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AAA FOUR DIAMOND EXECUTIVE CHEF RUSSELL LA CASCE
HOTEL VALLEY HO in SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA

If you just listen. Listening is so huge. Listen and
June 2017 Issue | Vol. 5, No. 9                                                                                                                                        follow directions. Get it.












 





 








 
 
 
 


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5-Star/5-Diamond Pastry Chef
 HOTEL VALLEY HO
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA

AUDREY ENRIQUEZ

Executive Chef
PRIMO ITALIA | TORRANCE, CA
MICHELANGELO ALAGIA


M.F.K. FISHER
Food writer extraordinaire

Beverage Specialist
WESTIN KIERLAND RESORT SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA
MATTHEW ALLEN


Chef LaCasce talks about some of his favorite things on our —


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CUBEB BERRIES
The hipster chefs peppercorn?

     
ZuZu restaurant
with Executive Chef Russel LaCasce
HOTEL VALLEY HO
Scottsdale, Arizona

     
Domaine de Cala Rosé
CHEF JOACHIM SPLICHAL

     
Southwest Foraging
by John Slattery



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Russell LaCasce | Executive Chef at Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona Hockey players are a unique breed. John McDonough, president of the Chicago Cubs for twenty-four years, and, currently, of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team, said so on record. He also added, “They’re approachable, grateful, appreciative. It’s a very special group.” Russell LaCasce may run the kitchen at Hotel Valley Ho, but he’s a hockey player at heart. “My dad put us into all the sports when I was little,” LaCasce said. “Me and my brother. I played a year of football, I wasn’t big enough. I played hockey, which I loved. My dad had us on skates at three-years-old pushing cones around on the ice. Pond hockey in Chicago. Pond hockey’s the best. I miss it.” Football, hockey, baseball, basketball. LaCasce said he grew up on sports. “I relate a lot of that to cooking,” LaCasce said, “and I use a lot of that in cooking. One of my interview questions to cooks and chefs is, Did you ever play team sports? It’s good to be able to work as a team and work together.” And like every great athlete, LaCasce had to learn that in the end, scoreboards don’t matter. Preparation and giving your best leads to true success. Giving his best came easy, in the beginning. He got a job washing dishes at a local beach restaurant when his family lived on Isle of Palms, a barrier island off the coast of South Carolina at Charleston. “At the time it was a job,” LaCasce recalled. “I didn’t immediately fall in love with it. But the longer I worked, the more fun I had with it. The camaraderie with the cooks, the team, the banter, and the BS. Like all the fun stuff about kitchens for a kid who is 13 or 14, and maybe not the best student, and, you know, maybe a little reckless at times. I loved it. You probably, at the time, not even paid me. I just really started to enjoy the people, the time and the banter. The whole kitchen life.” What’s not to like about fun? It lured LaCasce, into the industry. He worked the back and front of the house at restaurants, became a hotel bellman, as well as a concierge.