Robert J. Ciborowski is the executive chef of the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort, where he leads the culinary team for the 2,267-room property located in the heart of Walt Disney World Resort, featuring 17 restaurants and lounges and a banquet operation serving more than 1 million guests annually.
Ciborowski’s leadership has been integral to establishing the resort’s culinary program as one of the best in the industry. The hotel restaurants, which include celebrity chef Todd English’s bluezoo and famed NFL coach Don Shula’s Shula’s Steak House, are consistently recognized, earning numerous AAA Four Diamond designations, Fodor’s Choice Awards, USA Today’s Top 10 Foodie Award and Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. The banquet program is equally renowned, garnering praise from top meeting publications and group trade organizations, including ranking as a multi-year winner of Meetings and Conventions Gold Platter Award.
Responsible for overseeing an operation consisting of 16 kitchens, nearly 200 team members and menus ranging from casual comfort food to fine dining, Ciborowski’s culinary style is defined by a combination of his Italian upbringing, classical French training and his travels throughout Southeast Asia. He honed his culinary skills at some of the world’s finest restaurants and hotels including The French Laundry, Atlantis Resort and The Ritz-Carlton.
Upon being named the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin’s executive chef in 2007, Ciborowski immediately established the hotel as one of the industry leaders in its use of certified organic, local ingredients. He developed personal relationships with local farmers to incorporate the best seasonal ingredients into dishes throughout the property, delivering bolder flavors and more nutrients.
His fresh, innovative culinary style fueled the successful launch of the resort’s signature Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic, an annual two-night, outdoor festival showcasing culinary selections from the hotel’s award-winning restaurants and wine tastings from around the world. Ciborowski continues to keep the resort on the leading-edge of the culinary industry with concepts such as Cib’s Smokehouse, a pop-up restaurant featuring his trademark barbecue dishes and in-kitchen group dining experiences that provide guests an exciting look behind-the-scenes.
Ciborowski has showcased his culinary expertise at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City on multiple occasions, been selected by Orlando’s tourism board, Visit Orlando, to represent the destination’s culinary appeal to national media and been featured on television shows in various major markets and nationally.
A graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Ciborowski began his career at Boyd Restaurant in Los Angeles. In 1999, he joined the staff at The French Laundry in Napa Valley, one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the nation. He served there as chef de partie saucier, chef de partie formagier and chef de commis saucier. In 2000, he joined Ritz-Carlton and led a variety of their restaurants across the world to AAA Four Diamond, AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Four Star acclaim.
Ciborowski was also executive sous chef at The Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, where he managed all aspects of opening five new dining outlets. He also held executive chef positions at Mantra Restaurant in Palo Alto, California, and with the Kapalua Land Company in Maui, Hawaii, overseeing pre-opening responsibilities for both.
Affectionately known as “Chef Cib,” Ciborowski achieves culinary excellence by demonstrating an impressive balance of professional leadership, culinary acumen and genuine passion for his work.