Meet Our Team
Russ Aaron Simon – Executive Chef
Now embraced by yachts cruising along the Intracoastal, and a swanky dining room open to the bustling water activity with Instagram ready sunsets at GG’s Waterfront, Chef Russ Aaron Simon has cooked in some of the top kitchens in the Wolfgang Puck collection around the world; from Spago Beverly Hills to CUT by Wolfgang Puck in Singapore. In 2015 Chef Russ returned home to Hollywood and a year later opened American English Kitchen + Bar. After two years ago of critical acclaim for his sophisticated rendering of comfort food he caught the attention of owners Dan and Lise-Ann Serafini who later sought him out to command the kitchen at GG’s.
Dani Veit – Pastry Chef
Hailing from Miami, FL, Dani Veit entered the culinary world as an extension of her creativity. Making a name for herself as a portrait artist for a decade, she switched to a career that placed her right next to a mixer. Her first break was 10 years ago in Nashville, TN with James Beard award-winning restaurant group, Strategic Hospitality, hired on by then culinary director Jason Brumm, who, by the way, saw her at a deli and asked if she wanted a job not knowing skill level or interest in sugar. She quickly rose to Executive Pastry Chef at Merchant’s, a staple on Lower Broadway. She soaked up every bit of information; from the dishwasher to acclaimed local & international chefs. Soon she was in charge of the pastry programs for other Strategic restaurants such as Le Sel, Pinewood Social, The Spot, & Strategic catering. Dani moved on to be the Executive Pastry Chef & Social Media Manager at The Old School Farm to Table, in Nashville, TN where she utilized only the freshest ingredients and works within the parameters that nature sets.
Dani is now the Pastry Chef at GG’s Waterfront and oversees the dessert menu as well as making custom pastries for weekend brunches at the restaurant and creating special occasion cakes and confections for parties and the general public.
Spiro Kommatas – General Manager
Spiro Kommatas, GG’s General Manager, brings a wide array of experience and creative passion to his job. As a youth he’d spend summers in Greece on his family farm was the start of his lifelong love of food. After a stint in broadcasting and photography, he returned to his first love of food and completed chef’s training at George Brown Culinary College. He worked in kitchens and the front of the house eventually taking a position on the opening team of “Baton Rouge” – a division of a regional chain operator in Canada. Spiro also owned a Nickles Diner franchise (which was a concept of Celine Dion) and eventually sold that and two sandwich shops to move to Florida in 2010. He met the Serafini’s and started working at GG’s shortly after arriving in South Florida.
Heather Punko – Events Manager
Heather Punko has worked continuously in the hospitality industry since age 15 having starting her career at a family-owned diner. After high school she obtained two degrees, one in Hospitality and the second in Baking and Pastry at the International Culinary School of America and then returned to work at the diner which grew into a local chain of 3 diners and 9 Gyro fast food restaurants. Heather opened locations and expanded the companywide training programs emphasizing quality guest service and consistent food preparation. In 2013, GG’s presented an opportunity for increased self-growth in the fine dining segment and Heather has been an engaging presence in front of house positions from hostess to manager before taking command of events management. She was recognized in 2018 as one of ten top “Sunsational Service” stars by the Broward County Tourism and Convention Bureau for exceptional guest service. Heather offers the knowledge, planning and a seasoned perspective to fulfill event needs of almost any size and scope.