The Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, announced the appointment of Stephen Strickland as executive chef. Chef Strickland will oversee all culinary operations of the iconic property including fine dining room Wright’s at The Biltmore and the newly redesigned social settings throughout the main lobby and terrace.
Chef Strickland brings deep expertise in culinary operations at luxury destinations. His career spans more than two decades, and he is noted for an exceptional blend of professionalism and creativity. With an unwavering appreciation for the classics, paired with a passion for best of seasonal products, Chef Strickland’s ingredient-focused food philosophy is uniquely suited to the sophisticated guests at the timeless Arizona Biltmore. In his new position, Chef Strickland is tasked with integrating contemporary touches to all menus while maintaining Waldorf Astoria’s authenticity. He aims to prepare thoughtful offerings that are simple, yet ripe with fine technique for clean and flavorful dishes that resonate with today’s active lifestyle.
“Chef Strickland was a natural selection for the position of Executive Chef,” says Sheila Foley, general manager, Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. “His experience with overseeing multiple resort restaurants, as well as his incredible catering and events expertise is perfectly suited to directing our many dining outlets and orchestrating the unforgettable events and celebrations held on property.”
Most recently, Chef Strickland was the executive chef for La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA WEST, where he successfully oversaw daily operations at seven of the 45-acre resort’s dining outlets and managed a staff of 80. Before his role there, he was executive chef of banquets for the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, where he oversaw two inaugural balls in honor of President Barack Obama. He also spent seven years with The Ritz-Carlton Hotels & Resorts at properties in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Atlanta, Georgia; and Naples, Florida. At the brand’s flagship Five-Star Five Diamond Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Strickland trained under renowned Lawrence McFadden—the youngest chef ever to receive Certified Master Chef (CMC) designation.
A native of Pittsburgh, Strickland attended the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts and is a member of the American Culinary Federation and Chaîne des Rotisseurs USA. Chef Strickland enjoys cooking for his family in his off time. A fan of the outdoors, he can often be found cycling, hiking, and exploring new cuisines around the world.