Hotel Effie toasts new chef, Juan Bochenski

Announces plans to become a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel

By Michelle Farnham
Feb. 21, 2024

SANDESTIN – Hotel Effie rolled out the red carpet Tuesday evening as they welcomed their new executive chef, Juan Bochenski, with a champagne and cocktail reception at the resort’s flagship restaurant, Ovide.

Tonya Rauch, director of marketing for the hotel, introduced Bochenski, who joined the team back in December.

“Chef has already done an excellent job of earning the admiration of his team and his colleagues,” Rauch said. “Before long the entire community is going to know his name.”

Ovide

The Argentina-born chef, whose new menu debuts March 1, has settled nicely into his new home and his new position.

“So far it has been a great ride for me to organize the team and make sure we are ready for the busy summer,” Bochenski said. “Food-wise, I’m trying to introduce sushi while keeping the Southern style of the region. It’s about comfort food with a touch of modern, and what I bring to the table is a bit of Latin, a bit of Argentinian, a bit of European as well.”

He comes to the Emerald Coast most recently from Fort Lauderdale, and before that, the Caribbean, noting that the beaches here are gorgeous, but he’s been too busy working on his new menu to soak up the sun just yet.

“We’re trying to get that combination of Latin and Southern,” Bochenski said of his efforts to rework the Ovide menu. “We’re working on some empanadas, ceviches as well. Argentina has a lot of influence from Italians coming to Argentina, so we will have homemade pastas, a lot of cooking done in-house. There will be lasagna, we’ve started developing our own sourdough program, so we’ll be doing sourdough in-house. We’ve kept the biscuits, which is a signature here, we’ve kept the fried chicken, people passing by here love that.”

OvideThe chef said he knew he’d found his home as soon as he arrived.

“It’s a lovely restaurant; I fell in love with it when I came here for my interview,” he admitted.

Ovide staff passed a selection of hors d’oeuvres, including gourmet deviled eggs with smoked salmon and roe, slider hamburgers, shrimp cocktail and oysters Rockefeller. Guests could choose from a specially curated bar menu, like the Argentinian drink Fernet & Cola, Cyn Cyns, and an Artichoke Hold.

John Jenkins Jr., the hotel’s general manager, also took the opportunity to announce a major development for the hotel overall.

“As you know, Hotel Effie has been growing year after year, and we just signed an agreement with Marriott to become an Autograph Collection Hotel, so it will be Hotel Effie, an Autograph Hotel by Marriott,” Jenkins announced, to a round of applause.

Ovide is located on the ground floor of Hotel Effie, 1 Grand Sandestin Blvd., Miramar Beach, within the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. For more information or reservations, visit www.hoteleffie.com/dining/ovide or call 850-351-3030.