New Marriott brings 2 venues for foodies - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

New Marriott brings 2 venues for foodies

March 19th, 2020 development
New Marriott brings 2 venues for foodies

BY DENA ROCHE, Contributor

The newly opened Marriott Phoenix Chandler is the largest full-service Marriott in Arizona.

But more importantly for locals, the hotel at Price and Willis roads brings two new dining venues to Chandler.

The hotel’s signature restaurant, Café MeSo puts a Southwestern and Mediterranean spin on American classics, while the lobby bar, Proof ’19, features 30 varieties of tequila, craft cocktails, wine, beer, spirits and chef-inspired small plates.

The days of boring hotel food are long gone.

Leading the kitchen is Executive Chef Juan Vasquez-Santos, who worked in Spain, Italy and Brazil before stints at The Stanley Hotel Resort in Estes Park and the We-Ko-Pa Resort in Scottsdale.

Some of the standout dishes at Café MeSo include homemade guacamole and a rib eye with chimicurri sauce with dauphinois potatoes.

Proof ’19 is quickly becoming known for its strong mixology program.
Mixologists can serve one of the many tequilas straight up or in spicy concoctions like The Javelina.

We recently sat down with Chef Juan to get his inside take on the new restaurants and food trends to watch for in the Valley.

What inspired you to become a chef?
I was inspired by my grandma. She had several restaurants in Spain. At an early age, I grew up helping her in the kitchen, watching her cook using all
fresh ingredients and making amazing dishes.

How would you describe the food at both outlets?
Both establishments feature a true taste of Arizona by working with local
farmers and artisans to bring the very best the state has to offer.
Everything in the kitchen is made from scratch – dressings, stocks, desserts,
even our guacamole and salsa recipes, which have been in my family for five generations.

What made you decide to become executive chef for the property?
I’ve always wanted to work for Marriott because of the company’s level of professionalism and attention to detail. I’m also motivated by the people -being able to create new dishes and serve our amazing guests.

What’s the one ingredient you can’t live without?

What’s your go to dish to cook for your family?
I’m mostly vegetarian, so I like to cook ancient grains with pesto and fresh

What do you feel is the most overhyped food trend right now?
Fermented foods, jackfruit, fire-roasted foods and CBD-infused drinks/food.

What’s the next big thing in food that diners in the Valley can expect to see?
Plant-based meals, smoked flavors, wild mushrooms, lettuce alternatives, unusual seafood, more vegetables, higher quality of meat and even more catering to dietary food restrictions.
I hear you hold a record in the Guinness Book of World Record.
I don’t hold it anymore, but back in 2001, I created the largest cheeseburger
in the world.

Who would be your dream person to cook for?
Joe Montana, the former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.