LUXURIOUS YET LIGHTHEARTEd
New orleans COCKTAIL BARA spirit of opulence and opulent spirits combine in Peacock Room, a fun and fanciful cocktail bar in New Orleans’ Central Business District. Expert bartenders, eclectic furniture, and shareable plates to savor make this cultured hangout with a contagious energy a guaranteed good time.
Executive Chef, Kimpton Hotel Fontenot
Born in Southwest Virginia and raised in rural East Tennessee, Chef Samuel Peery recognized his passion for food and where it comes from at a young age. Watching his grandmother’s hard work in the kitchen turning family recipes into delicious meals had a big impact on his love for food that comforts and nourishes. While attending college Peery began working in local kitchens and loved the rush that came during the hectic parts of a busy service as well as the beauty and balance of a well composed dish. And from then on, he set out along the path to becoming a chef.
In 2010, he was named the Sous Chef at Chez Liberty in Knoxville, Tennessee, a scratch kitchen with a highly seasonal menu that changed every week. It was there that he developed a strong appreciation for wine and the ability to execute multi-course tasting experiences. In 2012, after relocating to Denver and enrolling in culinary school, Peery earned a Culinary Arts degree from Cook Street School of Fine Cooking before heading off to Italy to earn an Advanced Culinary Arts degree from the Accademia Italiana Della Cucina in Piedmont, Italy. Chef Peery also holds a Level 1 Sommelier certification, and a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Communications from East Tennessee State University.
While in Italy, Peery took a position as Chef de Partie at Cristina Conte’s L’Altro Baffo in Salento. There, he was exposed to some of the best and freshest seafood on the Adriatic Coast. At the end of 2012, he returned to Denver and earned his role as the first Chef de Cuisine at the historic Denver Country Club. And in 2017, he accepted the position of Executive Sous Chef at Martis Camp Club in Truckee, California, where he oversaw culinary operations for multiple outlets and banquet operations. His sommelier certification came in handy when setting up partnerships with prestigious wineries, as well as breweries and distilleries.
It was at the end of 2019 that Chef Peery moved to New Orleans to take on the position of Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant R’evolution, the fine dining establishment in The Royal Sonesta Hotel. Under the mentorship of renowned Cajun and Creole Chef John Folse, Chef Peery’s love of the region’s cuisine took root.
In September 2022, Chef Samuel Peery joined the restaurant and bar team at Kimpton Hotel Fontenot in New Orleans’ Central Business District as Executive Chef. In this position overseeing the hotel’s culinary program, Chef Peery leads the kitchen and develops new and exciting menus for the property’s restaurant and bar concepts, including the elevated and energetic cocktail lounge Peacock Room, neighborhood café Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats, and the upcoming French brasserie, King, opening early 2023.
Beyond kitchens and menus, Samuel can often be found outdoors. Also an avid mountain hiker, biker and snowboarder, when he’s at home in Louisiana, he loves exploring the bayous and spending time in the communities around them.
ZAKARY MESZAROSExecutive Sous Chef, Kimpton Hotel Fontenot
A professional chef with over 12 years of fine dining kitchen experience, before joining the team at Kimpton Hotel Fontenot Chef Zakary Meszaros most recently was Executive Sous Chef at Restaurant R’evolution, the fine dining establishment in The Royal Sonesta New Orleans. At Restaurant R’evolution he played a pivotal role on the culinary management team and worked under renowned Cajun and Creole Chef John Folse.
Prior to that, as Chef Tournant at Compere Lapin, Chef Meszaros filled a variety of culinary responsibilities and trained cooks to uphold Michelin standards at the restaurant helmed by celebrity Chef Nina Compton in the heart of the Warehouse Arts District in New Orleans.
Chef Meszaros also held the position of Chef de Partie at a few high-profile restaurants, most recently Scarpetta, headed by celebrity Chef Scott Conant, and Georgie, where he worked as lead Chef de Partie for Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian and assisted with the restaurant opening. Chef Meszaros began his culinary career working under Chef Patrick O’Connell at The Inn at Little Washington, currently with three Michelin Stars, in Virginia in 2014.
Chef Zakary Meszaros graduated from Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, NC, with a Culinary Arts degree as well as a Bachelor of Science, Food and Beverage Management.
Director of Food & Beverage, Kimpton Hotel Fontenot
Jessica Retif is a New Orleans native with over fifteen years of experience in the restaurant and bar industries. Prior to joining Kimpton Hotel Fontenot in 2021, Retif worked as beverage consultant with Pomegranate Hospitality for the Four Seasons New Orleans, developing their opening cocktail and zero proof programs for Miss River and Chandelier Bar.
Jessica Retif opened Saba Restaurant, and served as General Manager for the modern Israeli restaurant from chef Alon Shaya, while also curating their wine and beverage program. She also assisted in operating sister restaurant Safta in Denver. Prior to that, Retif developed the cocktail program for Shaya in New Orleans at the time of their James Beard nomination and win. Earlier in her career, she worked as beverage manager for contemporary Cajun restaurant Toups’ Meatery.
In 2022, Retif was promoted from Restaurant and Bar General Manager to Director of Food and Beverage at Kimpton Hotel Fontenot as she took on even more of a leadership role in preparation for the hotel’s expansion and the opening of the property’s French brasserie, King.
Under her guidance, the food and beverage program at the property’s concepts, Peacock Room and Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats, has offered guests a sense of playful discovery and storytelling, while evolving seasonally to showcase global and local influences that have developed the rich culture in New Orleans.
Also a lover of film, Retif got a degree in Film/Theatre Production at the University of New Orleans and studied Japanese Film at Doshisha University in Kyoto. Outside of work, she enjoys exploring outdoors, natural history museums, fine art exhibitions and dark room photography.
Restaurant & Bar Assistant General Manager, Kimpton Hotel Fontenot
Adam Pickett brings fifteen years of valuable front- and back-of-house experience in some of New Orleans’ most celebrated restaurants to Kimpton Hotel Fontenot’s food and beverage program. Prior to joining Kimpton Hotel Fontenot, Pickett served as Assistant General Manager at Chef John Folse’s Restaurant R’evolution in The Royal Sonesta New Orleans, where among many responsibilities, he also introduced multiple special event evenings and helped raise the restaurant’s service reputation.
Pickett held the position of General Manager at the St. Charles Inn, Hotel Superior on historic St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District before that. He also worked for many years for Omni Hotel in San Francisco, holding the positions of Director of Banquets as well as General Manager of Bob’s Steak and Chop House, where he assisted with seasonal cocktail and food menu development and worked with multiple wineries to host regular pairing dinners, among a variety of other duties.
Earlier in his career, Pickett worked as both Private Chef and Service Manager at Superior Grill in New Orleans, where he worked on everything from planning and scheduling to cooking both casual and formal meals. His appreciation of food and hospitality really kick-started while working as line cook at Restaurant August followed by Besh Steakhouse in the mid-to-late 2000s.
Pickett studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. He also has an Associate Degree in Nursing from Louisiana Tech University.