Chuck Kazmer has been named new executive chef of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. The 25-year veteran of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts officially takes the helm of the Scottsdale resort’s restaurants Proof and Talavera this month, but has been in the Valley preparing for the past three weeks, following his most recent post at the Four Seasons property in Amman, Jordan.
“I think Arizona’s a beautiful place. It’s strangely familiar to the place I was before, in Jordan, in that it’s similar weather, desert-like – although I do have to say this desert is much, much more beautiful than the one I had in Jordan,” Kazmer says. “The resort itself is gorgeous. The dining options are fabulous. I love Proof. The concept of that is very defined, very comfortable, very fun. I love Talavera. How can you go wrong with steak, seafood, and drink? It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Kazmer replaces former executive chef Mel Mecinas, who went to work at Bob Parsons’ Scottsdale National Golf Club. He will work closely with Proof chef Joey Cavaretta and Talavera chef Samantha Sanz. “Chef Kazmer’s extensive experience and depth of knowledge – both of the culinary operation and of Four Seasons – will serve him well in his new role in Scottsdale,” General Manager Marc Bromley said in a press release. “We look forward to introducing him to the destination’s burgeoning dining scene, and are excited by his passion for locally sourced, regionally inspired cuisine.”
We recently chatted with Kazmer about cooking with beer, working with a new crew, and what’s coming soon to the dining tables at Four Seasons in Scottsdale.
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I hear you enjoy home brewing. Do you cook with beer?
I do. I have. I must say I haven’t for the last several years, just because of where I was in the world, but I’m excited to get back into doing that, yes. And Proof is one of the perfect places to do that, obviously.
What are some of the things you like to grow in your garden?
There’s nothing better than a farm-grown or homegrown tomato. Anything you grow in the garden, as soon as it’s picked off the vine or pulled out of the ground, that’s what tastes the best. And whether it’s out of my backyard and I’ve grown it myself, or whether it’s from one of the local farmers, I really believe that the closer your food is to where you’re eating it, the better it’s going to be. It’s obvious, it’s natural.
How has it been getting to know the Four Seasons restaurant team at Proof and Talavera? Are you excited to work with Samantha Sanz?
I am. The guys and gals that have been working here for some time, and especially in the Valley, they have been able to catch me up with what’s going on in the Valley. That’s very helpful to me. It shortens my learning curve. And I have very qualified people working here. Sam is great in Talavera. I’ve got Chef Joey [Cavaretta] in Proof. I couldn’t ask for anything better, honestly.
What are some of the things we can expect from your menus in the coming months?
I’m really excited about both of the restaurant concepts, and I’m really excited about my catering here, as well. Proof is really a part of me – it’s the American Canteen … I’m a Texan at heart, so this is just part of my blood. And then Talavera, Chef Sam, she has a really nice touch that she’s added in the past months, obviously with Chef Mel [Mecinas] – I don’t see a huge directional change from the concept in Talavera. It’s steak, it’s seafood, it’s wine. As I said before, there’s no need to change that. That’s perfect. It’s just a matter of working with her and developing some fun and interesting things, fun and interesting events that can happen to get the public to know her, get to know me as well. I’m just excited about whatever those ingredients are – as I said before, local fruits, vegetables, produce. This is what’s important to me. Flavor is the most important thing to me. Flavor and quality.