Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island

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Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island Names New Executive Chef

Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island has named Dernier “Nelly” Buleje as its new executive chef. Buleje is a seasoned culinary professional with nearly a decade of fine dining and hospitality experience. In his new position, Buleje will oversee guests’ dining experiences throughout the new resort’s four venues, with emphasis on Sonesta’s ‘Food is Art’ philosophy, which treats each meal as a detailed masterpiece for the senses.
Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, which reopened in May after a $30 million renovation, offers guests a variety of dining options, both indoor and outdoor, at Heyward’s Restaurant, Seacrest Terrace and Patio, Bayley’s Bar and Terrace, and Sweet Cane Bar and Grille.
Buleje, who describes his cooking as a cultural fusion for the palate, first discovered his passion for cooking at the age of 13. Since then, he’s received numerous culinary distinctions, including receiving first and second place in the Iron Chef Milwaukee competition in 2010, and second place in the 2010 Lake Geneva Wine Festival Iron Chef, as well as serving as a celebrity chef at the 2010 Lake Geneva Wine Festival. Buleje also served as the head of food production for Marcus at the 2012 Milwaukee Air and Water Show and at the 2012 Indy Fest Milwaukee.
Previously, Buleje served as executive chef at Richmond Marriott and banquet/interim executive sous chef at Hilton Milwaukee City Center.
“Nelly is an excellent addition to our team, and brings with him the culinary experience and expertise to help position Sonesta as a standout dining choice for locals and guests,” said Jay Wiendl, general manager of Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island. “We’re looking forward to sampling his culinary creations and bringing a fresh perspective to Lowcountry dining.”
The Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is located at 130 Shipyard Drive in Hilton Head Island, S.C. For more information about Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island, visit
Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island is a AAA approved Four Diamond resort offering 340 guestrooms and suites overlooking lushly landscaped semitropical gardens, with spectacular beach and lagoon-style swimming pool. Its first-class amenities include several dining options, health spa, fitness center and lap pool. The resort also features 22,500 square feet of meeting and event space, including a beachfront Pavilion and a 24-hour business center. Complimentary transportation is provided to and from the world-class golf and tennis offerings available within Hilton Head’s Shipyard complex. The resort is situated 45 miles from Savannah, GA, and seven miles from Hilton Head Island airport, in an area surrounded by outdoor recreation, shopping and fine dining.
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