San Jose McEnery Convention Center, South Hall, and arts and entertainment venues including the California Theatre, the Center for Performing Arts, Montgomery Theater, and San Jose Civic. In addition, Team San Jose created and operates a full-service­­­­ catering facility that serves as the official caterer in all TSJ managed venues and is a UPS Franchisee. Team San Jose is a non-profit, economic development organization and the primary driver in generating economic impact to San Jose’s local economy through leisure and business travel. For more information, visit

Frances Wong, Director of Communications, Visit San Jose
E:  D: (408) 792-4119  C: (510) 396-8367

SOURCE Visit San Jose

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