Once you've led a fine dining venue to become the only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond Restaurant in Arizona, is there anything left to accomplish?
Apparently there is. And in the case of chef Michael O'Dowd, just what it might be is a bit of head scratcher.
Formerly the executive chef at Kai, the celebrated restaurant of Native American cuisine with global accents inside the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa on the Gila River Indian Reservation, O'Dowd has moved to the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, a sister property, to become its executive chef.
So why would O'Dowd want to move from one-of-a-kind dishes using tribal ingredients to convention eats downtown?
Here's what he had to say.
"I'm excited for this opportunity to work in the downtown environment where we're experiencing a resurgence of energy in Phoenix's core," says O'Dowd. "I'll engage our team as we focus on cooking techniques and methods, and we'll continue to embrace sustainable practices and source locally whenever possible."
Additionally, in an interview with the Republic, O'Dowd noted that the move is, "something I haven't done," "rounding off my résumé and career," and "a new challenge at a different level."
In his new role, O'Dowd will develop the culinary concepts for the hotel, the hotel's restaurants (including District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, where he'll be working with chef de cuisine, Jay Bogsinske), and banquet operations and in-room dining at the 1,000-room convention hotel.