After just about a year and a half, chef Paul McCabe is preparing to leave his position as executive chef of T. Cook's at the Royal Palms Resort in Phoenix. McCabe will go to San Diego to help relaunch the Town & Country Resort & Convention Center, the largest property owned by Destination Hotels, which also owns Royal Palms.
"I'm excited to be a part of it," McCabe says of the new gig, adding also that he'll also miss his home state.
McCabe came to the resort during the summer of 2013 as part of a team to renovate the iconic T. Cook's restaurant. After shutting down and operating out of a pop-up restaurant for the summer, McCabe introduced a new "New American with a Mediterranean twist" menu -- a menu intended to make the upscale restaurant more approachable to everyday diners.
Since the re-launch, McCabe has won over Phoenicians with his playful but thoughtful cuisine. And as much as the chef says he's enjoyed being in the Valley, he also says his passion lies in working with struggling resorts to re-vamp and start again.
"The thrill of it is ... to be a part of the team that repositions the asset," McCabe says.
It will also be a sort of homecoming for McCabe. Though he grew up in Sedona, McCabe spent more than a decade living in California, most recently in Beverly Hills where he helped with a $65 million renovation project of L'Ermitage Hotel.
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The upcoming vacancy means Destination Hotels and Chef McCabe are looking for a new executive chef for Royal Palms and T. Cook's immediately. Applications are already being accepted, though McCabe will stay on until about May. Chef de Cuisine George Morris, who has worked with McCabe, will continue in his role.
Oh and heads up, San Deigo, don't get too attached. Afterall, McCabe did tells us in November 2013, "I'm not going anywhere." Not that we're bitter or anything.
Editor's Note: This post has been edited from its original version.