Jon Hochstat: Career History

Hospitality professional with 30 years of global experience.

Businesses opening and reopening: From concept to completion

  • France (Opening of EuroDisney, all of 1992)
  • South Africa (Re-opening of Mount Nelson Hotel, from October 1993-April 1994)
  • Guatemala (GM of Jake’s, a fine dining restaurant, from September 1998-January 2001)
  • Costa Rica (Opening of 8ctavo, a fine dining restaurant, from August 2011-April 2013. Other consulting projects (May 2013 to May 2017)
  • Fluent in English, Spanish & French

Career History Timeline 1986 to 2008 (PDF)

April 2008 to April 2011 – Operations Manager of Crif Dogs Enterprises Inc. which contains Crif Dogs, a hot dog shop with many famous, unique and original combinations as well as PDT (Please Don’t Tell) the world renowned speakeasy cocktail bar.

PDT’s accolades & awards

  • Named World’s Best Cocktail Bar in 2009
  • Named World’s Best Bar in 2011
  • First ever winner of the James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program in 2012 *An acknowledgement from Jim Meehan can be found on page 360 of the PDT Cocktail Book

August 2011 to April 2013 in Costa Rica

  • Consulted on the opening of 8ctavo restaurant atop the Sheraton, San Jose Costa Rica (newly built and opened Spring 2013). 8ctavo closed in 2019
  • Role included but not limited to
    • Wrote all training manuals and materials
    • Worked directly with the owner on recruitment for the Executive Chef, General Manager and all other management positions
  • Chefs recruited for the project
    • Norman Van Aken as a “Flavor Consultant” as the variety of products found in Costa Rica favored a cooking style like his
    • Andrew Graves as Executive Chef. Previously he was Corporate Chef for The Alinea Group (Alinea, Next, The Aviary). Andrew was with 8ctavo from September 2013 to April 2016 when he returned to the USA (2 1/2 years)

Contact  Jon via Email

Costa Rica projects May 2013 to May 2017

  • January 2014 – Developed/designed a series of chef retreats at Hotel Doce Lunas in Playa Jaco Costa Rica featuring Chef Norman Van Aken
  • September 2014 – PR, marketing and operations advisor to Cockfight, a closed door supperclub based in San Jose Costa Rica
  • November 2014 – Recruited and placed Thomas Beck, Chef de Cuisine of The Surf Lodge in Montauk NY as Executive Chef of Graffiti Restaurant in Playa Jacó Costa Rica
  • February 2015 – Developed, coordinated and executed Playa Jacó Costa Rica’s first TRUE pop up. Introduced Danny Clark Chef/Owner of Side Street Bistro to Dan Perlman Chef/Owner of Casa Saltshaker, a closed door restaurant in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Two write-ups from that evening
  • November 2015 – Contacted by Sean Barrett, co-founder of Dock to Dish  to introduce them to Costa Rica hoteliers for a launch of Dock to Dish Costa Rica. Successfully connected Sean to Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, a hotel marketing & management company based in Costa Rica, as well as the owner of Arenas del Mar, a carbon neutral resort located in Manuel Antonio. Dock to Dish Costa Rica launched there in June 2016. The launch was featured in a Tasting Table article Dock To Dish is Changing the Seafood Industry.
  • March 2017 – National Geographic Traveler magazine recognized this year’s leaders in sustainable tourism, Cayuga Collection: Costa Rica and Nicaragua. They were named World Legacy Award Winner, Earth Changers: Leadership in Environmentally-Friendly Business Practices and Innovative green technologies.
  • September 2017 – New Worlder, a website providing in-depth information on food, culture and travel in the Americas with an emphasis on long form writing and photography wrote about Dock to Dish’s launch & growth in Central America titled Reimagining Dock to Dish for Central America. I was mentioned in the article (as a “Retired chef living in Jacó”) as the person who connected & introduced Dock to Dish to Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality (in November of 2015). The quote below is taken from a Tasting Table article titled ‘The Fight Against Fish Fraud: Dock to Dish is Making Waves in the Seafood Industry’ written by Alison Spiegel, published on August 18th 2016