Skip to main content
Meet The Team

meet the team

Okan Kizilbayir

Okan Kizilbayir

Chef
Chef Okan Kizilbayir, Chef de Cuisine at AAA Five Diamond Salt Restaurant, began his long-standing career at a job fair in Turkey. Sponsored by The Ritz-Carlton, Washington, D.C., the hotel had recently entered an agreement with Michelin-starred chef Eric Ripert to open Westend Bistro. Unbeknownst to either chef, it was the beginning of a fourteen-year mentorship and lifetime of friendship.

Chef Okan followed Eric Ripert to Blue at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. As sous chef, Chef Okan collaborated with Chef de Cuisine Thomas Seifried and Eric Ripert to create a daily menu using only seafood fresh from the local docks. Chef Okan also played a vital role hosting Chef Ripert's Grand Cayman Cookout; an annual gathering of international chefs preparing lavish tastings and extravagant cooking demonstrations. After nine years at Blue, Ripert invited Okan to join his three-star Michelin restaurant, Le Bernardin in New York City.

Chef Okan joined Salt in May 2021 and has enjoyed creating exciting new menus and experiences for all his guests. His Chef's Kitchen Table in Salt and adventure menu are some of the most in-demand reservations in all of Florida. When Chef Okan is not in the kitchen, he can be found spending time with his family and friends.
Cory Seykoski

Cory Seykoski

Sous Chef
Cory Seykoski

Cory Seykoski

Sous Chef
A Jacksonville native, Chef Cory Seykoskis's fondest memories of being in the kitchen are making ravioli for Christmas with his mother. His culinary interest grew, and Cory began his culinary career working for One Ocean Hotel in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Cory then earned the title of Sous Chef, furthering his career at the Melrose Hotel in Washington, DC. Continuing to refine his culinary skills, he then transferred to Chicago and became the Executive Chef of the Silversmith Hotel and Suites where he oversaw all the culinary operations within the hotel.

He then moved out to the West Coast taking the Executive Sous Chef position at Bardessono Hotel and Spa in Yountville, CA. Following his time in Napa Valley, he moved to Las Vegas to work for Lupo by Wolfgang Puck at the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Most recently, he continued his career in Fort Wayne, Indiana as the Chef for Morrison Living. Cory returned to Jacksonville to work as the Senior Sous Chef under Chef Okan Kizilbayir in Salt at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. When not in the Salt kitchen, Cory enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, hunting and cooking.
Phillip Huber

Phillip Huber

Salt General Manager & Maître d'hôtel
Phillip Huber

Phillip Huber

Salt General Manager & Maître d'hôtel

A native of Cleveland OH, raised in Cleveland Heights, Phil grew up the oldest of four boys, always an active participant in athletics and a huge Cleveland sports fan. While studying at Ohio University, his love of sports and teamwork led to pursuing his first opportunity in the food and beverage scene at a middle eastern restaurant (Aladdin's, Cleveland Heights). This first job became a passion that led to opportunities in the Northeast, then the acclaimed Radius Restaurant, in Boston. With this fine dining experience, Phil continued his career at Boston Harbor Hotel, his first experience in a Forbes Five Star property where he managed all five restaurants.

 

After two and a half years, his passion for Forbes and hospitality led him to a position in Rooms at Boston Harbor Hotel as Night Manager, overnight General Manager for a year and a half. He then worked at the boutique Boxer Hotel as Hotel Manager before moving to Florida to become the General Manager of Salt. Eighteen months later, Weekapaug Inn of the Ocean House Collection appointed Phil for the role as Director of Food and Beverage to help elevate the hotel to a 5-star level, a success that was also retained. Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown called eighteen months later for Phil's expertise to lead the Food and Beverage team to gain their 5th Star. While at the Harbor View Hotel, Phil and his wife Taylor welcomed their daughter Blake. Since his return, Phil has worked closely with Chef Okan to elevate the Salt experience and celebrate the birth of a second child, Brennan.

 

When not at Salt, Phil is enjoying time with Taylor, Blake, Brennan, family, and friends, remaining active in athletics and always hopeful for Cleveland sports teams.

Reserve