Todd Sicolo Dishes on Grant Achatz and His Short-Lived Las Vegas Marriage
Buchanan Todd Sicolo in front of T. Cook's hearth
T. Cook's at Royal Palms Resort & Spa
5200 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix
-- Josh Riesner of Scottsdale's Pig & Pickle Dishes on Bartending Bullshit and What He Ate That You Never Will
- Keenan Bosworth of Pig & Pickle Dishes about Chrysa Robertson, Phoenix as a Food Town and Who He's Had Fun With in the Kitchen
- Chef Todd Sicolo Leaves Arizona Biltmore for Royal Palms
This is part one of my interview with Todd Sicolo, executive chef at T. Cook's and the Royal Palms Resort & Spa. Come back Tuesday when Sicolo dishes about what he learned at the Biltmore and why he loves Eddie Matney.
Todd Sicolo is a little picky about his fruit -- apples, pears and cherries in particular. Raised in upstate New York by food-focused parents who had a garden, canned their own tomato sauce and turned apples into apple butter, applesauce, apple everything, he grew up appreciating honest food made with fresh ingredients. By the time he was 10, he was cooking with his grandmothers and by 15, he was peeling potatoes for the restaurant his dad and uncle had recently founded. After high school (which he hated, but who didn't?), he knew he didn't want to work in the family business, so he applied to the CIA, the only school Sicolo says would admit him without an SAT score. He took it seriously and performed well, taking a gig at an allegedly haunted B&B upon graduation.
After zigging at a small-scale operation, he zagged to The Quilted Giraffe in New York, where he learned about game before the cold weather got to him and he signed on with a yachting company in Florida, doing private dinners as well as high-volume banquets up and down the inner coast. His next gig was at the Hyatt in Coral Gables, followed by the Boca Raton Resort & Club, where his job as executive chef tournant brought something different every day.
Feeling lost after his divorce, he moved to Las Vegas, first working as a corporate chef for Warner Brothers, later moving to the Venetian and eventually the Bellagio. Somewhere along the way, he got married in a drive-through wedding chapel, an experience he swears was a cross between What Happens in Vegas and The Hangover. When the marriage fell apart six months later, he moved back to Florida, taking a job at Little Dix Bay in the Caribbean, where he nixed the frozen products the resort had been buying and started foraging and sourcing from local farmers and fishermen.