Owner/Operator of the Fish Camps, Marker 32 and Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Chef Ben has created his culinary operations, the foundation of his restaurants success, with a “hands on” philosophy in managing his operations. He opened Marker 32 in 1992, which still remains a highly rated seafood restaurant destination in Jacksonville. In 2008, Ben opened the Palm Valley Fish Camp in Ponte Vedra, FL, an overnight success, which quickly led to the opening of two more Fish Camps in the Jacksonville area. The Palm Valley Fish Camp was voted the “Best New Restaurant Concept” in the state of Florida in the May 2009 Business Journal. Outside of his restaurants, Ben has consulted in menu development and restaurant design for both Salt Life and Safe Harbor Seafood. All of his restaurants have received numerous accolades.
Owner/Operator of the Fish Camps, Marker 32 and Safe Harbor Seafood Restaurant. Originally from New York, Liza relocated to Ponte Vedra and studied at the University of North Florida. Liza is responsible for the business development of restaurants managed by Southern Table. Her constant engagement, experience and insight have created a long-term value for Marker 32 and the Fish Camps. Liza’s business acumen is both sought after and respected within the restaurant community. Liza opened the Palm Valley Fish Camp in 2008, the North Beach Fish Camp in 2011 and the Julington Creek Fish Camp in 2013.
Director of Restaurant Operations. After serving in the United States Army, Eric attended Eastern Illinois University where he graduated with degrees in English and Philosophy before attending Virginia Commonwealth University where he studied Biochemistry. While studying in Richmond, Eric worked at the historic Jefferson Hotel, one of 27 American hotels with a 5-diamond and 5-star rating. Eric completed an internship in Hospitality Management at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida and conducted research at the Florida International University Marine Biology Lab before joining Morton’s of Chicago in Miami, Florida. At Morton’s, Eric worked his way up to General Manager and was in 2006 given the “Marketing Excellence” and “Rookie of the Year” awards. Before joining Southern Table Hospitality, Eric spent his last eight years as the General Manager of Ruth’s Chris Steak House. In his last two years with Ruth’s Chris, Eric joined the Corporate Franchise Relations team, where he supported 14 restaurants within the franchise community. Eric is responsible for managing the Front of the House operations for all 6 Southern Table Hospitality restaurants.
Director of Business Development. Tim is a graduate of Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York with a degree in English Literature. Tim spent 6 years as a General Manager in the hotel industry, where he became proficient in finance and accounting before moving to Jacksonville Beach. Tim owned and operated two restaurants in the Jacksonville Beach area before joining Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in 2003. While at Ruth’s Chris, Tim assisted the Regional Vice President in auditing restaurants in the Southeast Region, served as Restaurant Manager at the Jacksonville Ruth’s Chris restaurant, Assistant General Manager of Ruth’s Chris in Ponte Vedra and General Manager of the Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Washington D.C. Tim prepares and analyzes reports pertaining to the overall success and profitability of the company. In addition, Tim manages the beverage program, budgeting/forecasting and I.T. for the company.
Director of Culinary Operations. Ponte Vedra native Chef Chris Delay joined the Southern Table Hospitality team 2016. In high school, he found his niche for cooking and decided to that he wanted to spend his career in a professional kitchen. After graduation, Chef Chris headed to Asheville, NC to train in his craft. Soon after, he purchased a small farm in Banner Elk, NC, where he owned and operated a restaurant that provided creative dishes inspired by farm-to-table fresh produce coming straight from his gardens. After five years of operations and the birth of his first daughter, Chris sold the restaurant and farm and moved to Hawaii to train with the renowned French restauranteur, author and pioneer of Hawaiian regional cuisine, Chef Jean-Marie Josselin. Chef Chris eventually returned to the First Coast to raise his daughters in a more familiar setting, surrounded by friends and family. He was the opening Chef at Pusser’s Caribbean Grille in Ponte Vedra, Florida and spent the next 8-years as the Executive Chef of this popular restaurant. Chef Chris’s leadership and experience in managing culinary operations have made an immediate impact on Southern Table Hospitality.
Corporate Chef. Born in Venezuela and raised in Miami, Rick's passion for food started early in life while was able to taste multiple cultural foods at a young age. At age 16, Rick began his restaurant career at Cheesecake Factory. He traveled and opened new stores and mastered front and back of house operations. In 2005, he settled in Jacksonville where he got married and had 2 sons. Rick's focus on healthy food options and specialty foods along with his diverse background with leadership, restaurant operations and staff development refines Southern Table Hospitality's brand of training and education.
Director of Sales & Marketing. Laura is a Native New Yorker who grew up in Westchester County and majored in Business at the Berkley Business School. Laura began in Research & Development at Duracell, moving up to become Assistant to the Vice President. Next, she journeyed to Bermuda, where she spent 3 years as a US Customs Inspector, worked for Civilian Personnel, was a Club Manager at NAS Bermuda and gave birth to her son. Laura moved to Jacksonville and joined Publix Supermarkets in 1990. During her 18-year tenure, she was the Assistant to Director of Retail Operations, and after the birth of her daughter, became Administrative Coordinator. In 2009, Laura moved on to become Sales Manager at Ruth’s Chris Steak House where she more than quadrupled private dining and catering sales over 7 years. Laura joined our team in 2017 and oversees Private Dining and Catering and maintains and develops relationships with our guests and our team.
Business Manager. Hannah is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she received a Bachelor's Degree in Advertising and Graphic Design in 2001. After moving home to Jacksonville, Hannah spent three years at the Lodge and Club at Ponte Vedra, a AAA-rated 5-Diamond Resort, as a Food and Beverage Manager with a focus on exceptional customer service and wine education for her team. Hannah spent another 5 years developing the catering program for Brucci’s, a local 4-unit restaurant chain with locations Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra. Hannah worked for two years at Whole Foods Market as the Prepared Foods Team Leader before joining Southern Table Hospitality in 2013. Hannah manages all accounts payable, payroll, benefits and the overall organization of the company. Hannah also oversees all company marketing campaigns and develops vendor relationships on behalf of all the brands represented by Southern Table Hospitality.
Payroll & Benefits Administrator. A native of Nashville, Tennessee, Candace, her husband, and three sons now proudly call Jacksonville home. Candace joined Southern Table Hospitality in 2018 with over 15 years of accounting, payroll, employee relations and benefit administration expertise in several different industries (Healthcare, Construction, Hospitality and Staffing). She focuses on streamlining procedures while ensuring individualized attention for all employees of the Southern Table Hospitality restaurants. Her broad industry knowledge ensures the team is always ahead of the curve in regards to onboarding, legal compliance and policies and procedures.
Project Manager. A native New Englander, but raised in Jacksonville, Geoff has worked in the food industry since his first job at 15 years old. His first managerial position was with the Cheesecake Factory where he quickly moved up the ranks from pasta cook to kitchen manager. He joined Southern Table Hospitality as a sous chef at North Beach Fish Camp; and since then he has held positions at Palm Valley and Julington Creek, where he transitioned to restaurant manager. Geoff was promoted to General Manger of Marker 32 in 2015. His vast experience, willingness to learn and team player attitude has earned him at position in our home office where he is now in charge of system analyst. When not working, Geoff and his wife Erin love spending time outdoors and at Disney World with their two daughters: Skylar and Teagan.
Facilities Manager. Keith grew up in Atlantic Beach FL where he attended Fletcher High School and later, FCCJ. He worked in the maritime industry before becoming the VP of Operations for Corfab, a custom countertop fabrication and installation company in Jacksonville. In 2012, Keith and his family moved to Dallas, Texas where he was a Department Supervisor in Medical Manufacturing for Johnson and Johnson. Keith returned to Jacksonville in 2017 and joined Southern Table Hospitality team as Facilities Manager, where he currently oversees the maintenance of six restaurant locations. In his spare time, Keith is an avid hunter, fisherman and skeet shooter.
Director of Health & Quality Standards, Founder, Restaurant Compliance Solutions. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Health, Jessica worked as a health inspector for the District Board of Health, Mahoning County in her native Youngstown, Ohio. She obtained her Registered Sanitarian Certification from the Ohio Board of Sanitarian Registration. Upon accepting a position as a state health inspector with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), Division of Hotels and Restaurants she relocated to the Jacksonville area. Jessica founded Restaurant Compliance Solutions after 15 years as a health inspector. Restaurant Compliance Solutions offers quality assurance audits, certified food manager exams, alcohol compliance training, and food and beverage licensing services to ensure clients adhere to state and federal mandated food safety regulations.
Culinary Consultant. A native of Northern Italy, Chef Sergio brings 45 years of industry experience to Southern Table. Chef Sergio studied at the Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Quebéc, in Montreal before working in Bermuda and New Orleans. He was a Sous Chef at the 4-diamond Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where he worked under Maitre Cuisinier de France, Michel Marcais, one of 350 Chef’s granted this title in the world. Chef Sergio moved to Ponte Vedra and spent 8 years of his career as the Chef de Cuisine of the Surf Club and the Sea Foam Room of the Ponte Vedra Inn and Club before owning and operating “Sergio’s” Northern Italian Restaurant in Atlantic Beach. Chef Sergio has been the opening Chef for all three Fish Camps. He passes his passion for consistency and quality to the young chefs under his development. Chef Sergio brings an “old world” classical approach to cooking, with an emphasis on attention to detail.