A native to Mountain Valley's home state of Arkansas, Culinary Ambassador Chef Rob Newton has lived, worked and traveled around the world, including having been a member of the United States Army serving three years and participating in Operation Desert Storm. When he returned home, Newton studied International Business and German at Arkansas State University, and then then moved north to earn a culinary degree at New England Culinary Institute. Newton started his culinary career in some of New York City’s most respected restaurants and kitchens, including Le Cirque, Tabla - a part of Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group, Marcus Samuelsson’s Aquavit and the Four Seasons Hotel.
Newton’s ﬁrst executive chef role was at Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee, Vermont, a state he remembers fondly and visits often. After three years in Vermont, he transitioned to multiple private chef roles, cooking around the world for celebrities, musicians, and entertainment executives for six years before settling in Brooklyn to focus on building his own restaurants including: Seersucker, Smith Canteen, Nightingale Nine and Wilma Jean. Simultaneously, Newton consulted on an exciting restaurant project which is still in operation today: Yellow Magnolia, located in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Later, Newton moved to Nashville in 2017 where he served as the Executive Chef of the 21c Museum Hotel, and then published his ﬁrst cookbook, Seeking the South, in the fall of 2019.
Feeling the urge to return to his home state, Newton took on several consulting projects for the Stephens Family in Arkansas, most notably with the Capital Hotel and The Alotian Club, an exclusive golf club, both of which are located in and around Little Rock.
In 2021, Newton was tapped to open the Thompson Hotel in Savannah Georgia where he oversaw and executed the opening of all food and beverage outlets, including Fleeting Restaurant, Bar Julian and Stevedore Bakery. As has been the case throughout his career, Newton creates menus that are hyper-seasonal and farmer focused while celebrating Southern sensibilities and flavors.