Meet the Chefs

Brian Dandro
Executive Chef/Director of Food and Beverage
Royal Sonesta Boston

A Massachusetts native, Chef Brian embraces using fresh, locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, as well as designing and tailoring menus to best reflect the local seasonal bounty. He has made changes to menus throughout the hotel to utilize the products of several local farms and purveyors to add a taste of New England to the meals produced.

Opting for the school of hard knocks, Dandro turned down his acceptance at Johnson and Wales University to enroll in a 3 ½ year ACF culinary apprenticeship at the Castle Restaurant in Leicester Massachusetts. Dandro comments, “To me, this was culinary boot camp. Being a family owned classic French restaurant with a scratch kitchen, you not only had to learn how to cook, you had to learn how to work hard and fast if you wanted to stick around.”

Upon graduation of the apprenticeship program in the fall of 2000, Dandro moved to Boston and got his first taste of a hotel kitchen when he joined the culinary team at the Seaport Hotel/World Trade Center. Over the next 5 years he was banquet cook, line cook, saucier and culinary supervisor. Eager for a Sous Chef position, in 2005 Dandro crossed the river to become the Restaurant Sous Chef at the Hotel @ M.I.T. in Cambridge, which is now Le Meridian. After promotion to Executive Sous Chef in his first year of employment, Dandro’s role expanded to oversee all culinary operations in the hotel. In 2007, Dandro left Boston to take part in the opening of the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort as the resort Sous Chef.

Having fulfilled desire to open a newly built hotel, Dandro moved back to New England in 2008. At this point in his career he went to work for Chef Daniel Bruce as the Sous Chef of Meritage restaurant. Three months into his stint at Meritage, Dandro was contacted to join the Royal Sonesta Hotel as Executive Sous Chef and challenged to reconcept and open the newly renovated restaurant, ArtBar. In May of 2011, Dandro moved into his current role as the Executive Chef, where he oversees the hotel’s banquet and conference meals, as well as the ArtBar restaurant, private dining room and patio.

Executive Pastry Chef, Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston
Christina Allen-Flores
Executive Pastry Chef
ArtBar Restaurant & Patio and Royal Sonesta Boston

Christina Allen Flores was named pastry chef at the ArtBar Restaurant and for the Royal Sonesta Hotel Boston in June 2010.  In this role she is responsible for managing the bakeshop, overseeing production of as well as making pastries, breads, baked goods, and desserts for both the 3 meal a day restaurant and also for the hotel’s extensive banquet operation.  She is responsible for research, development, and testing of new original recipes for use in the restaurant, the extensive sweet tables created for special events, as well as for individual guests with allergens.  One example of this creativity is the chocolate cupcakes and Twinkies she did for a retro themed party in the restaurant.

Chef Flores passion for baking began very early with family and 4-H.  During her formative years, club leaders and family taught her fire side cooking, canning, goats milk pasteurization and cheese making, bread and pastry baking.  She moved from making cakes and pastries just for fun (birthdays and holidays for friends and family) to actively working in the field throughout college.

After graduating from Johnson & Wales University, Chef Flores spent 9 years in Beverly Hills/West Los Angeles area mainly with the Beverly Wilshire Hotel a 5 Star/5 Diamond establishment in the heart of Beverly Hills.  When she returned to the Boston area, she looked to continually expand her skills.  Prior to joining Sonesta, jobs in local retail and specialty shops allowed her to gain experience in wedding and specialty cake production, chocolate work and production, and local sweet favorites. 

Baking and pastry remains a hobby as well, and Chef Flores has been experimenting over the past 15 years developing egg free, dairy free, whole grain baked goods and artisanal breads at home.

Stephen Hamilton
Chef de Cuisine
ArtBar Restaurant & Patio

Stephen Hamilton is the Chef de Cuisine for ArtBar Restaurant & Patio.  He was hired as Sous Chef for the hotel restaurant in 2007, and also spent 18 months overseeing the hotel’s extensive banquet operation, before taking full responsibility for ArtBar’s day to day activities. 

Born and raised in Brentwood, New Hampshire; at the age of sixteen he took his first job at the town diner as a dishwasher.  After six months the owner asked him to join the culinary team and he began work on the line in the kitchen.  He was there for 2 years before leaving to attend Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.  Steven completed an internship working at Bald Peak Colony Club in Melvin Village under Chef Ed Bigwood.

After receiving an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts he continued on at school earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Restaurant Management.  During this time he worked as a server and an assistant dinning room manager at Currier's, his first hotel job in what is now the Radisson in Manchester, NH.

After graduation, he accepted a position at the Exeter Inn under Chef Woody Drobia and worked his way through the ranks culminating in the position of Executive Chef.  He left the Exeter Inn to help open Hagan’s Grill in Hampton, NH and spent some time in the kitchen at Ship to Shore in Newfields.

Stephen manages the food prepared for the 200-seat ArtBar Restaurant & Patio. He embraces the hotel's philosophy of using only fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, as well as designing and tailoring the restaurant’s menus to best reflect the seasonal bounty available from local farmers.