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Food Network Star Beau MacMillan Speaks With Food & Travel

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With stunning Paradise Valley as its backdrop, Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa cultivates balance and pure relaxation through inspiring treatments and tranquil environments.

Guided by the expertise of Food Network Star Chef Beau MacMillan and his talented staff, including Chef de Cuisine Samantha Sanz and Bar Chef Christiaan Rollich, dining at the mountain retreat is a special experience with a menu that features local, organic produce, sustainable seafood and hormone-free meat. Chef MacMillan recently spoke about his background and culinary philosophy.

How did your interest in cooking begin?

My interest in cooking began at a very early age. When I was a kid, I learned what true hospitality is by watching my grandmother and noticing everything she did for her family. I wanted to do that and bring that kind of joy to myself and others. My passion was accelerated by the cooking shows I would watch, like Great Chefs of America. I was mesmerized that those chefs could take something intangible and make it into something completely different. I knew cooking was my calling, and I’m thankful I’ve had the opportunity to make a career out of something I’m so passionate about.   

What are some of your signature dishes?

While I’m constantly trying to evolve the menus and dishes at elements so they never become expected or stagnant, one of the most popular dishes at elements over the past 20 years is the Miso Glazed Wild Isle Salmon made with somen noodles, snow peas, heirloom carrots, ginger and coriander. Right now, my favorite menu item is the Wagyu Beef Cheek. It’s so tender and packed with flavor. For anyone who likes Korean BBQ, this is the dish for them. It comes braised with sweet corn puree, honjimeji mushroom shishito and green onion chermoula.

Describe your culinary philosophy.

My philosophy is to take simple and turn it into perfection. I always try to use ingredients that are recognizable. It’s not about overworking the ingredients but finding ways to turn food from its simplest form into something sophisticated and unique. Food doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. Sometimes the most flavorful dishes are the simplest ingredients prepared to perfection.

What led to your regular appearances on the Food Network?

One evening, a VP of production for Food Network dined at elements, and the next day he came back to ask if I would appear on Iron Chef. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

What makes dining at elements such a special experience?

Dining at elements is an incredible experience, and not just because of the food. Situated in Paradise Valley, the restaurant ambience features some of the most epic and mesmerizing views in the country. Accompanied with such quality food and cocktails, dining at elements is an unforgettable experience. We also pride ourselves on having a rock-star team. From the service team in the front to the masters of taste in the back, we are a team that works together like family and truly puts our guests at the forefront of our efforts. To complete our team, we recently welcomed two new powerhouse chefs – Chef de Cuisine Samantha Sanz and Bar Chef Christiaan Rollich. Chef Sanz started her career with us at elements and is now coming up with fresh new menu items our guests absolutely love. Bar Chef Rollich is an expert when it comes to spirits and is crafting the most incredible cocktails at jade bar. We’re thrilled to have both of them with us to elevate our already spectacular dining experience.

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