“I prefer to cook simply and naturally. If you are fortunate enough to gather the best ingredients, you should not have to dress a dish up to make it taste good. Food should be fun and fresh, not heavy and boring.”
That is the mantra of new Executive Chef Chuck Kazmer. A 25-year veteran of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Kazmer knows his way around the kitchen. He brings decades of culinary experience to his new appointment at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, along with a passion for letting fresh, seasonal flavors be the star.
“My inspiration comes most often from a single ingredient – something in season – and then goes from there. What will complement the taste? Wake up the palate? How can I build texture, add color? Then it goes to paper, with a sketch of how the completed dish should look, then on to the practical testing and tweaking the recipes. Finally, it might make it to a menu, or I might change my mind altogether and start from scratch!” says Kazmer.
Kazmer’s culinary career had humble beginnings, working at a family-owned drive in in Texas, making shakes from scratch, cherry limeades, crinkle cut fries and the signature “Big Scottie” burger, featuring double meat and double cheese. Housemade chili, complete with a secret recipe safely guarded by then 65-year-old owner, rounded out the classic menu. To this day, when Kazmer finds himself in the area, he will stop by to chat with the owner’s wife.
Following his time at the drive in, Kazmer met Elmar Prambs, Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel Austin, in 1991. He enrolled in a culinary apprenticeship program under Chef Prambs and began his journey with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. Kazmer continued with Four Seasons properties in Houston, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, and most recently, Amman, Jordan.
“Food, family and friends – these will always go hand-in-hand, usually accompanied by a great bottle of wine or two!” says Kazmer. Favorite food memories include Sunday supper at his grandparent’s house. Kazmer’s grandfather was a butcher, and his grandmother would host the entire family for Sunday roast. Extended family, great conversation and football in the background colored these special events.
A New Desert Adventure
In Scottsdale, Kazmer looks forward to immersing himself in the food scene, and continuing his quest for seeking out the best seasonal, local flavors available. Sustainability will play a key role for him as well.
“(Sustainability) should not be a trend – it just has to be part of our culture. Food that is good for you will continue to be important; the public shift toward food that both tastes good and has health benefits is not one I see waning anytime soon,” says Kazmer. “However, we all need a night of indulgence every now and again, so I am certainly not opposed to using butter!”
Kazmer resides in the Scottsdale area with his wife, Margaret, and three children, sons Patrick (15) and Nicholas (10), and daughter, Lauren (4). When not in the kitchen, he enjoys home brewing, visiting local farmers markets and gardening.
To make reservations for Resort restaurants, please call Restaurant Reservations at (480) 513-5085. Find more information about Executive Chef Chuck Kazmer HERE.More posts from January 2017