Five Star quality and service is an everyday reality for Plymouth Harbor’s Swiss-born Executive Chef René Weder. Trained at the Culinary School of St. Gallen, Switzerland, Chef René further honed his skills at four and five star resorts throughout the United States during his 25-plus years.
Whether it was at the five star Boca Raton Hotel and Club, Hyatt Resorts in Hilton Head and Beaver Creek or the famous Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, Colorado, Chef René’s exceedingly high culinary standards were met on a daily basis and diners were served in elegant style.
The results didn’t change when he made the move last year to Sarasota and took on the responsibility for managing dining services at Plymouth Harbor on Sarasota Bay. He supervises a skilled culinary team and oversees service in Plymouth Harbor’s casually elegant Mayflower Dining Room and the Plymouth Rock Café. He is also responsible for the very active catering services which provide a unique resource for residents who wish to plan private parties, larger events and gatherings.
He plans regular dining adventures such as extravagant seafood buffets and a very popular Sunday brunch while never repeating a menu within a month. Residents vie for the opportunity to enjoy one of his Chef’s Tables with seating in the kitchen and a special menu prepared before their eyes.
While the culinary standards are high, Chef Rene has found another level of personal service that he can offer at Plymouth Harbor. “Our tastes change as we get older, and dietary restrictions complicate our dining experience,” shares Chef Rene. “Too often, establishments such as ours eliminate salt, or modify the preparation for all, which makes for an unnecessarily bland experience for some.”Chef Rene enjoys getting to know each resident prepares food to meet their specific preferences and needs.
“A fine dining experience is one of life’s greatest joys.” believes Chef René. “I would never want to compromise on this, and I don’t think our residents should either.”

Plymouth Harbor, is excited to announce its new arts education and exhibition programs in conjunction with the Ringling College of Art + Design. This partnership is the first relationship of its kind and will kick off with a talk hosted by Dr. Larry Thompson, President of the Ringling College and Chair of the Sarasota County Arts Council alongside Jim Shirley, Executive Director of the Arts Council on Thursday, February 25.

The series of events was inspired by the new mural commissioned by Plymouth Harbor resident Robert Barkley from local artist Jeff Schwartz to adorn the sixteenth “colony” at Plymouth Harbor. Schwartz was impressed by the art-first approach the residents took when bringing him in: “They cleared all the fixtures and everything out of the space and agreed to let the work dictate the feel of the space rather than trying to choose art to match the paint, which is usually the case.”

After the unveiling of Schwartz’ mural, Dr. Ann Albritton, professor of art history at the Ringling College will be hosting a series of talks in March at Plymouth Harbor called “Viewing Modern Art,” followed this fall by an exhibition curated by Mark Ormond of the Ringling College Galleries.

Robert Barkley is a longtime resident of Plymouth Harbor and member of the Ringling College of Art + Design’s Board of Trustees. After a successful career in insurance and benefits, Barkley moved from Indiana to Sarasota in 1992 and began to nurture his love of fine art after experiencing the amenities of the cultural coast. Barkley is dedicated to sharing his passion with the residents of Plymouth Harbor and the Sarasota community.