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This profile was last updated on 2/20/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Executive Chef

Westminster Canterbury Richmond
1600 Westbrook Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23227
United States

Company Description: Westminster Canterbury was founded by the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches to help older adults maintain their independence and spiritual well-being. Since 1975,...   more
Background

Employment History

42 Total References
Web References
Huntjens moves ...
www2.timesdispatch.com [cached]
Huntjens moves on
Frits Huntjens, former owner and chef at upscale 1 North Belmont restaurant, is now running the kitchen for Westminster Canterbury Richmond.
A couple months after closing 1 North Belmont in December 2009, Huntjens began working as head chef and general manager for Positive Vibe Café, a restaurant in the Stratford Hills Shopping Center that trains people with disabilities to work in the food service industry. He was responsible for opening the Positive Vibe Express at the Library of Virginia last August.
Greater Richmond Convention Center - Contact Us
www.richmondcenter.com, 9 Jan 2003 [cached]
Frits Huntjens, General Manager Office (804) 783-7311 Cell (804) 400-7914
Food Order Online
www.jqk.net, 17 April 2011 [cached]
Frits Huntjens is best known for his career as an hotelier and hospitality business executive. However, unbeknownst to most, his true passion is the culinary arts. At the age of twelve, Frits' parents opened their first French restaurant in the south of the Netherlands. Like so many children growing up in a restaurant, he quickly learned the "art" of washing dishes and peeling potatoes among other "fun" chores that the chefs, including his father delegated to young Huntjens. While apprenticing, Huntjens had the opportunity to work under Chef Couturier, a former Sous Chef to the Czar of Russia. Chef Huntjens graduated from the National Culinary Apprentice Program (the Netherlands).
As aide de cuisine at "Chateau Gors op Leeuw" in Belgium, Chef Huntjens worked under the tutelage of Paul van Vliet, who was considered at the time to be one of the most talented chefs in the country.
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At "La Cigogne d'Alsace" in Antwerp (1 star, Michelin Guide) Chef Huntjens worked as Garde Manger.
...
At 21, Chef Huntjens took over as Executive Chef. The restaurant quickly received an excellent reputation - four forks & spoons in the Michelin Guide, one step removed from a star. Upon the sale of the restaurant, Huntjens decided to study at the Hotel School in Ostende, Belgium.
In 1976, Chef Huntjens had the honor to be the youngest member inducted into Chaine des Rotisseurs (U.K.), an international fraternity of gastronomy. In London, Chef Huntjens managed the Marriott Marble Arch, featuring a small intimate French restaurant "La Biblioteque". As an hotelier, Huntjens has often been recognized for the successes in his hotels and most notably for the excellence in the food and beverage departments. At the Marriott Griffin Gate Resort (Lexington, Kentucky), his team was awarded "the best food and beverage department in Marriott Resorts. The Mansion Restaurant, under Chef Huntjens' leadership, received the only AAA Four Diamond award in the state of Kentucky.
Huntjens moved to Richmond, Virginia to open the Marriott as General Manager, and worked concurrently at the Richmond Convention Center. He then had the opportunity to consult on and re-open the Convention Center, as well. Additional consulting clients have included Colonial Downs and the Sayers Group.
October 2004, Chef Huntjens opened 1 North Belmont Restaurant, an intimate restaurant serving classic French cuisine in an unpretentious, yet professional style. The restaurant was awarded AAA Four Diamond Award for 2006 and 2007, one of 739 in the United States.
His specialty is hospitality - timesdispatch.com
www.timesdispatch.com, 22 Jan 2002 [cached]
"One of the most important keys to success is to create a team of very smart, top people in their fields of expertise," says Frits Huntjens, head of the Greater Richmond Convention Center, shown in the main ballroom.
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Frits Huntjens paused briefly at the enormous windows lining the hall on the east side of the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
Squinting against the glare of midwinter sunlight, Huntjens looked across Fifth Street at the Richmond Marriott Hotel.
"They called it a white elephant when I first came here," he said of the hotel."And anyone who knows Richmond knows the challenges."
Huntjens, the new general manager of the convention center, knows the challenges well.
Eighteen years ago, he was on the other side of the street.Sent by Bill Tiefel, then-president of Marriott Corp.'s hotel division, to open the company's 800-room hotel at Fifth and Broad streets, Huntjens faced enormous doubt about the hotel's ability to survive.
...
"There was enormous pressure to succeed," Huntjens recalled."My biggest challenge was not to let anybody down."
He didn't.The hotel's first year of operation surpassed the hopes of Marriott and city leaders, with a 73 percent occupancy rate.
Now Huntjens faces a similar challenge from the other side of Fifth Street.When completed next year, the $163.5 million convention center will have 640,000 square feet across a six-block area.The building, like the hotel that preceded it, is the centerpiece of efforts to revitalize downtown.
Hospitality is the key, Huntjens said.The tools he used to establish a successful hotel in 1984 are in use once again.
"It is first of all important to set a positive tone," he said."I work extremely hard to create a positive experience for everyone."
And that's not just for those who come to the center, but also for his team of about 50 staff members.
"One of the most important keys to success is to create a team of very smart, top people in their fields of expertise."
For Huntjens, taking care of people is genetic.He represents eight generations of hospitality experts.
His father owned a 26-room hotel and restaurant.Growing up, the son did everything from waiting tables to cleaning rooms.
"We really like to take care of people," said Huntjens, adding that his 80-year-old mother recently earned a volunteer of the year award for serving people at her bridge center.
At 21, Huntjens began working toward his own professional goal: to become general manager of a five-star hotel.The first step was a stint in the Dusseldorf, Germany, accounting office of Intercontinental Hotels.
He later followed some of his former co-workers to Commonwealth Holiday Inns of Canada.
"They had built stunning hotels in Europe - all very pretty, four-star hotels," Huntjens recalled.He started out as the assistant food and beverage director at one of the chain's premier facilities, the Marble Arch Holiday Inn in London.
Huntjens worked his way up to general manager of the 243-room hotel, which boasted the highest average occupancy rate of any hotel in the United Kingdom.
"It was a tremendous experience to manage a hotel that was so busy all of the time," he said.
His work drew the attention of Tiefel at Marriott, who invited Huntjens to join the company's rapidly expanding hotel division.
"At the time, the company was expanding internationally, and the plan was for me to spend a year in the United States learning the company and then return to Europe to manage one of its hotels there," said Huntjens, a native of the Netherlands.
After a little more than a year as resident manager at Marriott's Key Bridge hotel in Northern Virginia, Huntjens was asked to move to Athens, Greece, to serve as general manager of a hotel.
"At that time, my wife, Annie, and I were beginning the process of adopting a little girl from Korea.It is a very complicated procedure and would have been almost impossible in the middle of a move to Greece," he said.
Huntjens asked Tiefel if he could have a little time to see through the adoption by remaining in the United States.The company agreed and asked Huntjens to open the hotel in Richmond.
"It was a big leap of faith on their part.It was the first time I had ever opened a hotel."
Though he left the Richmond Marriott in 1990 to manage the chain's Griffin Gate Resort and The Mansion Restaurant in Kentucky, he missed his friends and connections in central Virginia.
Two years later, Huntjens returned.As chief executive officer and general manager of the Hermitage Country Club, he took on a budget with debt.A little more than four years later, the budget at the Manakin-Sabot club was back in the black.
"I simply tried to improve the product with better food service and facilities," he said.
In 1997, Huntjens launched his own hotel company, Huntjens Hospitality Corp.He built a Microtel hotel near the airport and began consulting for other hotel chains.
With the new company, the family tradition continues.His son, Ron, is general manager of the Microtel.His daughter, Kim, a Godwin High School senior, also hopes to follow in her father's footsteps.
"Frits is a recognized fixture in Richmond," said John F. Berry Jr., president and CEO of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.
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Huntjens is employed by Global Spectrum of Tampa, Fla., which has contracted to manage the facility.
"Frits stands for quality and customer service.
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For Huntjens, the objective is the same now as it was 18 years ago across the street.He remains focused on the positive.
"My philosophy hasn't changed.I want people to be proud of this facility.I want to offer people a quality experience."
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Innsbrook Today Magazine - People in the News
www.innsbrooktoday.com, 19 Dec 2001 [cached]
Assigned to the position of general manager is Frits Huntjens.
Huntjens brings 20 years hotel, motel and hospitality experience to the convention center.His past positions include general manager for the Richmond Marriott Hotel, CEO and general manager of the Hermitage Country Club and president of Huntjens Hospitality Corporation.
Charles "Chuck" E. Adams has been named business manager for the convention center.Prior to joining Global Spectrum, Adams was general ledger manager for Quarles Petroleum, controller for American Family Fitness Centers and an accountant for Deloitte and Touche.
Keiter, Stephens Announces New HiresKeiter, Stephens, Hurst, Gary & Shreeves has announced the addition of several new members to its staff.
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