Meet The Chefs
Meet the Ocean House Chefs
The culinary team at Ocean House features talented Chefs, from around the country with a shared goal of achieving excellence and perfecting their craft. Each of our chefs, with their own unique background, tells a story through food with an emphasis on local ingredients and seasonal Rhode Island dining. Read the culinary chef bios below to learn more about some of the gifted team members that make dining at Ocean House truly special.
Matt Voskuil - EXECUTIVE CHEF
Chef Matt joined Ocean House with more than 25 years of culinary experience. He most recently served as Executive Chef and director of food & beverage at the Chanler in Newport where he helped launch two new restaurants. He previously led culinary teams for 10 years in some of the most notable destinations in Las Vegas, including positions with Venetian Resort and Casino, Joel Robuchon at The Mansion, Eiffel Tower Restaurant and Wynn Resorts. Chef Matt’s restaurant experience also includes positions as sous chef and executive chef in Chicago.
He began his professional career as executive chef at Canoe Bay, a Relais & Chateaux property in Wisconsin.
Chef Matt received his culinary arts degree from Kendall College, Illinois. In his free time, he loves to read, golf and is a fan of motorcycle racing. He and his family reside in Rhode Island.
William Rietzel III - CHEF DE CUISINE, COAST
Chef Will’s diverse culinary journey began at a local pizza place in his hometown. Like many other chefs with humble beginnings, he quickly realized that cooking was something he wanted to pursue for the rest of his life. After working his way up through the ranks, he moved on to Bistro 9 in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. William’s hard work didn’t go unnoticed, and after a short period of time he was promoted to Sous Chef. Other restaurant work in Rhode Island followed and he eventually traveled to France. In Paris he worked with American chef–and dear friend–Kevin O’Donnell at L’Office. The quaint French-American bistro opened his eyes to a different kind of food culture, one he’d never seen before.
A return to New England brought him to kitchens in Newport, Rhode Island, including Castle Hill Inn, a Relais & Chateaux property, and Boston but the spring of 2015 brought Will to Ocean House, where he would spend nearly three years. While at Ocean House he continued his international culinary journey, traveling to a Johann Lafer Stromberg, a Relais & Châteaux in Germany, expanding his knowledge of foreign cuisine and culture. Jobs in Providence and Florida followed, but we’re delighted that Chef Will returned to Watch Hill this past fall as Chef de Cuisine of our fine dining restaurant, COAST, confidently maintaining its Forbes Five-Star status and landing COAST’s first AAA Five-Diamond distinction this year. His cuisine, with a focus on New England ingredients with influences from French and Italian cooking, continues to delight overnight guests and locals alike.
Donna Yuen - Executive Pastry Chef
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Donna Yuen wasted no time getting on the fast track to pastry success. After completing her bachelor’s in baking and pastry arts in 2005, Yuen moved to Washington D.C. and landed a position as pastry assistant at Lia’s. After a year, she was promoted to executive pastry chef of the Chef Geoff Group. For the next three years, Yuen ran the pastry programs and created seasonal menus for Lia’s, Chef Geoff’s,Chef Geoff’s Downtown, and Chef Geoff’s Tysons. In 2010, Yuen left the Chef Geoff’s Group to step into the role of pastry chef at the Dupont Circle Hotel, where she produced all items in-house, presenting classic preparations with a modern sensibility. 2013 found Yuen making a move to Vidalia, where she put a southern twist on her refined sweets.
In 2014, Yuen moved to Boston to become the pastry sous chef of the Boston Harbor Hotel. A year later, she became the pastry chef of Barbara Lynch’s Menton, Boston’s only Relaix & Châteaux property where she continued to present modern and refined desserts as well as developing an artisanal bread program. After three years, Chef Donna wanted to stay in the Relais & Chateaux family and joined Ocean House as Executive Pastry Chef.
Kathryn Caine - DIRECTOR OF CULINARY EDUCATION AND FOOD FORAGER
Chef Kathryn “Kat” Caine is Director of Culinary Education at Ocean House. In her position, she creates and leads culinary classes and activities at the property and the Center for Wine & Culinary Arts (CWCA).
Chef Kat joined Ocean House after an accomplished career across the country. Her notable roles include the position of Sous-Chef at the Michelin-starred Range Restaurant in San Francisco, CA. She also served as Executive Chef at The Populist in Denver, CO for five years. She later became Chef de Cuisine at Death & Co. restaurant at its two locations, in New York City’s East Village and at The Ramble Hotel in Denver, CO, before joining Ocean House.
Chef Kat is a Rhode Island native. She attended Johnson & Wales University where she received her degree in culinary arts, as well as her bachelor’s degree in food service management.
Chef Kat is focused on wellness and sustainability. She is passionate about vegetables and herbs as well as gluten free culinary options, based on her own experience with Celiac disease.
She and her husband enjoy kayaking in their free time and reside in Rhode Island with their two dogs, Stella and Duke.
José Pabon - BANQUET SOUS CHEF
Born in Puerto Rico, Chef José first set foot in the United States at age 8 when his family moved to North Kingstown, RI. He knew almost no English, but he quickly picked up the language and took a job as a dishwasher at the age of 15
Prior to joining Ocean House’s culinary team as a Line Cook in April 2012, Chef José spent eight years at Cedars Steakhouse & Oyster Bar at Foxwoods Resort & Casino. He also worked briefly at Fred & Steve’s Steakhouse in Lincoln and more recently at David Burke’s Prime. After working as a Grill Cook and leader of Ocean House’s Bistro line, he was promoted to Bistro Sous Chef. In 2015, he switched gears again and took on the role of Banquet Sous Chef.