Francisco Jiménez, EXECUTIVE CHEF
Chef Francisco Jiménez is Executive Chef at Haylards
Chef Francisco Jiménez, a native of Boston, Massachusetts, graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in 2000. He proceeded to New Orleans, Louisiana, to continue to hone his culinary skills in a city known for gastronomic satisfaction. While in New Orleans he worked for the renowned Commander’s Palace in addition to The Windsor Court Hotel (a AAA Four Diamond and Mobil Four Star ranking establishment).
After three years in New Orleans, Francisco adopted mentor Chef Kevin Vizard, and under his wing worked as sous chef for Café Adelaide (voted Top Ten Best New Restaurants in America by Esquire magazine). Returning to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, both devoted to his mentor as well as the city he came to love, Jiménez assisted with the opening of Vizard’s On The Avenue as executive sous chef.
Jiménez then decided to advance his culinary career and knowledge of Latin American cuisine and journeyed to Corpus Christi, Texas where he became the executive chef of the Havana Club. A year later, this ambitious young chef began his employ at the Omni Bayfront where he utilized his passion for cooking savory food and delectable desserts at the Republic of Texas Bar and Grill.
In 2011, Chef Jimenez took over the culinary operations at the Omni Charlotte hotel in the heart of uptown Charlotte, NC. He began utilizing local farmers in the area and began a rooftop herb garden in the hotel.
Since 2016, Francisco has been chef at Halyards Restaurant in St. Simon’s Island, GA. He focuses on working with as many local growers, fishermen, and specialty producers as he can find in the region.
Thomas Roberts, GENERAL MANAGER
Thomas Roberts is General Manager at Halyards
Thomas comes to us from Ocean Forest on Sea Island and is both a Certified Sommelier through the global standard Court of Master Sommeliers and a Certified Hospitality Supervisor by the American Hotel and Lodging Association. We are lucky to have him on board.
Thomas brings seventeen years of business experience and is eager for new adventures. “It was time for me to come back to why I have always loved the hospitality and restaurant industry,” he explains. “I look forward to building relationships, time with friends, and most importantly—family. Halyards has the energy, vibe, excitement, and sense of community I love. I’ve known Dave for over fifteen years and consider it a privilege to work alongside him. I respect his approach: Dave looks at his team members as family and makes sure each has what they need to thrive and succeed in their role. The way Halyard Restaurant Group embraces and supports our St. Simons Island community is incredible—and I look forward to contributing to that.”
Thomas has been a resident of St. Simons since 1991 and has wonderful memories of spending summers as a child on the island with his grandparents. When he’s not working, he’s an avid skateboarder and snowboarder. Thomas is married to Hannah, a jewelry and pottery designer, and they have one daughter. Look for Hannah’s art in local boutiques and craft fairs around the Golden Isles.