SOURCE: Barona Resort & Casino

Barona Resort & Casino

June 16, 2010 13:45 ET

Barona's Executive Chef Crowned Chef of the Year by the California Restaurant Association

Chef Jim Phillips Honored With Gold Medallion Award From San Diego's CRA

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - June 16, 2010) -  Executive Chef Jim Phillips of Barona Resort & Casino was recently honored with the coveted "Gold Medallion Award" for Chef of the Year by the California Restaurant Association (CRA), San Diego Chapter. The winners were selected by members of the chapter, which is comprised of the city's top restaurant and hospitality professionals.

"I am extremely honored to be recognized by peers and industry leaders as this year's chef of the year by our local California Restaurant Association chapter," said Chef Phillips. "This award is especially meaningful to me at this point in my career. While working at Barona I've had the unique opportunity to help open new restaurants, manage several different dining venues at the same time and train our staff at the Culinary Institute. I'd like to thank my Barona team members for their support and the CRA for this distinguished award."

The culinary veteran currently oversees over 400 Barona staff members including 12 chef de cuisines, 30 sous chefs and 220 cooks in addition to six award-winning restaurants, several casual eateries, as well as special events catering. While at Barona, he also played an instrumental role in the development of the menus and concepts of the resort's Barona Steakhouse, Italian Cucina, El Rancho Grande and The Plaza restaurants.

"Each year we honor chefs that not only create an outstanding dining experience for guests, but also promote the core values of culinary excellence, leadership, professionalism and diversity," said Fred Glick, president of the CRA San Diego. "Throughout Chef Jim's long career in San Diego, he has continued to set the standard for our industry by impressing guests with his culinary creations, inspiring his large staff and providing support to numerous local charities and organizations. We appreciate everything he has done and continues to do for San Diego's culinary scene."

In addition, Chef Phillips manages the Barona Culinary Institute, a certified on-site demonstration kitchen, accredited culinary school and private dining room located within the resort's main casino. The program is American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship certified according to California and Federal labor guidelines and is directly associated with the local-state accredited Grossmont College and can be continued toward further education including an associate degree.

Chef Phillips is the Apprentice Chair on the American Culinary Federation Chefs and Culinarians of San Diego. Currently, he serves as treasurer of Chef Celebration, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships for local rising culinary talent and has been a member of the organization since its inception in 1995. Together, Chef Phillips and Barona have maintained a presence in the community volunteering in events and organizations such as the Recipe for a Cure, Taste of the Triangle, Taste of the Nation, St. Madeline's, Alpine Wine Festival, Wine and Roses, San Diego Zoo Celebration of the Critters, CRA Golf Tournament, Promises 2 Kids, Epilepsy Foundation, December Nights and numerous others.

About Barona Resort & Casino

Barona Resort & Casino blends the best of San Diego's leading resorts with the gaming excitement of Las Vegas. LEED-EB™ Gold Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, Barona is San Diego's leading destination resort featuring 400 guest rooms and suites all with beautiful views of the Barona Valley, a variety of award-winning dining options, the AmBience Day Spa, a full-service events center and the 18-hole championship Barona Creek Golf Club, rated the 3rd best resort course in California by Golfweek magazine.

For Barona Resort & Casino reservations and information, visit, or call toll free 888-7-BARONA (722-7662).

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