Director of Food & Beverage Robert Astraikis
Robert Astraikis joined the team at EAST Oceanfront Dining in July of 2015. Transplanted to North Carolina from New York at the age of 12, he first worked at the Blockade Runner in the summer of 1991, as a line cook. Mr. Astraikis went back to New York to study at the Culinary Institute of America and upon graduation returned to pave a career in the state where he got his start. At Landfall Country Club, he cooked his way up from the line to Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director. After Landfall, he worked with the Circa Group for four years as the Corporate Chef. From there he traveled just South to the mouth of the Cape Fear River, taking on St. James Plantation in Southport, where he was Director of Food & Beverage for the entire facility for seven and a half years. Mr. Astraikis loves the restaurant industry because he likes to build teams and he likes problem solving. He is drawn to jobs in the one-of-a-kind and romantic places that provide a different experience every day.
For fun, Mr. Astraikis hikes. If he’s not at the Blockade Runner, he’s out walking somewhere. According to him, the best hiking in this area is Raven Rock State Park in Lillington, NC, right on the Cape Fear River. It’s the closest place where they actually have a hill. For flat hiking, the Neusiok Trail in the Croatan National Forest is a fun winter hike, although, beware in the summer, lots of snakes and mosquitoes, as it’s a trail that goes through a heavily swamped area. His favorite place to hike in North Carolina is Linville Gorge.
When he eats out, he eats Indian. Indian is his favorite type of food.