InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Spa isn't set to open until August, but there's already a reason to look forward to it -- they've hired Francesco Roccato as executive chef.
The Torino, Italy, native is a Slow Food member who's done stints in kitchens around the world, from Spain to Bermuda to Canada. Most recently, Roccato was executive chef at the InterContinental Cleveland, whose Table 45 is a 2008 James Beard award nominee and was named one of Esquire's Top 20 Best New Restaurants last year.
No doubt Roccato will have his hands full at the Moroccan- and Spanish-inspired Paradise Valley luxury resort, where he'll be developing concepts for a signature restaurant and bar (he'll be hiring a chef de cuisine soon), spa bistro, pool bar and grill, and café.
Keep an eye out for him if you hit up West of Western this weekend -- he'll be there doing some meet 'n greet with the local foodie community.