Dean Milburn has been appointed executive chef of the Vale Resort near Cardiff to oversee all restaurants and catering, including Hensol Castle.
Milburn, originally from Maryland in the US, joins the 143-bedroom, four-AA-star resort, which has been owned by family-run home retail company Leekes since 1994, having spent the last three years as senior head chef at the University of Bristol.
He replaces Justin Llewellyn, who spent just five months in the role last year before joining the Celtic Manor Resort nearby in Newport as head chef.
Milburn said: "I'm excited to be returning to my culinary strength and speciality, which is creating unique and seasonal food on a large scale for the hospitality industry. Since joining, I've been developing menus that combine local, fresh ingredients to create innovative dishes with a US twist and a touch of Eastern fusion.
"The redevelopment of the historic Hensol Castle was a big draw for me joining the Vale Resort, and we're beginning to work towards the exciting launch of a new destination restaurant overlooking the lake."
The previously derelict 400-year-old castle has undergone a £10m refurbishment, reopening in 2015 as a conference and wedding venue. As part of that redevelopment, a 120-cover, top-end restaurant is due to be launched in the next 18 months.
Milburn will be overseeing the resort's three restaurants: the Vale Grill and bar, its signature restaurant, which has an AA rosette; the afternoon tea conservatory; and the forthcoming Hensol Castle restaurant. He will also be responsible for all catering across the resort for conferences and weddings.
Paul Beddoe, sales and marketing director at the Vale Resort, added: "We're pleased to inject some American enthusiasm and vitality in the form of Dean leading our gourmet offering across the entirety of the Vale Resort and Hensol Castle."