The Phoenician’s culinary team represents decades of experience with an unsurpassed love of food, dining and the pleasures of the table. From developing innovative menus for each of the resort’s restaurants to overseeing a large staff of dedicated professionals, these highly trained and exceptionally skilled culinary artisans bring taste and style to every meal served.
Richard Boyer, Executive Chef
Experienced in the award-winning culinary operations of Starwood’s Luxury Collection property, Boyer spent part of his early career working with Chef Alessandro Stratta at its former Five Diamond modern French restaurant, Mary Elaine’s.
Prior to joining the AAA Five Diamond resort, Boyer served as culinary director and executive chef for the Forbes Five-Star/AAA Five Diamond resort, The American Club at Destination Kohler in Kohler, Wis. While there, he led a team of 120 associates, overseeing its 12 venues as well as its banquet operations and production and demonstration kitchens. His 22-year career has also included the position of chef de cuisine for both 27 Ocean Blue at the Five-Star Boca Raton Resort and Club; and Wright’s at the Arizona Biltmore.
A member of The American Culinary Federation and the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, Boyer received his degree from the New England Culinary Institute. Early in 2014, he was the guest chef for the Champions Dinner at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club.
Jacques Qualin, Chef de Cuisine at J&G Steakhouse
A native of the Franche-Comté region of France, chef Jacques Qualin has cooked in some of the world’s finest kitchen since starting his apprenticeship in a hotel kitchen at the age of 16. Moving to Paris, he studied under Michelin-rated chef Michel de Matteis before landing a prestigious post at the three-star Le Taillevent, described by The New York Times as, “the best in Paris, if not all of France.”
Qualin spent a year learning from celebrated chef Claude DeLigne before jumping the pond in 1990 to work for another French icon — Daniel Boulud at New York’s Le Cirque. Qualin’s considerable culinary talent captured the attention of Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who hired him to serve as First Sous-chef at Vongerichten’s AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star Jean Georges Restaurant.
After leaving Jean Georges to serve as the executive chef at Le Périgord, chef Qualin led his own fine-dining restaurant, called The French Corner, in upstate New York. Finally in 2009, chef Vongerichten rehired his old friend, and tasked chef Qualin with moving to Scottsdale to launch and oversee the culinary operations at the Valley’s best steakhouse.
Roy Pell, Executive Pastry Chef
Roy Pell joined The Phoenician in September 2005 as Executive Pastry Chef. He is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the Pastry Department, including training and development; as well as all bread, bakery and dessert products for dining venues including Mowry & Cotton, The Marketplace, Canyon Grill, the Canyon Lounge, Afternoon Tea and In-Room Dining, in addition to all banquet kitchens.
Pell is a graduate of Westminster Catering College in London, bringing more than 25 years of experience to his position. Prior to joining Arizona’s premier AAA Five Diamond resort destination, he spent nine years at Ritz-Carlton properties in San Francisco, St. Louis and Phoenix. His portfolio also includes Harvey’s Restaurant in London, the Amway Grand Plaza in Michigan, the Savoy Hotel in London and Peter Island on the British Virgin Islands.
In 2010, Pell was named one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs in America by Dessert Professional magazine. A member of the 2004 Pastry Team at the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany, he was also a member of Team USA for the 2009 Coupe du Monde in Lyon, France. He returned to Team USA as an alternate for the 2013 competition, and was a 2017 coach. Pell also served as one of the members of the jury selecting Team USA 2019.
His signature works at The Phoenician have included numerous artisan creations for special events and programs over the years – as well as a traditional holiday gingerbread house, and a replica of London’s Big Ben Clock Tower, which previously adorned the former Café and Ice Cream Parlor.
Rebecca Tillman, Executive Sous Chef
With a passion for innovative, distinctive cuisine, exquisite presentation and exceptional service, Rebecca Tillman has continued to enhance the dining experience for guests since joining The Phoenician as Executive Sous Chef in August 2017. Today, she partners with Executive Chef Rick Boyer to lead culinary operations for the entire AAA Five Diamond resort, directs The Phoenician’s banquet program, and is responsible for the financial management of several à la carte restaurants on property, including The Canyon Lounge at The Canyon Suites.
Over the years, Tillman has built an impressive culinary resume, working with many renowned hospitality establishments. She has served as the Executive Chef at the Biltmore House and Executive Sous Chef at the Inn, both on the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina; the Executive Sous Chef at Destination Kohler – The American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin; and locally as the Executive Chef at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix. She began her resort career at the Arizona Biltmore in 2000, while still in school.
Tillman studied Hospitality Administration at Northern Arizona University and earned her Culinary Arts certificate from the Art Institute of Phoenix in 2001. Active in the culinary community, she is a member of the nationally recognized program, “Chefs in School,” which brings chefs to educational institutions around the country to teach children about food and cooking in a fun, appealing way. She is also a culinary mentor for Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP), which helps to prepare students for college and careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Recently, she became a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an international group of women chefs.
During her spare time, Tillman enjoys delving into her other creative side, painting watercolors.
Tandy Peterson, Chef de Cuisine at Mowry & Cotton
Chef Tandy joined The Phoenician team in June, 2014 as Chef de Cuisine and Sous Chef for Il Terrazzo. Throughout this time, she was responsible for the creation of meticulously crafted menu designs, as well as for a kitchen staff of more than 30 people, the daily operations of Afternoon Tea and 24-hour in-room dining.
Originally from Pinedale, Wyoming, Chef Tandy has called Arizona home for the last eight years, since she arrived to study Culinary Arts at the Arizona Culinary Institute. However, honor roll awards and various positions at other local eateries, including Café Bink, Binkley’s Restaurant, and Bink’s Scottsdale, did not satisfy her ambitious culinary aspirations, which ultimately led her to join Arizona’s premier AAA Five Diamond resort.
Even Arizona’s confines proved too small for Chef Tandy’s insatiable wanderlust and her deep appreciation for adventure. In 2016, her culinary experience went international as she worked at Asador Etxebarri in Bizkaia, Spain – rated the 10th best restaurant in the world. This opportunity allowed her to observe and train side-by-side with Chef Bittor Arguinzoniz, learning authentic Basque techniques and all facets of cooking with a coal grill.
From Wyoming’s sprawling plains to Arizona’s iconic southwestern backdrop, with a harmonizing blend of experience working in top-tier kitchens both home and abroad, Chef Tandy is the ultimate catalyzing component to Mowry & Cotton’s new local draw.
Michael Press, Chef de Cuisine at The Phoenician Tavern
Michael Press joined The Phoenician in October 2018 and currently serves as the Chef de Cuisine for the AAA Five Diamond resort’s newest restaurant, The Phoenician Tavern, featuring polished pub grub in a fun and friendly environment.
For more than 18 years, Press has ventured across the Southwestern United States, working as Sous Chef for the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village in Southern California; Restaurant Chef at Cayton’s at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona; Executive Chef and Owner of Mama Louisa’s Italian Restaurant in Tucson, Arizona; and Executive Sous Chef for Banquets at La Cantera Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas. Prior to joining The Phoenician, he was the Executive Chef at iPic Gold Entertainment in Scottsdale. His resume also includes stops at the Arizona Biltmore and the Four Seasons at Troon North.
Before coming to the region, Press spent time in the Northeast as a Sous Chef for various restaurants in New Haven, Connecticut. Starting at Barkies Grill and Rotisserie, Press ventured on to Alto Basso and Amalfi Grille before becoming the Sous Chef at Toscorp in New York.
Originally from Orange, Connecticut, Press graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Political Science, and began his culinary journey at Johnson & Wales University, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Culinary Arts. In his spare time, Press enjoys playing golf and spending time with his family.