Our Culinary Team

Brendon Bashford

Executive Chef and Director of Food and Beverage - The Sanctuary


Executive Chef Brendon Bashford is excited by the opportunity to lead the culinary team at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Originally from Brisbane, Australia, Chef Bashford has traveled the world working within the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts collection of fine hotels. After starting with the hotel company at the Chateau Lake Louise & Banff Springs, Chef Bashford opened hotels in Dubai and rose to Executive Chef in Bermuda before moving to the Plaza Hotel in New York City where he oversaw four different restaurants including the famous Oak Room. He most recently served as the Executive Chef charged with opening the Fairmont Battery Wharf in Boston.

When asked about his new role at The Sanctuary, Chef Bashford remarked on the similarities between the Lowcountry and his hometown in Australia and the rich abundance of traditions and native ingredients found here. “I look forward to the responsibility of directing all culinary activities at The Sanctuary. We are fortunate to have such a wealth of traditions and native ingredients here in the Charleston area. It fits into my philosophy of sensible, sustainable and straightforward cuisine.”

Jason Rheinwald

Chef de Cuisine - The Ocean Room


Chef de Cuisine for The Ocean Room at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Jason Rheinwald looks to build on the culinary excellence that this premier establishment has become known for by introducing his own creative interpretations of contemporary American cooking. Diners will indulge in dishes made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients prepared with a French influence that Chef Rheinwald acquired at the Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts at the PCA in Pennsylvania. “I try to stay focused with my food, sourcing the best ingredients we can and letting them shine. I became a chef because of my obsession with food, wine, restaurants and the whole dining experience,” exclaims Chef Jason.

Having started his culinary career at Kiawah Island Golf Resort more five years ago, Rheinwald has applied his love of food in various kitchens across the resort including Turtle Point Clubhouse and the Banquet Department at The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Chef Jason has found himself heavily influenced by his family and fellow culiniarians, such as classic American Chefs like Mario Batali and Thomas Keller. In his kitchen, Jason applies skills and techniques acquired from working with Jennifer Girasole of Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School and one of Kiawah’s own, previous Chef Tournant of The Sanctuary, Joe Dion.

Excited for his role as Chef de Cuisine, Jason lights up when asked about what future diners have to look forward to at The Ocean Room. “Diners come here looking for a dining experience, not just a dinner. Our guests can expect The Ocean Room team to deliver an honest, well thought out menu. We are an ingredient driven kitchen and are always looking forward to what each season has to bring to us.”

Ryley T. McGillis

Executive Sous Chef - The Sanctuary

Ryley McGillis

As Executive Sous Chef, Ryley McGillis aids in leading the culinary team of The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. Chef McGillis trained and graduated from both Le Cordon Bleu Academy and Florida State University. Raised and educated in sunny Florida, Chef McGillis' exposure to food and dining diversity helped develop his natural appreciation and ability towards cooking and entertaining. To this day his favorite meals are simple, timeless, whole food dishes while practicing the sustainable efforts of farm to table.

Prior to joining the Kiawah Island culinary team, Chef McGillis held coveted Charleston restaurant positions: Zinc Bistro and Bar (Mount Pleasant) and Charleston Place Hotel (Downtown). He makes his mark supporting annual community events such as the Taste of Charleston, Gourmet & Grapes, Ronald McDonald House Five Star Day, Charleston Wine & Food Festival in addition to lending a hand through the art of food. It is through these efforts that Chef McGillis and the culinary team at The Sanctuary can be stewards of the immediate farm and fishing resource community.

Matthew Fitzgerald

Executive Banquet Chef - The Sanctuary

Matthew Fitzgerald

Matthew Fitzgerald, Executive Banquet Chef of The Sanctuary, knows how to combine fresh high quality ingredients with simple straightforward preparations to achieve dishes that satisfy all palates. Upon graduation from the prestigious Johnson & Wales University with an A.A.S. in Culinary Arts and a B.S. in Food Service Management, Matthew applied his culinary skills as Sous Chef at some of Charleston's leading restaurants such as Fish, 39 Rue De Jean and Coast.

He joined the Kiawah Island Golf Resort culinary team in 2006 because of his deep appreciation for the resort's uncompromising dedication to culinary traditions and guest service philosophies. He began his journey in Jasmine Porch working his way up to Sous Chef in less than one year. In 2009, he moved to Turtle Point Clubhouse as Sous Chef and became an instrumental part in creating the concept and opening of Tomasso, while soon after moving his way up to Chef de Cuisine. Now overseeing the Banquet Division, chef continues to explore and develop his talent and creations within The Sanctuary.

Jon Williams

Chef de Cuisine - Tomasso at Turtle Point Clubhouse

Jon Williams

Growing up in a military family, Chef Jon was exposed to various culinary mores in Japan, Europe, Latin America and the United States. However, he developed his true passion for food and gained his first culinary experience while working in local restaurants along the Crystal Coast area of North Carolina. Originally considering a degree in business management in 2004, he decided his true calling and passion was in culinary arts and he went in search of "hands on" experience. He spent the next seven years improving his culinary capabilities while working in resort areas in North Carolina, as the "Grill Master" Beach Bar and Grill, Caneel Bay resort, St. Johns, U.S. Virgin Islands, and as the Banquet Manager and Sous Chef, Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel, Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

With a desire for a warmer climate, Chef Jon moved to Charleston and joined the Kiawah Island Golf Resort's culinary team. He managed various aspects of Tomasso at Turtle Point culinary operations for the two years prior to assuming his current position. During his time at Tomasso's, Jon has been instrumental to the continued improvements to the menu and to the quality of our restaurant guest's culinary experience. Chef Jon has been simplifying the menu with true Italian flavors in an approachable way to all guests, putting an emphasis on small plates for families to share while keeping true to the ingredients. Chef Williams' creative energy and enthusiastic approach brings new excitement to the Tomasso dining experience.

Jonathan F. Banta

Chef de Cuisine - The Atlantic Room and Ryder Cup Bar in The Ocean Course Clubhouse

Johnathan Banta

From his youth, Jonathan Banta had a passion for freshness. Cutting his culinary teeth cooking at a cultural arts camp three miles from his childhood home in Pittsgrove, New Jersey, he grew up less than an hour outside of Philadelphia in a rural South Jersey community. He was no stranger to that city’s booming culinary environment and to the fresh produce supplied to them by the farms near his home.

From these early beginnings, Banta went on to get his culinary degree from Johnson and Wales University, interning at the Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona, under the tutelage of Anton Brunbauer. This became his first experience working in a golf resort setting. He went on to help open the first restaurant at Running Deer golf club in southern Jersey owned by former Eagles quarterback, Ron Jaworski. In Philadelphia, with Iron Chef, Jose Garces and Chef Douglas Rodriquez, he worked at Alma de Cuba. Drawing upon these experiences and gaining more through intense research, he consulted for a local entrepreneur to open up a Neapolitan pizzeria on Daniel Island where he worked as its Executive Chef. Before coming to The Atlantic Room, he was Chef de Cuisine and then Executive Chef at 82 Queen and at Rue de Jean in downtown Charleston. He presently resides in West Ashley with his wife, Leslie, his son, Nathan and his two dogs, Sedona and Leia. His four great loves are his family, his cooking, his music and, of course, his golf. His compassion and love of the arts provided the impetus to organize music festivals raising money for families devastated by Katrina (that he and a friend personally delivered). He also participated at the great cookout for the “Charleston Nine” raising money for the families of the firemen killed in the line of duty in 2007. Banta is excited to bring his experiences and his passions to the Atlantic Room and Ryder Cup Bar.

Jason Cote

Chef de Cuisine - Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House in The Osprey Point Clubhouse

Jason Cote

Jason Cote, Chef de Cuisine of Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House, has been a member of the Kiawah Island Golf Resort's food and beverage team since 2008. After completing his AAS in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management, Chef Jason took his knowledge and passion for cooking on the road. He spent sixteen years traveling the country honing his skills and gaining experience. While cooking for seaside resorts on the rocky coast of his hometown, Kennebunkport Maine, catering for big budget movies in California and being a private Chef on a sailing yacht off the coast of Florida, Chef Cote has gained a wealth of experience that has made him a strong and versatile chef.

After leaving Maine for Charleston, Cote held positions with several prestigious restaurants including Magnolias (Downtown) and Kiawah Island Beach Club before joining the Kiawah Island Golf Resort's culinary team. During his time here, Cote has been instrumental in the transformation of a lunch only burger restaurant, into the hottest new restaurant on the island that is now Cherrywood BBQ & Ale House. His passion for food and quality continue to make our operation a huge success, and when Jason is not working, you can find him on the golf course or at home cooking for friends and family.


Remy Funfrock

Executive Pastry Chef - The Sanctuary

remy unfrock

When you think of pastry, the French artisan concept comes to mind which has been a guiding passion in Remy Funfrock’s family. During three years of formal pastry study at the Lycee Jean Rablais in Lyon, France, Chef Funfrock gained professional experience working alongside his mentor Chef Patissier, Jacques Frery combining his academic training with invaluable practical experience. Upon completing his studies, Funfrock went on to work under such renowned professionals as Pierre Herme of Fauchon fame as well as master chocolate maker, Pascal Brunstein.

Chef Funfrock left his native Lyon for the South of France to become an ice cream maker for Bechard, the world famous Provencal confectioner. Later he led some of the best pastry teams while with Cap Estel, one of the Cote d’Azur’s most prestigious palace hotels, Roger Verger’s Michelin three-star Moulin de Mougins, DANIEL in New York City, The Four Seasons Hotel & Resort, as well as the Penrose Room of The Broadmoor. Chef Funfrock shared his talents and creativity with his teams while crafting the most extraordinary artisan work throughout his journeys.

It is with no surprise that his early inspirations as a child would result in an award winning career with accolades that include a bronze medal for his chocolate and hazelnut tart with mango-black tea ice cream at the First National Dessert Competition (November 1999), two silver medals at the Beaver Creek National Pastry Team Championships (June 2000 & 2001) and Pastry Art & Design Magazine’s award “one of the Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America” (June 2002). Then in 2009, Chef Funfrock participated as part of the US team at the “La coupe du monde de la patisserie” in Lyon, France.

We are pleased to have Chef Funfrock at the head of The Sanctuary’s pastry department as Executive Pastry Chef at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. “I always look forward to implementing all that I have learned when joining a new team and now I am excited to be supporting this great pastry department at The Sanctuary.”