Geez, the culinary cupboard at the Arizona Biltmore is beginning to look a bit bare. Executive Chef Todd Sicolo flew the coop about a month ago to take Lee Hillson's former position at the Royal Palms. Now executive sous chef Conor Favre is leaving the Biltmore to step into Michael O'Dowd's shoes as executive chef of the entire Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa.
Just as O'Dowd did, Favre will oversee all culinary functions and outlets at the resort -- including Kai, a nationally recognized, Native American-inspired fine dining restaurant, and the only one in Phoenix to have secured five stars from Forbes Travel Guide (formerly Mobil Travel Guide) four years in a row and five diamonds from AAA for seven years running. It's a pretty big deal.
Favre spent five years in the executive sous position at the Biltmore, where he managed six culinary outlets, including Frank & Albert's and Wright's. Before that, he was the chef de cuisine at Wright's, and before THAT, he was chef de cuisine at Dual, Josh Hebert's first restaurant in Gilbert.
He will, of course, be working closely with Kai's chef de cuisine Joshua Johnson (at the helm since 2007) to maintain Kai's spectacular level of cuisine and service.
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Word on the street is that the resort will be making some effort to raise Johnson's profile as well as Favre's, and that's a good thing. Too often, the chefs de cuisine at resort restaurants get buried, while the executive chefs get all the glory.