T. Cook's Archives

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We recently caught up with Lee Hillson, executive chef at T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms Resort, to chat about fine dining, menu development and how he kept his staff happy during the pandemic. The veteran chef spent 12 years at T. Cook’s in the early 2000s, and then left for another opportunity. He’s been back since 2019 overseeing the iconic resort’s food and beverage operations. Here’s what he had to say. How has fine...

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Photo by Nikki Buchanan   Eggplant with Calabrian Chile Marmalade and Burrata at Restaurant Progress Chef-owner TJ Culp recently put a new fall menu in place, and it’s the most playful one I’ve seen from him yet. Imagine raw oysters topped with caviar and steak tartare (what??) or French onion soup dumplings, fashioned like gyoza and served with beefy jus. One of my favorites of the evening was two big slabs of eggplant, breaded and...

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The Mix Up Bar interior | Photo by Nikki Buchanan   The Mix Up Bar, tucked away to the left of T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa, is one of my favorite places to hang out over a cocktail. Like the lovely old resort in which it’s nestled, the room is gracious, intimate and — if you time it right — blessedly quiet, the kind of place where you might strike up...

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Renowned chefs, carefully curated menus and desert vista views. It’s all on deck this Easter Sunday (April 4) at these Valley resorts. Here’s the 411 on seven of our faves. Photo courtesy J Lauren PR   T. Cook’s What: A three-course brunch menu including turkey Benedict, fried chicken and waffles and more. When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Why: Celebrated Valley chef Lee Hillson in the kitchen, a complimentary glass of the restaurant’s famous Orangechello...

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1. Chef Lee Hillson’s resurrected pasta carbonara at T. Cook’s. The resort restaurant’s longtime chef is back, and he’s bringing egg yolks with him. royalpalmshotel.com 2. Tipping back a Zombie at the new High Street location of Hula’s Modern Tiki. If anyplace needs a dose of tiki swerve, it’s North Phoenix. hulasmoderntiki.com 3. Crushing some of those delicious-looking wood-roasted oysters at Persepshen. Named the No. 3 best new restaurant in the Valley by PHOENIX dining...

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Chef Lee Hillson recently returned to T. Cooks at Royal Palms Resort and Spa as executive chef and he couldn’t be happier. He spent 12 years at the iconic resort in the early 2000s as executive sous chef and then as executive chef. Hillson, a James Beard House featured chef and a participant on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, has also graced the kitchens of The Phoenician Resort and the Sheraton Grand at Wild...

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Each month, we of the PHOENIX magazine editorial team ask ourselves a different question about our favorite dining and drinking experiences in the Valley. Our picks are usually hidden in the back of the magazine among our Dining Guide restaurant listings. Not any more. Our picks are going digital! Feel free to follow us on social media (at least, those of us who tweet) and be sure to tag us (@PhoenixMagazine on Twitter and @PHXMagazine on Instagram) on pics of your favorite picks.

Happy May! As we celebrate our annual out-of-state travel issue, we're going pescatarian and asking ourselves, "What is your favorite local fish dish?"

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For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.