The sumptuous dining at The Grand America is driven by the talent and experience of our chefs. Each brings a wide range of epicurean skill and knowledge to the hotel, imparting a signature quality to every menu and dining experience.
Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations Phillip Yates
Growing up in a small town west of Austin, Texas, Chef Phillip Yates first became interested in culinary arts at a very young age while learning to cook with his mother. After graduating at the top of his class in 2003 from the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon he was offered an internship with the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas.
Phillip first joined the Grand America Hotel in 2007 and was quickly promoted to Executive Chef in 2009. Since then he has lead his team of chefs to host top companies, exquisite weddings, grand affairs for 3,000, as well as intimate receptions for world-renowned dignitaries.
As Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Operations, Phillip continues to bring a new dimension of excellence to the hotel’s signature restaurant, banquet and catering facilities.
Executive Pastry Chef Jeffrey de Leon
It took 8 years in the food and beverage industry before Chef de Leon considered a career as a chef. After working in every area of restaurants aside from cooking, he made the decision to attend culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, California. He credits his pastry chef instructor as his inspiration to pursue a career in patisserie.
Prior to taking over the reigns as Executive Pastry Chef at Grand America Hotel, de Leon worked as Junior Sous Chef at Bouchon Las Vegas; Pastry Chef de Partie at Alex, the Wynn Hotel’s 2-Michelin star rated restaurant; Pastry Sous Chef at Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, California; and most recently he helped to open Thomas Keller’s newest restaurant, Bouchon Beverly Hills as Executive Pastry Sous Chef.
As Executive Pastry Chef at The Grand America, Jeffrey creates signature pastries and desserts to be served in the hotel’s food and beverage outlets and crafts custom cakes for special occasions. Chef de Leon works hand in hand with the culinary team to ensure expertly paired desserts for a small family dinner to an extravagant wedding. Equally important, he oversees the pastries, sweets, and other edibles for sale in The Grand America’s patisserie "La Bonne Vie", which opened in November of 2010.
La Bonne Vie was named “Best Bakery” by Salt Lake Magazine’s “2012 Dining Awards.”
Director of Restaurants Kasey Dubler
We are delighted to welcome back Kasey Dubler as Director of Restaurants. Mr. Dubler was formally Executive Banquet Chef in our very own kitchen here at The Grand, where he oversaw banquet operations. Chef Dubler comes to us from the Semiahmoo Resort in Blaine, Washington where he was Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage. In this role, he oversaw culinary operations for the resort, including banquets, weddings and seasonal winemaker and brew master dinners. Chef Dubler’s previous experience includes a variety of culinary positions, such as Opening Chef for The Sun Valley Club, a Country Club-style restaurant in Sun Valley, Idaho. He was also lead cook at Whist restaurant at the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica, California, in addition to working for Wolfgang Puck Catering in Los Angeles, twice catering the Oscars.
During his career Chef Dubler had the distinct pleasure of preparing a private breakfast at the Utah Governor’s Mansion for visiting Cabinet members. He was an instructor and wine event specialist in Los Angeles at Learnaboutwine.com, specializing in food and wine-pairings. His passion is teaching and he has trained chefs across the west coast on the importance of local foods, culinary trends, gluten-free dining and wine pairing. He has also appeared on multiple cooking shows with local TV personalities, competed in numerous chef competitions and been a guest speaker at trade shows and culinary conventions.
Chef Dubler, known for his wine expertise and signature seafood dishes, is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Los Angeles. He has had an active role in community education as Culinary Advisory Board Member for The Art Institute of Salt Lake City, and served on the board at Bellingham Technical College in Washington. An Associate Member of the Society of Wine Educators, Chef Dubler enjoys sharing his knowledge and love of great wines. In his spare time he enjoys traveling the world seeking unique and obscure wines to add to his ever growing collection.
Executive Sous Chef Fernando Soberanis
A native of Acapulco, Mexico, Chef Soberanis brings more than 20 years of culinary experience to his position at The Grand America Hotel. Previously, he held the position of sous chef for both The Little America Hotel and The Grand America Hotel.
Chef Soberanis has held various culinary positions at a variety of hotels and resorts, including executive chef at The Aerie Restaurant at the Snowbird Ski Resort, Utah; executive banquet chef at Zermatt Resort & Spa, Utah; executive chef at the Hotel Park City,Utah; junior sous chef at the Red Lion Hotel in Salt Lake City; and line cook at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Acapulco, Mexico. Chef Soberanis has also worked at restaurants including Green Street in Salt Lake City, where he was executive chef, and the Dakota Restaurant in San Diego, where he was lead cook. Chef Soberanis was also the former proprietor of the Tonnio’s Pizzeria in Acapulco, Mexico. Chef Soberanis is a member of the American Culinary Federation, Beehive Chef Chapter.
Currently Chef Soberanis works in harmony with his culinary team to ensure the best in upscale dining for all guests of The Grand.
Chef de Cuisine Tom Call
California-bred and classically trained, Chef Tom Call brings the best of both worlds to the tables at the Grand America Hotel, where he has recently been appointed Chef de Cuisine.
A native of California’s gold country, he is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and completed his internship in Lucca, Italy. There he fine-tuned his European cuisine skills and learned first-hand how to infuse each dining experience with a spirit of “la bella vita.” Cooking alongside Italian chefs, he came to share the belief that memorable meals are made of simple dishes, the finest ingredients and perfect technique.
Chef Call worked for over a decade in San Francisco's finest Michelin-starred restaurants under the mentorship of world-class chefs. He served as saucier at Campton Place, and sous chef for Coi, Aqua, One Market and the Hotel Monaco. Most recently, Call was chef for Trio Restaurant Group in Salt Lake City.
With professional experience encompassing, Italian, French seafood and upscale American cuisines, Call brings classical training, a varied global perspective, and an innate love of food to his new role. When not creating new seasonal dishes or orchestrating large scale culinary events like the Grand America’s fabled Sunday Brunch, Call can be found in his home kitchen, whipping up simple, flavorful meals for his wife and young son.
Banquet Chef Juston Williams
After graduating from Davis Applied Technology College with a degree in Culinary Arts, Juston Williams joined the Grand America culinary team in 2006 as a Line Cook. Working under the direction of Phillip Yates, Juston quickly rose through the ranks and in February of 2013 was promoted to Banquet Chef.
Juston’s passion for cooking was apparent even as a kid, when he enjoyed making desserts for friends and family. It was precisely those friends and family who inspired Juston to become a Chef. “Seeing how a great meal brings everyone together and melts away the day’s transgressions is what being a chef is all about,” Juston says. Pursuing this love for cooking and curiosity about cuisine is what helped Juston succeed in his multiple roles in The Grand America Kitchen.
When Juston is not catering to groups of up to 2,000, you can find him trying new cuisine, learning about the scientific methodology of food, and exploring Utah’s mountain country.