Today, he oversees the dining outlets at one of the Valley's top resorts, Scottsdale's Four Seasons at Troon North, and two years ago, he traveled to New York to cook at the famed James Beard House. But before chef Meliton "Mel" Mecinas became one of the top chefs in metro Phoenix, he came from humble beginnings that take us all the way back to the southwestern Mexican state of Oaxaca, known as the "land of seven moles." The self-taught chef learned the basics of cooking with his family in Mexico, eventually coming to Los Angeles at 18, where he began his culinary career as a $4.50-an-hour dishwasher. He eventually earned a spot working under Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Joachim Splichal, during which time Mecinas says his formal training really began. He's been with the Four Seasons for a decade now, offering a top-quality dining experience at the resort's Talavera restaurant.