Matt Carter

Matt Carter

Matt Carter’s culinary career began as a dishwasher when he moved to California from his native Arizona and took a barely paying job washing dishes at The Eggery breakfast restaurant in San Diego. At The Eggery, something happened. Carter took to the restaurant business. He made his way to the line as a prep cook and later enrolled at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, where he graduated in 1989. After completing culinary school, Carter cooked at Scottsdale’s La Chaumiere, and became obsessed the artistry, demands, and disciplines of French gastronomy. His experience there inspired him to pursue additional classical training in France, where he took courses at Le Cordon Bleu and apprenticed at various Parisian restaurants. When Matt Carter returned to Arizona from Europe in 1992, his credentials landed him the Chef de Partie job at Christopher Gross’s highly acclaimed Phoenix restaurant Christopher’s. Carter cooked at Gross’s restaurant for over six years, ascending to the position of Chef de Cuisine until a chance meeting with Thomas Keller in 1998 would lead to an opportunity at Keller’s- world renowned French Laundry. After working as Chef Poissonnier in one of America’s most illustrious kitchens, Carter returned to Scottsdale and in 2001 collaborated with restaurateur Terry Ellisor to create the Zinc Bistro, a restaurant which has now become the benchmark for French bistro cooking in Arizona. More recently in 2008, Carter teamed up with Ellisor and entrepreneur Brian Raab to create The Mission restaurant, which serves Modern Latin Cuisine. The idea originated from Carter’s Arizonan upbringing and his deep love for weekend pig roasts, serving friends and family slow-roasted, homemade pork tacos. Those...
Christopher Nicosia

Christopher Nicosia

Born in East Chicago, Indiana. Grew up in Joliet, Illinois. Graduated from La Lumiere School, a private boarding school, in La Porte, Indiana. (1989) Graduated from Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana (1993) where I studied Psychology (animal behavior) and English Literature. Spent summers cooking at Jacob’s Restaurant in Dennis, Massachusetts (Cape Cod). Moved to Scottsdale, Arizona to attend Scottsdale Culinary Institute (1996-1997) and fell in love with Arizona. Worked as a line cook at Lon’s at the Hermosa (1997-1999) for two years before getting a Sous Chef position at Desert Mountain at the Cochise -Geronimo clubhouse (1999-2001). Promoted to Chef de Cuisine of the Apache Steakhouse at Desert Mountain (2001-2003). Became Chef de Cuisine of Constantino’s Italian restaurant at Desert Mountain in 2003 and held that position until 2010, when I accepted the Executive Chef position at Sassi. Cooking style is greatly influenced by the time spent around the dining room or kitchen table with my family. My Mother is a fantastic cook, which really sparked interest in food for our entire family. I am also influenced by travel experiences. I have been lucky enough to travel the world with my family on hunting and fishing expeditions, which also turned into eating marathons where we ate what we caught or shot, sometimes right on the boat, or in the field. Hunting and fishing travels include : South Africa; Panama; Venezuela; Columbia; Costa Rica; Canada; Hawaii; Virgin Islands.  Local and seasonal products are also important to my cooking. I have developed great relationships with valley farmers and producers. You will often find me at the Farmer’s Market at Roadrunner Park chatting it up with the...
Joey Cavaretta

Joey Cavaretta

Scottsdale, AZ – Joey Cavaretta has been appointed executive sous chef at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. A 9-year veteran of the Resort, Chef Cavaretta is responsible for assisting with all aspects of the food and beverage operation throughout the 210-room property, including Talavera, Onyx Bar & Lounge, Proof Canteen, Saguaro Blossom, banquets and In-Casita Dining.   Chef Cavaretta went to culinary school in his home state of New York, and being raised in an Italian family, he was attracted to food at an early age. “Italians like to eat, but their approach to food is simple – ‘less is more,’” says Chef Cavaretta.  “Each ingredient is always treated with care and respect, which allows more of the natural flavors to come through.” Chef Cavaretta signed up for his first culinary job at the traditional Italian Jacobi’s Pizzeria in 1999. After tossing pizzas and learning the delicate art of a fresh tomato sauce, Chef Cavaretta moved to the upscale Italian restaurant Pranzo, where hard work and dedication paid off when he was offered the sous chef position after only two and a half years. Cavaretta, needing a change of pace and a break from the cold winters, moved to Scottsdale in 2005 and joined the culinary team at Four Seasons Resort. Chef Cavaretta gained valuable experience in all of the Resort’s food and beverage outlets, including being an integral part of the opening culinary team for Proof in 2012. That same year, Cavaretta was awarded food and beverage Employee of the Year by the Arizona Hotel & Lodging Association. He was promoted to Banquet Chef in 2013...
Travis Garner

Travis Garner

As Executive Chef of The Capital Grille in Scottsdale, Arizona, Travis Garner manages a kitchen staff of 25 and oversees all culinary development, meal preparation and staff training.  He draws inspiration from local ingredients to create unique daily specials and seasonal menu features. Chef Garner has spent 12 years at The Capital Grille.  He realized as a child, while his mother worked as a personal chef, that he wanted to pursue a career in the culinary arts.  Prior to joining The Capital Grille in 2003, he attended the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, where he was able to refine his cooking skills. Chef Garner credits The Capital Grille’s platinum reputation to its blend of menu classics and fresh twists on appetizers and sides.  The restaurant is acclaimed not only for its tender steaks, dry-aged on premise in a proprietary process, and hand-carved, but also for its popular Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese and Signature Pan-Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers, among other dishes. The Capital Grille’s extensive, award-winning wine list is routinely recognized by Wine Spectator magazine.  Chef Garner helps design signature wine dinners and obtain rare vintages for members of The Capital Grille’s personal Wine Locker annual lease program. The Capital Grille is also the proud recipient of the American Culinary Federation’s “Achievement of Excellence Award.”  The restaurant prides itself on offering professional, attentive service in an atmosphere of relaxed elegance. Chef Garner lives in Phoenix.  In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, golfing, and spending time with his wife Jamie, his dog Steve and soon will have a new arrival of his first child Travis Jackson Junior. More information on...
Mel Mecinas

Mel Mecinas

Meliton Mecinas Executive Chef “The best food is simple. You can get lost with the taste of 20 ingredients, whereas three things well prepared is what you’re going to remember.” Four Seasons Tenure Since 1997 First Four Seasons Assignment: Sous Chef, Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara Employment History Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills; Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara; Patina Restaurant, West Hollywood, Pinot Bistro, Studio City, and Café Pinot, Los Angeles, California, USA; Yoshiro, Encino, California, USA Birthplace Oaxaca, Mexico Languages Spoken English and Spanish It’s all work and no play for Meliton Mecinas at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, and he wouldn’t have it any other way. “Some think once you’re an executive chef, you hide in the office every day,” says Mecinas, who oversees five Resort dining operations. “Not me. I still cook on the line three or four times a week. And when I go home, I cook for my kids, too.” Along with his four brothers, “Mel” Mecinas followed his father into the business, working under him at a family-style chain restaurant in Los Angeles. Not the most glamorous entrée, perhaps, but the experience still guides him, particularly his father’s reverence for organisation, hard work and stick-to-it-iveness. “He was the kind of father you think only good things about. He’d say, ‘Every day, you’re going to get better,’ and then he’d work late to make sure it happened.” Glamour followed soon enough. At 19, Mecinas signed on with Joaquim Splichal, the chef-owner of Patina and other LA hot spots. Though he had “no clue” what he...
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