Newport Beach Chef Brings His Coastal Influence to the Award-Winning Monterey Hotel

Monterey, CA – October 18, 2019 – Portola Hotel & Spa, the elegant Four-Diamond hotel situated along Central California’s Monterey Bay, is delighted to announce the appointment of Chef Daniel Williston as Chef De Cuisine. Under guidance from Executive Chef Danny Abbruzzese, Chef Williston will spearhead the culinary team in creating menus for specialty dinners at the Portola including wine pairing and scotch pairing events.

Born and raised in Newport Beach, California, Chef Williston spent his earlier years honing his skills in Sonora, California at just 17 years old. Soon after, Williston moved to Monterey, California, where he attended California State University Monterey Bay and studied business. Throughout his college education, Williston continued to gather precious culinary experience on the Monterey Peninsula.

In 2010, Williston began as a line chef at Aubergine in Carmel by the Sea, eventually working his way up to Executive Sous Chef and Chef de Cuisine over his seven years at the fine dining restaurant. He then moved to Los Angeles to assist in opening NoMAd as Sous Chef as well as hotspot Otium, where he was also Sous Chef.

Chef Williston brings his inspirational innovation to all efforts of his expertise within the culinary arts. Williston aims to tempt the taste buds at every visit and enhance Jacks Monterey’s reputation for delivering sustainable and locally-sourced California Cultural Cuisine.

Inspired by cooking with his mother at a young age, the passionate Chef Williston fuses his love for seafood with flavors reminiscent of Japanese cuisine. Williston establishes divine taste experiences through premium ingredients and minimalist plating while staying true to his coastal influences.

In celebration of the fall harvest on California’s most idyllic coast, Chef Williston has partnered with winemaker Russell Joyce to craft a wine dinner on October 24, 2019 at 6 p.m. Held at The Club Room inside the Portola Hotel & Spa, the sophisticated five-course pre-fixe dinner will be perfectly paired with a selection of fine wines from Joyce Wine Company. While enjoying the menu, Chef Williston and Russell Joyce will curate the story of the evening by discussing the pairings and elaborating on the flavors carefully curated within each course.

With menu items such as organic rabbit, trout and lamb paired with crisp red and white wine varietals, the Joyce Wine Dinner is bound to be the culinary event of the season. Reservations are required, with pricing at $90 per person inclusive. Please call (831) 649-7874.


The AAA Four Diamond, Portola Hotel & Spa in Monterey, CA was one of the first U.S. Green Building Council LEED® Certified hotel on California’s Central Coast. The full-service hotel offers guests a rich, historical ambiance, with residential style and a dedicated staff to ensure an unparalleled guest experience. The Portola Hotel features 379 coastal inspired guest rooms and suites, ranging from 400 to 1,000 square feet. Portola boasts an expert event planning staff and over 60,000 square feet of meeting space with the adjacent Monterey Conference Center. Home to the Monterey Peninsula’s original craft brewery, Peter B’s Brewpub, The Club Room and Monterey’s newest dining hot spot, Jacks Monterey. The Portola boasts an award-winning 6,000-square-foot day spa. Spa on the Plaza offers beautifully appointed treatment rooms and an extensive spa menu of signature treatments. Overnight guests also have access to the hotel's spa and fitness facilities, complete with steam room, sauna, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi.

For more information, please visit portolahotel.com.


Portola Hotel & Spa
Janine M. Chicourrat, Managing Director
(831) 649-7890