"Cooking is about passion, respect and love." - Executive Chef, David Morris
At Suncadia, you step out of urban life and into something that’s all too rare: a place where you know your neighbors instead of just passing them on the way to work. And as visits become longer and more frequent, you get to know the people who help shape Suncadia into a community you hold close to your heart. You’re on a first-name basis with the yoga instructor, the one who has helped you with that difficult pose you’ve been attempting for years. You know the Fifty-6 Degrees Lounge barman who makes your cocktail just the way you like it, and the concierge who always recommends exactly the kind of activity your kids will love.
In this column, we celebrate the Suncadia staff who play a role in the way residents and guests enjoy their time here. Some might be familiar faces or names, and others will be new to you. This week we welcome David Morris, our new Executive Chef.
IN A NUTSHELL
I’m originally from Scottsdale, AZ but my formative years were spent in Pasadena, California, which is where I was introduced and later found my calling in the restaurant biz! This life’s passion and journey has opened many doors and adventures around the globe: Scottsdale, Las Vegas, Texas, NYC, Toulouse and Camont in France, and Xian, China have been stops along the way.
The past two years I spent between Texas and New York in the role of Regional Chef for Hyatt, where I developed the culinary programs for The Woodlands Resort, The Westin and Embassy Suites. The additional responsibilities in NYC came to be as the company purchased South Seaport District, including Pier 17 in Lower Manhattan. During my tenure, I was responsible for concepting several new restaurants, a full service banquet facility, ice skating venue and concert venue.
WHEN I WAS A KID...
My dream was to race sprint cars! My pops was a tool and die maker machinist and had many friends in the racing and the hotrod business. So naturally growing up around that was a huge draw. He worked for the University of Southern California and every summer when school was out my days were spent in the machine shop. Eventually at age 15, I got a job at the restaurant on campus and this is where the seed was planted for a career in food service.
MY ROLE AT SUNCADIA
I am the new Executive Chef for Suncadia Resort and currently working on the brand new StoveHouse concept and new Portals Kitchen rebuild. My primary focus is to create an extraordinary dining resort influenced by the many personal experiences I’ve had over the past few years.
FINDING INSPIRATION ON THE ROAD
Before coming to Suncadia, I embarked on a month-long culinary road trip, making my way from NYC to Washington State. Along the way, I checked off bucket list restaurants and great chef spots, including Momufuku, Balthazar, Brooklyn pizza, Memphis BBQ, and Ashleigh Christenson’s Poole’s diner. I stopped at Sean Brock’s Husk Nashville where I almost stayed to stage in the kitchen for a few weeks just to learn how to make the fried chicken! I sampled great Texas BBQ and the absolute best tequila bar in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which also sits directly across the street from the courthouse and jail that Billy the Kid shot his way out of. On the West Coast leg of the trip, I drove up Highway 1 and stopped at Malibu Farm and had an unforgettable in-room dining experience at Four Seasons Resort. All of these adventures are playing some kind of role in my vision for the culinary experience at Suncadia.
Cooking is all about passion, respect and love. I hope to bring all of these experiences to the resort.