JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is thrilled to announce the debut of Tía Carmen, a new dining destination led by renowned Chef Angelo Sosa along with seasoned restaurant operator Mark Stone set to open early this month. Tía Carmen, named after Chef Sosa’s aunt, celebrates the local landscape, farmers, and community of the Southwest while reflecting a mix of tradition and modernity with bold, elemental cooking and a diverse beverage program.
A protégé of Jean-George Vongerichten, Chef Sosa is known for his work alongside the most pedigreed restaurateurs, including Alain Ducasse, Stephen Starr, and Masaharu Morimoto. He is widely recognized for appearing on several television shows such as Bravo’s “Top Chef” for three seasons and HBO Max’s “Selena + Chef.” As the founding chef and partner in the Michelin-recommended Mexican hotspot, Añejo Restaurant in New York City, Chef Sosa is inspired by his Latin heritage and the diverse techniques from his mentors throughout his career.
“Throughout my life, my Tía Carmen instilled in me a passion and love for cooking, teaching me the impact and the power that food can have when made from a place of pure love,” says Chef Sosa. “The discovery of traveling through the Southwest gave me the opportunity to explore the region through the lens of ranchers, potters, farmers, and artisans. I have always had a deep fascination and appreciation for Southwestern food traditions. It has been an honor and privilege to be able to contribute to this beautiful and rich culinary narrative.”
Open for dinner, the menu will feature flavors imbued from a wood-fired grill highlighting the beauty and ingredients of the region. The menu is divided into three sections: light + fresh, maize + harina, and charcoal + wood + fire. Chef Sosa’s signature dishes at Tiá Carmen include Tuna Crudo with chilled corn coconut broth accented with jicama and garnished with dill; Southwestern style tri-tip kebabs garnished with Thai Basil, cilantro, pickles, and serrano chilis; Lamb Ragu with mesquite noodles; and Tía Carmen’s Chicken Guisado, a stew made with succulent pieces of thigh meat and seasoned with a mélange of cumin, annatto, arbol, and oregano.
Chef Sosa tapped long-time partner and restaurant operator Stone to help bring his vision for Tía Carmen to life, making this their first restaurant in Arizona. They are collaborating with a variety of Arizona-based purveyors, including Hypha Foods, the lead producer of foraged 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 designed an exclusive collection of plate ware in collaboration with Chef Sosa to showcase a bold, beautiful Southwestern tablescape. To complement the Tía Carmen menu, Mitchel O. Bushell (formerly of Gwen, Gran Blanco and Accomplice) created a cocktail program focusing on local herbs and spices alongside local producers of small and large batched spirits such as Arizona’s own spirits Whiskey Del Bac and a broad program of artisanal agave spirits. Eduardo Dingler (formerly of Morimoto Restaurant Group) specially curated the wine program, which leans heavily on representation from Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe as well as wines from the West Coast and emerging European producers.
Designed in collaboration with Thomas Schoos of Los Angeles-based hospitality design firm Schoos Design, guests can expect an “Earth meets Art” theme when entering Tía Carmen. The 130-seat restaurant represents a clean, warm palette of sophisticated natural simplicity that was developed to harmonize with Chef Sosa’s inspiration—his Tía Carmen.
For more information about Tía Carmen, follow @TiaCarmen.PHX on Instagram.