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January 28, 2004

Contact: Leticia Konigsberg
713/743-8152 (office)
713/617-7143 (pager)

With Head Start at the New Hilton Americas-Houston,
Executive Sous Chef Riley Scores Culinary Points

HOUSTON, Jan. 28, 2004 – Proudly dressed from head to toe in culinary attire replete with toque, 30-year-old Malik Riley is one of Houston’s newest executive sous chefs.

The recent University of Houston graduate is second in command of the culinary division at the Hilton
Americas-Houston, the city’s latest addition to its downtown skyline.

Riley received his master’s degree of hospitality management from the UH Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management in December. He oversees three restaurants and a banquet department for the
1,200-room hotel already booked for the Super Bowl. But even this daunting task does not ruffle the feathers of a chef who has already served the likes of former President Bill Clinton and actor Sean Connery.

Born into a family of seven in the Bahamas, Riley became familiar with food preparation and flair at an early age.

“Dinner was always a big event growing up,” Riley recalled. “We each would play a part in preparing for the meal of the day. There was always lots of cooking and lots of food.”

In high school, Riley fed his hunger for the visual arts and quickly realized that he could transfer his skills from the paintbrush to the canvas of the kitchen.

“I never quit being an artist,” Riley said. “I’m just using a different medium. Food has become my creative outlet.”

Riley’s instruction in culinary studies began at the College of the Bahamas School of Hospitality & Tourism Studies and later at Johnson & Wales University, where he earned a bachelor’s of science degree in culinary arts.

“I first applied my culinary talents at the Atlantis resort Paradise Island Bahamas as an apprentice chef. After the completion of my bachelor’s degree, I began working at the Five Diamond Hilton at the Short Hills Resort in New Jersey.”

During his employment in Short Hills, he progressed from a culinary intern to assistant restaurant chef of the Terrace Restaurant (Four Diamond), managing a staff of 15. With four years of experience under his apron, Riley returned to his native Bahamas to accept a position with the U.S. Embassy as personal executive chef for the Ambassador to the Bahamas.

“Being back in my home country allowed me the tremendous opportunity to exercise my creativity, using local ingredients in unique ways,” Riley said. “I was able to meet and serve meals to governmental heads of states from all around the world, in addition to public figures, including Maya Angelou, former Houston Mayor Lee Brown and many other high-profile individuals.

Riley enjoyed being in the culinary spotlight but wanted more for his career. In 2001, he decided to continue his university studies at UH and pursue his master’s degree.

“Many people were shocked that I decided to leave such a high-profile job,” Riley said. “It was a difficult decision, but some day I hope to own and manage my own resort. With dreams on that scale one should absolutely take risks and never stop learning. The University of Houston fit my needs and helped me hone my skills.”

With a head start in the largest Hilton hotel constructed in 20 years, Riley continues to develop his leadership skills and impress his guests with his savory concepts.

Ginger, lemon grass and cilantro have always been a few of Riley’s favorites. His current cooking style combines the flavors of Asian, South American and French cuisines. But he never leaves his island sensibilities too far behind as he continues to tempt guests with flavors from the Caribbean and a taste of his homeland.

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

For more information about UH visit the university’s ‘Newsroom’ at www.uh.edu/admin/media/newsroom.