Influenced by his upbringing in Germany, Happel earned his degree from the Culinary Institute in Immenstadt. He began his career in 1981 at the Hotel Weiler in Oberstdorf, Germany. Following a three-year apprenticeship, he held various roles at notable hotels including the Robinson Club Calabria, Hotel Europe and the famous Savoy Hotel in London.
Most recently, Chef Happel was an integral part of Intercontinental Hotels Group serving the discerning needs of hotel guests in Miami, New Orleans, Cleveland, Austin, Berlin and London.
Throughout his distinguished career Happel has received numerous honors including Celebrated Chef for the National Pork Board in 2007, National Taste of Elegance winner, and the Fleur de Lis Savory Best of Show winner at the 2011 New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, among others.
In his free time, Happel is exploring Santa Fe and the Pojoaque Valley. He has enthusiastically embraced his new home town and looks forward to drawing inspiration from the destination’s celebrated art and culinary scene.