Industry Update
Appointment17 September 2019

Lee Hillson

Appointed Executive Chef
At Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Phoenix - AZ, USA

Lee Hillson

Chef Lee Hillson is getting back to his roots and returning to the iconic T. Cook's at Royal Palms Resort and Spa, part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, as executive chef where we will lead all food and beverage operations for the historic resort. Chef Hillson spent 12 years at T. Cook's back in the early 2000s.

A culinary veteran of nearly 30 years, Lee Hillson is going back to his roots and returning to the iconic T. Cook's at Royal Palms Resort and Spa as executive chef where he will lead all food and bever age operations for the historic resort.

Starting in 2000, Chef Hillson made a name for himself at T. Cook's during his 12-year tenure where he began as sous chef and later promoted to executive chef. He left a lasting impression with his rustic Mediterranean cuisine and signature accoutrements like the orange marmalade, made from the resort's on-site citrus grove, and what's now become the restaurant's legendary pesto.

Hailing from England where he started culinary school at 16-years-old, Hillson brings a worldly approach to his cuisine after traveling through the Mediterranean, Hawaiian Islands and Alaska as a guest chef on luxury cruise lines. A James Beard House-featured Chef who has also appeared on the popular Food Network show, Iron Chef America, Hillson has created remarkable meals for luminaries such as President George W. Bush, Barbra Streisand, Princess Diana, Richard Branson, Billy Joel and author, Clive Cussler, to name a few.

H illson's talents have allowed him to cook in some of the most prestigious restaurants around the world including the Michelin-Starred Le Gavroche in London and Vanderbilt Hall in Newport, Rhode Island, named one of the top five restaurants in the country by Country Inn Magazine.

A four-time nominee of the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame, Hillson has most recently spent his time at some of the Valley's most well-known and well-respected culinary institutions including Sheraton Grand at Wild Horse Pass, home to Kai, the state's only five-star restaurant from Forbes and Five-Diamond restaurant from AAA, and all seven restaurants at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale.

In his free time, Hillson enjoys reading, Orange Theory Fitness, golfing, going to the movies, traveling and entertaining friends and family at home.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation

Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a proud heritage of making guests feel more than welcome. Thousands of members of the Hyatt family strive to make a difference in the lives of the guests they encounter every day by providing authentic hospitality.
more information
Recent Appointments at Hyatt

Macarena Sepulveda - Director of Event Planning and Meeting Experience

18 October 2019 — Hospitality veteran Macarena Sepulveda has been appointed Director of Event Planning and Meeting Experience at The Confidante Miami Beach, a playful oceanfront oasis located in Miami Beach's mid-beach neighborhood, effective immediately.
read more

Flynt Payne - General Manager

17 October 2019 — Payne joins Destination Residences Hawaii with an extensive career in resort leadership. As general manager, Payne oversees the management and operation of properties in the Kona-Kohala portfolio, comprising Mauna Lani Point, The Islands at Mauna Lani, Champion Ridge, estate home management at The Cape at Mauna Lani, and association management throughout Mauna Lani Resort, including The Residences of Laule'a.
read more

Stephanie Sisneros - Director of Association Management

17 October 2019 — As a Certified Manager of Associations (CMCA) and as an Association Management Specialist (AMS), Sisneros boasts a robust history of leading association management with more than 70 associations in Hawaii and is a subject matter expert in local condominium and community association councils.
read more