Lily Hall, a soon-to-open 15-room boutique lodging house in downtown Pensacola, has announced the appointments of Executive Host Kari Randle, Head Chef Darian Hernandez, Sous Chef Amber Halverson and F&B General Manager Jennifer Gray.
The three property executives join the opening team at Stahlman Hospitality, the independent boutique hospitality management group behind the February 1, 2023 opening of Lily Hall and its two food and beverage concepts, signature restaurant Brother Fox and speakeasy Sister Hen.
“We are so thrilled to partner with Kari, Darian, Amber and Jen to open Lily Hall and its restaurant and bar,” says Nathan Weinberg, Co-Founder at Stahlman Hospitality. “We have designed a guest experience that is inspiring, whimsical and locally curated, and are fortunate to have found the talented individuals who have the passion, local connection and skillset to bring the Lily Hall vision to life.”
Kari Randle, Executive Host
A proud Navy brat, Kari spent her childhood living abroad in countries like Spain and Italy before graduating high school in Pensacola, FL, and attending Pensacola State College thereafter. Kari has held positions in hospitality more than 15 years, with her most recent role evolving from Guest Services Manager to Assistant General Manager to Interim General Manager at the Margaritaville Beach Hotel in Pensacola. As Executive Host of Lily Hall, Kari will oversee day-to-day operations and ensure that guests have an outstanding experience from the moment they step on property. When she’s not on property, Kari enjoys the beach with family or binge-watching documentaries.
Darian Hernandez, Head Chef
Born and raised in Pensacola, Darian’s love of food came at an early age when he would spend time cooking at home with his family and noticed how food could bring people together. Darian attended Johnson and Wales University in Miami, Fl pursuing a degree in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management. Afterward, Darian cut his teeth working as a Chef de Partie and Sous Chef in some of the most prestigious luxury hotels and restaurants and acclaimed chefs in Miami such as The Bazaar by Jose Andres at SLS Hotel South Beach, Scott Conant at the AAA Five-Diamond Fontainebleau Miami Beach, and Tom Colicchio at the 1 Hotel South Beach. He later moved to Atlanta, GA and landed at Atlas, located in The St. Regis Buckhead where he extended his skills executing Four Hands Michelin Dinners, pleasing the palettes of the most exclusive clientele as chef tournant. Darian later went on to take the role of Culinary Manager with the Hillstone Restaurant Group, where he traveled to D.C. and New York City to manage restaurants within the company. While living in New York City, he staged and gained experience working at multiple Michelin-starred restaurants including Thomas Keller’s Per Se. After returning home to Pensacola, he most recently took over the role of Executive Chef at The Grand Marlin and is now Head Chef of Lily Hall’s food and beverage concepts Brother Fox and Sister Hen. In the role of Head Chef, Darian will work closely with Nashville-based restaurateur and acclaimed chef Terry Raley to develop new menu items and recipes, manage, and oversee back-of-house operations. When he is not in the kitchen, Darian loves to travel, work out, and indulge as a regular in Pensacola’s dining scene or enjoys spending time with family and loved ones.
Amber Halverson, Sous Chef
Amber’s passion for food and hospitality sparked at a young age as she grew up watching her grandmother run their family restaurant and scratch kitchen in Vesper, WI. Amber’s grandparents taught her how to garden and live off the land, and she developed an affinity for farm-to-table dining through this experience, which she carried on while completing an internship at a historical bakery in Madison, WI. She then studied and worked under two-time Iron Chef winner Tory Miller and local butchers to learn their trade. Now, with more than 20 years of experience, Amber has opened restaurant Alcaniz Kitchen & Tap in Pensacola’s historic district and worked in acclaimed restaurants such as Alchemy Café in Madison, WI and V-Paul’s Italian Ristorante in Pensacola, FL. As Sous Chef at Brother Fox and Sister Hen, Amber will direct food preparation and collaborate with Head Chef Darian on developing new menu items, managing inventory and supply orders, as well as leasing the back of house team to success. Amber has been in the forefront of the contemporary food movement in Pensacola, bringing choice options to all walks of life including the vegetarian and vegan community. In her down time, Amber enjoys hosting dinners with her friends and spending time in nature with her dogs Gia and Jax.
Jennifer Gray, F&B General Manager
As with most, Jennifer’s foray into the service industry began early with a hosting position at 16 years old. The social environment and fast-paced work challenged and fulfilled her inherent need to excel. She continued in the industry, working her way through various positions while attending college at the University of Memphis. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science in International Business, Jennifer jumped into international real estate consulting and eventually found herself consulting in the primary commodities market of oil and gold, frequently traveling to Europe, Southeast Asia, and Africa. After traveling the globe, Jennifer transitioned back into the hospitality industry that better reflected her personality. Her career escalated quickly, and she became the manager of a high-volume establishment on Memphis’s world-famous Beale Street. She then led the development of marketing strategies, concept design, and staff onboarding for several high-volume establishments across the country. In her role as the Food and Beverage General Manager for Brother Fox and Sister Hen located on the ground floor in Lily Hall, Jennifer will lead efforts to recruit and train staff, oversee day-to-day operations, and ensure a superior experience for all guests. When she’s not at work, Jennifer enjoys yoga as well as community development by supporting local artists and businesses.
Stay tuned for updates on Lily Hall’s Instagram, and for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT LILY HALL
Lily Hall is a 15-room boutique lodging house breathing new life into the bones that once housed the historic Old Mount Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida. Independently owned and operated by Nashville-based Stahlman Hospitality Group, Lily Hall offers a coastal repose with delightfully peculiar rooms, spirited design, and well considered amenities. Developed in partnership with award-winning restauranteur, Terry Raley, Lily Hall houses two food and beverage concepts, including signature restaurant, Brother Fox, and its attached speakeasy, Sister Hen. Thoughtfully designed by Smith Gee Studio and Dalrymple | Sallis Architecture, Lily Hall is a curated experience that encourages discovery and creativity through whimsical, artistic touchpoints in every room. Indoor and outdoor gathering spaces include a library and a garden terrace ideal for weddings and events. Lily Hall will open in February 2023.