The Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club recently appointed Cabirou Houemassou banquet events chef. Houemassou is relocating from the Maryland area to join the Inn’s talented food and beverage team and will report directly to Executive Chef Jason Cunningham. In his role, Houemassou is responsible for all banquet event production, execution, presentation and service for guests. The Inn’s executive conference center hosts large-scale events ranging from weddings and corporate get-togethers to business meetings and smaller intimate gatherings, which all utilize the Inn’s banquet services.
“It’s very exciting to have Chef Houemassou and his international culinary background at the helm of our banquet culinary operations. We welcome him to North Carolina as part of the Inn’s food and beverage team. His international and domestic culinary experiences — which includes global butchery styles, customs and various languages — will certainly be an incredible attribute to the Inn and our guests who visit us from all around the world,” says Executive Chef Jason Cunningham.
Prior to joining the Washington Duke Inn, Houemassou served as banquet chef at the AAA Four Diamond Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. for nearly five years. His career also includes posts as executive sous chef at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel in Mount Snow, Vermont; banquet cook supervisor at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C.; and cook at Walker’s Restaurant in Brattleboro, Vermont and Le Livingston Restaurant and Catering in Benin, West Africa. Houemassou hails from West Africa where he attended the C.E.P.C. School of Commerce in Benin. He studied business and customs law and international shipping and receiving. His education also includes earning a French diploma of butchery and charcuterie, business classes at the Community College of Vermont and an associate’s degree in specialized technology from the Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Houemassou speaks three Benin West African languages: Fon, Goun and Minan as well as English and French. When he’s not wearing his chef’s hat he enjoys fishing and playing rugby and soccer. He plans to reside in Durham.