Marriott Shoals Takes Cooking to Next Level

Angel Heinkel

Looking for some new foods to try in the Shoals? Look no further than the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa, which has revamped the culinary team overseeing the Swampers Bar & Grille, 360 Grille and Marriott Shoals Conference Center.

“Putting this incredible group of chefs together gives us a new edge for the guest’s dining experience,” said Larry Bowser, general manager of the hotel. “Whether dining in 360 Grille, Alabama’s only revolving restaurant, or a more casual atmosphere with live music in Swampers Bar & Grille or attending a meeting, conference or other event, guests will experience a new level of freshness, quality and consistency.”

Here is an introduction to those leading these culinary changes.

Dean Donnell

Dean Donnell joined the hotel earlier this year as food and beverage director, overseeing the culinary teams in Swampers Bar & Grille, 360 Grille and Marriott Shoals Conference Center.


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Donnell began his career at the age of 15, receiving most of his training from European chefs. While living in the Tampa area, he acquired a great deal of Cuban and Latin influences, which he pairs with fresh herbs and spices to complement his vast array of dishes. With a flair for fusion style cooking, he brings a new style of menu to the hotel and the Shoals area.

Benjamin “Raji” Threadgil

David McClain is the chef overseeing the Marriott Shoals Conference Center. He has more than 25 years of culinary management experience with Hyatt, Westin and Sheraton hotels in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. A classically trained French chef, McClain honed his culinary skills while learning hotel operations management. A native of the South, he enjoys using fresh ingredients and creating dishes with a southern flair. McClain looks forward to building strong relationships with event and meeting planners throughout the area.

Benjamin “Raji” Threadgill is the chef overseeing the Swampers Bar & Grille. Threadgill began his culinary career in 2014 with PCH Resorts, working at several of the hotel properties. Prior to joining the Marriott Shoals, he worked at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Spa at the Convention Center. After being adopted in Calcutta, India, he moved to Fairhope, where he enjoyed an eclectic mix of ethnic backgrounds and foods. Threadgill specializes in Southern, French and Indian cuisines, bringing innovative tastes to the hotel.

David McClain

Angel Heinkel is the chef overseeing the hotel’s iconic 360 Grille restaurant. Heinkel received her degree from the University of North Alabama and is well known in the Shoals area, having worked at Odette and Turtle Point Yacht and Country Club. She has a passion for fresh, quality cuisine and brings her own flair to the team.

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