First Female Chef in 20 Years Takes the Helm at Luxury Destination Spa

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Appointment of Kayla Roche as Executive Chef at Golden Door spa in Escondido, CA. First female chef in 20 years at storied resort and just 25 years of age. Contacts: Jenna Brucks - jbrucks(at)goldendoor(dot)com 760-761-4124 or Sue Annetts - sannetts(at)goldendoor(dot)com 760-761-4139

We are looking forward to her continuing the tradition of excellence set by her predecessors while bringing her own unique flair to Golden Door cuisine.

Golden Door General Manager, Rachel Caldwell, announces the appointment of Kayla Roche to the position of Executive Chef – the first woman in this position for nearly twenty years and its youngest ever at just 25 years of age. Prior to her appointment as Executive Chef, Kayla served as sous-chef for two years, gaining experience in the art of preparing the gourmet spa cuisine that is so much a part of the overall experience for guests at what is considered the ‘gold standard’ of luxury destination spas.

“We are very pleased to welcome Kayla to her new position as Executive Chef” said Caldwell. “We are looking forward to her continuing the tradition of excellence set by her predecessors while bringing her own unique flair to Golden Door cuisine.”

Chef Kayla began her culinary career as a line cook at a California high school. Then, looking to take her love of culinary arts to the next level, she applied for and received offers of merit based scholarships from Johnson and Wales University and the California School of Culinary Arts – both consistently rated in the top tier of culinary schools. Ultimately, after being offered a much sought after Cream of the Crop Scholarship, she chose to attend the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and graduated with an Associates Degree of Occupational Studies in Culinary Arts.

After graduation, she worked with her family to open an upscale bed and breakfast in a renovated 1790 farmhouse. She created the breakfast menus – which are still in use today – and oversaw the kitchen for their first year of business. During this time, she also served as sous-chef at the Postage Inn in Tillson, NY. July 2007 saw Chef Kayla move back to California and join the culinary team at Golden Door.

“I’m excited at the opportunity to continue the nationally recognized standard of excellence that has marked the culinary history of the Golden Door while working to incorporate some of my favorite tastes and flavors into dishes that will be simple, flavorful and familiar to all,” said Chef Kayla. “I love taking a classic dish, like chicken pot pie or lasagna, which everyone is familiar with and finding ways to make it lighter and healthier, but still satisfying. Practical, everyday foods, that people crave with a more elegant and wholesome approach”.

The Golden Door’s peaceful and private setting, 45 miles north of San Diego is home to one of the most inspiring, innovative and high-energy fitness programs in the world today. The spa’s 4:1 staff-to-guest ratio ensures an incomparable level of service and attention to detail, encouraging most guests – more than 60 percent – to return time-and-time again. Guests follow aprogram of exercise, daily massage, meditation and beauty treatments created expressly for their needs and wishes. Additional instruction on nutrition and wellness, advice on stress management, a Smoking Cessation program and Inner Focus classes including yoga and T’ai Chi come together to provide each guest the tools they need to attain the balance within their own lives that is at the heart of Golden Door’s philosophy. For more information or reservations, visit or call (800) 424-0777.

The Golden Door is part of LXR Luxury Resorts & Hotels, a portfolio of independent properties distinguished by a style and spirit that captures the unique qualities of their setting. LXR properties are located throughout the United States and the Caribbean. For information visit or call (877) LXR-XOXO.


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Jenna Brucks
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