WRITTEN BY: Savannah Business Journal
January 22, 2021 – Thompson Savannah announced that Whitney Otawka has joined the team as the Executive Chef for the lifestyle hotel slated to open in the summer 2021.
Otawka is well known in culinary circles as a chef and cookbook author. Her perspective on cooking is guided by her early years growing up in California and a submersion in the foodways of the South that has been the dominate influence of her professional career. Otawka most recently lived on the remote Cumberland Island, Georgia where she wrote her first cookbook, The Saltwater Table, an exploration of the flavors of the coastal South.
As the executive Chef for the Thompson Savannah, Otawka will oversee concept and menu development at all three food and beverage outlets on property. Her signature restaurant will be located on the ground floor of the hotel and will showcase her modern perspective on Southern cuisine with a strong emphasis on fresh, seasonal ingredients native to the Lowcountry.
Located within the new Eastern Wharf Development in historic Savannah, Ga., the 193-room Thompson Savannah is the first Thompson Hotels property in Georgia and is being developed by ELV Associates, Mariner Group and Regent Partners. Dallas-based firm Studio 11 is designing the hotel, which will include 21 suites with wraparound balconies. The property will also feature more than 11,000 square feet of stylish meeting and event space, a luxury style resort pool and three dining concepts including a rooftop restaurant and bar with panoramic views. The hotel’s design will be inspired by the endemic flora of a city famous for its many green spaces, while staying true to the bold, modern aesthetic that has become a signature of the Thompson Hotels brand. Evocative of Savannah itself, Thompson Savannah will offer visitors and locals alike a sophisticated and original experience. The hotel will be well positioned to enhance the individuality of guests’ experiences through an insider’s point of view.