Walt Disney World Resort chef Phillip Ponticelli was rescued Sunday off the shores of New Smyrna Beach Sunday following what News Daytona Beach described as a “medical episode” while paddle boarding The brief said that the incident involving a “49-year-old Winter Garden man” happened at 11:15 a.m. It did not name Ponticelli at the time. He was brought ashore near 14th Avenue by safety officers and lifeguards and an off-duty nurse applied cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
Ponticelli’s niece posted on the chef’s Facebook page that as of Tuesday morning he was “awake and talking.” He has been in the intensive care unit at Bert Fish Medical Center in NSB.
Ponticelli had been the longtime chef at Citricos in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa until moving late last year to become executive chef at the clubhouse of Golden Oak, the upscale residential development near the Four Seasons Resort.
More details as they become known.