New Chefs Stirring Things Up at Tucson's Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

New Chefs Stirring Things Up at Tucson's Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

10/11/2017 10:00

The Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort and Executive Chef Bruce Yim welcome Sous Chefs Mark Economou and John Segerstrom and Executive Pastry Chef Kara Hranicka to an award winning culinary team.

A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Sous Chef Mark Economou returns to the Hacienda Del Sol culinary team after spreading his wings as a culinary instructor at The Art Institute of Tucson.  He cut his teeth in the Tucson dining scene at Bistro Zin and The Gold Room at Westward Look Resort, then morphed from kitchen/operations director to butcher to executive chef in the kitchens of Charro Steak, Sir Veza's Taco Garage, The University of Arizona, The Hub, and Sam Hughes Champion Dinning. After Chef Economou researched and designed a holistic and specialized dietary plan for a loved one affected by cancer, he founded Team Arianna Healing Cuisine, a personal chef service for clients undergoing medical treatment. Prior to finding this passion, Chef enchanted downtown Tucson diners as owner/executive chef at Central Bistro.

Returning to his culinary roots in the Grand Canyon state, Sous Chef John Segerstrom joins Hacienda Del Sol from Avon, Colorado's Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch where he served as Chef de Cuisine. He launched his culinary career by earning an Associate of Culinary Arts degree at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Dedication to the art and business of food allowed Chef Segerstrom to rise from line cook, to Sous Chef, then later executive chef in some of Southern Arizona's finest kitchens. These include McClintocks at Saguaro Ranch, Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain, and Bistro Phillipe. Cradled between Tucson restaurant scene stints, Segerstrom continued his education and practice as Sous Chef for James Beard award winner, and lauded "founding father" of Southwest Cuisine, Stephan Pyles.

Chef Kara Hranicka, born and raised in Tinley Park, Illinois, joins the Hacienda Del Sol culinary team from Desert Diamond Casinos. There, as pastry chef, she elevated guest experiences daily with an array of unique sweet delights and on special occasions with wedding cakes, baked sculptures, and edible showpieces. Prior to that she helped open Prep & Pastry and honed her skills in the baking kitchen at the Lodge at Ventana Canyon Golf & Racquet Club in Tucson. Chef Hranicka received her Associate’s and Bachelor’s of Science degrees in baking and pastry arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. She earned a certificate in French Patisserie from Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Pâtisserie in Yssingeaux.

Executive Chef Bruce Yim says of the new additions to his team, "I'm thrilled to work with these chefs (again). We've really pulled together a trifecta of experienced culinarians who are blending well with seasoned staff and tradition yet creatively enhancing Hacienda Del Sol restaurant and catering offerings."

Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort dining venues are widely lauded, having received kudos including the AAA Four Diamond Award, and from Tucson Lifestyle Magazine: “Top Five Restaurant,” “Best Brunch,” “Best Romantic Dining,” “Best Wine List,” “Best Dining with a View,” “Best Restaurant for Out-Of-Town Guests,” and “Best Longtime Favorite.” In 2016 the historic property received a multi-million dollar expansion that added 32 new guestrooms and suites, a negative edge pool, and the Casa Luna event venue. In the kitchen, a Rationale double oven – "The Mercedes-Benz of ovens" according to Chef Yim – was installed to ensure banquet (wedding, meeting, conference) guests also receive an elevated culinary experience. "This oven allows us to be more creative and complex with banquet dishes and ensure that each dish is served at the ideal temperature and at its peak of freshness," he stated.

History of Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

In 1929, John and Helen Murphey created Hacienda del Sol, a desert retreat and “home away from home” ranch school for girls. The prestigious school’s roster boasted some of the country’s most elite families: Vanderbilt, Pillsbury and Westinghouse, to name a few. In 1948, Hacienda del Sol was converted into a guest ranch that immediately attracted the Silver Screen’s most notable stars, among them John Wayne and Clark Gable. Legend has it that Hacienda’s Casita Grande was the favorite hideaway of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Professional baseball players Lou Boudreau, Hank Greenberg and well known golfers, Sam Snead, Horton Smith, John Bulla and Don January enjoyed the ranch in the 1940’s. In 1995, Hacienda del Sol was purchased by a group of local investors and became the Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort.

Today, the story continues, with simple pleasures, subtle beauty and charming hospitality at this classic Arizona resort – lovingly renovated to preserve its historic roots and expanded to meet the needs of local customers and world travelers who long for a genuine and luxurious Tucson experience. “We want people to enjoy the sense of place here,” said Tom Firth, managing partner. “My partners and I want nothing more than to make guests who visit  feel they are pampered and welcomed – just as if they have come to our home.”

About Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort

Hacienda Del Sol is a qualified member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation® which recognizes and celebrates our country’s finest Historic Hotels. It is also a member of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts Lifestyle Collection, which represents premier global properties that offer engaging stays and memorable moments. All guests of The Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort are eligible to enroll in the iPrefer guest loyalty program, which extends points redeemable for cash-value Reward Certificates, elite status, and special benefits such as complimentary Internet to members upon every stay at more than 550 participating Preferred Hotels & Resorts locations worldwide.

This historic property has been honored with numerous awards and features from National Geographic, The Telegraph, Zagat Survey, Sunset Magazine, American Historic Inns, Travel & Leisure Magazine and several top local awards including “Best Place for Out-of-Town Visitors” and “Top Five Restaurants,” to name a few. The Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort is committed to providing guests with an authentic southwestern experience in the beautiful foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains of Tucson. Travelers from around the world choose the Hacienda because of its rich history, unique ambiance, lovely botanical gardens, natural landscape and central location. The friendliness of the staff and their genuine desire to engage and please each guests is the reason so many return. For more than 20 years, the owners of the Hacienda have worked tirelessly to restore the 86-year-old property to its original splendor and have succeeded in creating a guest ranch resort that is warm, charming and luxurious.

Hacienda Del Sol Guest Ranch Resort   
5501 N. Hacienda del Sol Road  
Tucson, Arizona  85718
(520) 299-1501

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