Celebrity Chef Angelo Sosa opens Tía Carmen at Desert Ridge Resort
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa announced the launch of Tía Carmen, a new dining destination led by celebrity chef Angelo Sosa and seasoned restaurateur Mark Stone which will open in early April 2022. Tía Carmen, named after Chef Sosa’s aunt, celebrates the local landscape, farmers and the southwestern community while reflecting a blend of tradition and modernity with bold, elemental cuisine and a diverse beverage program.
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A protege of Jean-George Vongerichten, Chef Sosa is known for his work alongside the most renowned restaurateurs, including Alain Ducasse, Stephen Starr and Masaharu Morimoto. He is widely recognized for his appearances in several television shows such as well done ‘Top Chef’ for three seasons and HBO Max Selena + Chef. As the founding chef and partner of the Michelin-recommended Mexican hotspot, Añejo Restaurant in New York City, Chef Sosa draws inspiration from his Latin heritage and the diverse techniques of his mentors throughout his remarkable career.
“Throughout my life, my Tía Carmen instilled in me a passion and love for cooking, teaching me the impact and power food can have when prepared from a place of pure love,” Chief Sosa said. “The discovery of traveling through the South West gave me the opportunity to explore the region through the prism of herders, potters, farmers and artisans. I have always had a deep fascination and a deep appreciation for the culinary traditions of the Southwest. It has been an honor and a privilege to be able to contribute to this beautiful and rich culinary narrative.”
Open for dinner, the menu will feature flavors infused with a wood-fired grill showcasing the beauty and ingredients of the region. The menu is divided into three sections: light + cool, maize + harinaand charcoal + wood + fire. Chef Sosa’s signature dishes at Tiá Carmen include tuna crudo with chilled corn and coconut broth accented with jicama and garnished with dill; Southwestern-style three-pointed skewers topped with Thai basil, cilantro, pickles, and serrano peppers; Lamb stew with mesquite noodles; and the Chicken Guisado de Tía Carmen, a stew made with succulent pieces of thigh meat and seasoned with a mixture of cumin, annatto, arbol and oregano.
Chef Sosa tapped longtime partner and restaurateur Stone to bring his vision for Tía Carmen to life, making it their first restaurant in Arizona. They work with a variety of Arizona-based suppliers, including Hypha Foods, the leading producer of forage mushrooms; Ramona Farms, where he sources the iconic Tepary beans; and Arizona Grass Raised Beef and Top Knot Farms for responsibly raised meats. Additionally, Phoenix-based Blue Door Ceramics has designed an exclusive dinnerware collection in conjunction with Chef Sosa to showcase a bold and beautiful Southwestern tablescape. To complement Tía Carmen’s menu, Mitchel O. Bushell (formerly of Gwen, Gran Blanco and Accomplice) has created a cocktail program focusing on local herbs and spices alongside local producers of small and large spirits such as their own spirits from Arizona Whiskey Del Bac and an extensive program of artisanal agave liquors. Eduardo Dingler (formerly of Morimoto Restaurant Group) specially curated the wine program, which relies heavily on representation from Mexico’s Guadalupe Valley as well as wines from the West Coast and emerging European producers.
Designed in collaboration with Thomas Schoos of Los Angeles-based hotel design firm Schoos Design, guests can expect an “Earth meets Art” theme upon entering Tía Carmen. The 130-seat restaurant represents a clean and warm palette of sophisticated natural simplicity that has been developed to harmonize with the inspiration of Chef Sosa, his “Tía Carmen”, a woman of passion, love and humility. Its presence permeates the design with the use of gentle curves and arches embracing the spaciousness and organic natural forms of the local landscape, capturing the essence of undulating desert rock formations and calming hues, which can be seen throughout space. Clusters of handmade plaster fixtures continue to soften the space with organic spherical shapes, allowing light to flow through the space with effortless ease.
Oversized natural woven dome light fixtures hang above the bar and highlight the comfortable and inviting lounge seating. With a range of cozy dining areas to experience the rich flavors of Chef Sosa’s inspiring cuisine, several dishes are cooked on an impressive wood-fired grill as the centerpiece of the restaurant. The captivating exterior features a natural desert landscape, an open adobe-style fireplace, and Southwestern Pueblo-style Latilla architectural structures. Tía Carmen’s design aesthetic is all about simplicity and plays on the ques of the surrounding Arizona region.
For more information on Tía Carmen, visit @TiaCarmen.PHX on instagram.