FOODIES WEST.COM         
MICHELIN AND IRON CHEF
EXECUTIVE SOUS CHEF LEE HILLSON
April 2016 Issue | Vol. 4, No. 7                            You’re feeding the guests, not your ego.












 










 
 
 
 

      
Executive Chef
Forest Hamrick

      
Executive Chef
Anthony Fullylove

     
Certified Sommelier
Mitch Ober



Chef Lee Hillson talks about tattoos on our
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Lee Hillson, Executive Sous Chef, The Phoenician Resort | Scottsdale, Arizona After World War II, 20 million displaced persons created a major migration movement on planet Earth. Many fled their war-torn scene for safer havens such as the U.S. and Australia. The situation proved the perfect symbiosis for Australia, which found itself in a “populate or perish” position. During the 20 years after the war, more than two million people emigrated there. This number included the Hillson family. As in Lee Hillson. “I was born in Greenwich, London, England,” Hillson said. “Then we moved to Australia. We were, actually Ten Pound Poms. I don’t know if you know what a Ten Pound Pom is?” The Australian term for “Ten Pound tourists” described emigrees that arrived via England’s Assisted Passage Migration Scheme. For £10, adults (kids traveled free) got a ticket on a passenger ship, and housing and employment in Australia. Migrants only had to stay two years. “My parents did that,” Hillson said. “We stayed there for three or five years. Then we went back to England. And then we did it a second time when the program came out again. I was there eight years total as a child.” So that’s why Hillson talks about growing up in England and in Australia. When the family moved back to England, they moved to a place called The New Forest. “It’s about 80 miles south of London,” Hillson said. “We used to live in a town called Greenwood. The forest was built by William the Conqueror when he’d go hunting. Actually, King Harold got shot in the eye with an arrow down that way.” Good old King Harold. “Yeah,” Hillson said. “It sucked to be him.” The Magna Carta originally featured this forest. Later, all the clauses that referred to the forest were consolidated into a document called the Charter of the Forest, which basically proclaimed that free men could access the royal forest to gather food and fuel. “I used to go foraging every weekend,” Hillson said. For elder blossoms and the berries? “Yep,” Hillson answered. “We used to do that. We used to infuse vodka with them. We used to get nettles, wild mushrooms. We’d get porcinis, golden chanterelles, hen of the woods. You name it, we’d get it. It was fun, because you’d find out the ones you could eat and which ones you couldn’t eat.” He didn’t say how. We didn’t ask. But the New Forest forays do explain why he likes the current trend toward simplicity in the kitchen.