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Award-Winning Iron Chef Named as Sous Chef at The Phoenician

Saturday Sep 15, 2012

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - The Phoenician, Arizona's premier AAA Five Diamond destination, has named Lee Hillson executive sous chef. In his new role, Hillson will assist in overseeing a culinary staff of more than 150 across nine kitchens, including resort restaurants Il Terrazzo, Relish Burger Bistro, the Café and Ice Cream Parlor and the Oasis Grill, while contributing to menu creation and preparation.

Hilson will also provide support for in-room dining, banquet, pastry, bakeshop, butcher shop, pasta shop and garde manger operations. Hillson will begin his new duties on Monday, September 17.

Hillson previously served as executive chef of the renowned T. Cook's at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix, during which he gained national acclaim for his battle with Iron Chef Cat Cora on the blockbuster Food Network show, Iron Chef America.

Also known for his originality in designing exceptional house-made products while maintaining a commitment to sustainability, he was tapped by British Airways to create a First Class menu for Phoenix to London flights.

"Chef Hillson brings incredible talent, creativity and vision to The Phoenician," said Managing Director Mark Vinciguerra. "His artistry and innovation are perfectly fitted to our AAA Five Diamond culture. We look forward to sharing his unique tastes and style with our guests throughout the resort as part of our signature luxury experience."

Hillson has repeatedly taken top honors in Zagat Surveys, and the Arizona Republic/ Readers’ Choice Awards. In addition, he has cooked on many occasions at the James Beard House in New York, and has also created special culinary offerings for such luminaries as former President George W. Bush, Barbra Streisand, the late Princess Diana, Richard Branson and Billy Joel.

Enrolling in culinary school at the age of 16 in his native England, Hillson was working just two years later at the Hyatt in Austin. He then returned to London as the chef de partie at the Roux Patisserie, owned by world-renowned chefs, Albert and Michel Roux.

After several prestigious stops as pastry chef in England, Hillson again crossed the Atlantic to become executive sous chef at Vanderbilt Hall in Newport, Rhode Island. Within a few short months, he was appointed executive chef at this restaurant, ranked as one of the country’s top five by Country Inn magazine. From there, he joined the Royal Palms, serving as sous chef for five years before being promoted to executive chef in 2005.

Located at the base of Camelback Mountain, the 250-acre Phoenician offers two exquisite experiences - a 583-room AAA Five Diamond luxury resort hotel and an exclusive Five Diamond boutique hotel, The Canyon Suites -- at one magnificent destination.

The property features elegant, residential-style accommodations, distinctive and tantalizing cuisine across such restaurants as Il Terrazzo, J&G Steakhouse and Relish Burger Bistro, a championship golf course, 11 tennis courts, The Centre for Well-Being and Salon Mila spa complex, an activities program for all ages and interests, numerous boutique shops, a $25 million art collection and the premier 15,000 square-foot Camelback Ballroom.

In addition to these offerings, the stylish 60-room Canyon Suites provides more intimate surroundings and enhanced services, creating an atmosphere of uncompromising splendor. Both The Phoenician and The Canyon Suites are owned and operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., as part of The Luxury Collection.

For additional information, please call (480) 941-8200; (800) 888-8234 or visit



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