Updated: September 27, 2022
McDonald’s (23 franchises)
Paul Hendel owns and operates 23 McDonald’s franchises in Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. A loyal supporter of the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island for close to 25 years, he is the honoree of the nonprofit organization’s upcoming golf and tennis outing. Hendel, who first became a McDonald’s owner/operator in 1990, has served as president of the Tri-State McDonald’s Owner/Operator Co-Op for the last seven years. He is a 2018 recipient of the Golden Arch Award for outstanding restaurant management and service.
Early this year, Erick Jones began leading the culinary team at Cowfish, a Hampton Bays waterfront restaurant featuring American fare. As executive chef, Jones oversees the restaurant’s dining room, lounge and bar, as well as special events and catering services. The Johnson & Wales University graduate has close to 25 years of culinary experience, holding positions in Philadelphia, Baltimore and South Beach, Fla. Just prior to joining Cowfish, he served as the multi-restaurant chef for Caesars Entertainment.
Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas
Ryan Keough is executive chef of the Garden City location of Spuntino Wine Bar & Italian Tapas. Originally from Rhode Island, Keough pursued his culinary education at Johnson & Wales University and worked in his home state at restaurants such as Stone House 1854, XO Café, Mill’s Tavern, Coco Pazzo and Sorbo Restaurant Group. He served as executive chef at the latter, helping to develop menus and new concepts, including Succotash, which he opened as chef/owner. Keough focuses on using local, seasonal and sustainably sourced ingredients in his menus.
Brian Mooney, a 24-year veteran of the Clam Bar at Napeague, opened Hooked, a seafood takeout place in Montauk, with his wife, Gillian, this month. Mooney came to America more than 25 years ago from Ireland, where he had worked as a line cook in several restaurants. After arriving at the Clam Bar, he worked his way up to manage all restaurant operations. Mooney, who has been shucking oysters for more than two decades, has close relationships with local fishermen and baymen.
Damien O’Donnell is a partner and executive chef at Harbor Bistro, an East Hampton restaurant featuring New-American cuisine with hints of Asian flavors that he opened in 2006. This year, O’Donnell is taking the show on the road with the launch of a food truck, the Bistro Mobile Kitchen, which will service events and feature Harbor Bistro favorites like tuna poke, lobster bundles and Mongolian BBQ ribs. O’Donnell, a 1997 Culinary Institute of America graduate, worked in Manhattan restaurants, including Roy’s NYC and Tao, and competed on the Food Network’s “Beat Bobby Flay” and “Chopped.”
Vice President of Casual Dining
Kurt Pahiltzsch, who holds a Bachelor of Science in hotel/restaurant management from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, has more than 16 years of restaurant managerial experience. Pahlitzsch joined Doherty Enterprises in 1998, when it acquired Applebee’s, where he had been district manager of the Long Island region. He has been promoted several times by Doherty Enterprises, which has seven restaurant concepts in four states. In January, he moved up to vice president of all casual dining, including Applebee’s, Chevys Fresh Mex and Quaker Steak & Lube restaurants.