After a little over three months, the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel has found a replacement for Michael O'Dowd, its former executive chef.
O'Dowd started with the hotel in October 2012 after leaving the acclaimed restaurant Kai, a sister property, following a 10-year run there, and he now owns Vivid Lifestyle Concepts, which he operates with partner Ed Leclere. The two recently opened their first restaurant, Renegade by Mod, in May.
So who's the new guy?
The Sheraton has named Jose Mejia as O'Dowd's replacement.
Mejia's most recent gig was executive chef for the Villa del Palmar Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Prior to that, he held culinary positions at The Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, Villaitana Wellness, Golf & Business Resort in Spain, and with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide at Le Meridien and The Phoenician Resort.
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Mejia studied in Mexico City and has worked with noteworthy chefs such as Julia Child and Paul Bocuse.
As its new executive chef, Mejia will develop the culinary concepts for Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, District American Kitchen and Wine Bar, the Park Lounge lobby bar, and the Breeze bar, and he will oversee the property's banquet and in-room dining offerings.
Also in charge of staff recruitment, Mejia will need to hire a replacement for former chef de cuisine Jay Bogsinke, who left the Sheraton after a little over three years to join Aaron Chamberlin at St. Francis, the American restaurant (recently featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) in Central Phoenix.