At Casino Del Sol, we’re extremely proud of the culinary artisans who create the magic in our many -restaurant kitchens. Each chef is a renowned and accomplished master of his or her craft. Together, they make the award-winning dining experience at The Sol of Tucson a world-class event for each of our guests.
Chef Ryan Clark - Casino Del Sol
Tucson native and Casino Del Sol Executive Chef, Ryan Clark has a wealth of experience in the food and beverage industry. He graduated top of his class at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, and was named one of the Top Sixteen Junior Chefs in the U.S. by the American Culinary Foundation. Clark has been nominated for Tucson Weekly’s Best Chef and holds the rare distinction of being named Iron Chef Tucson for three consecutive years. Chef Clark has also been nominated by Food and Wine Magazine as one of the Best New Chefs in the Southwest. He’s a Certified Executive Chef and member of the American Culinary Federation. Chef Clark is the author of Modern Southwest Cooking, a cookbook that showcases his passion for regional cooking and local ingredients.
Chef David Salazar - Executive Sous Chef
Chef de Cuisine
A Pascua Yaqui Tribal member, Chef Salazar has 15 years of experience in the kitchen. He worked his way up from a dishwasher to running his own kitchen as Chef de Cuisine and is now an Executive Sous Chef. He credits his development to the Food and Beverage Tribal Development Program at Casino Del Sol. Chef Salazar is also a proud member of the American Culinary Federation.
Chef Salazar says, “I have worked under many great chefs that have groomed me for my current position. My vision is to not be afraid to make a mistake; the mistake is not attempting.”
Chef Roderick Le Desma - Executive Sous Chef
Executive Sous Chef
Chef Le Desma started working in restaurants at age 16. However, his love for cooking developed early on when his mother taught him to cook at a young age. Growing up on old cooking shows and cookbooks, he found himself constantly in the kitchen. He attended the University of Arizona, thinking going to college was what he was “supposed to do”, but never felt like it was right for him. He left to attend the Art institute of Tucson, during which time he started working at Primo at the JW Marriott Starr Pass. Quickly moving up the ranks, he was asked by James Beard award-winning Chef Melissa Kelly, to join the team at Primo in Rockland, Maine. After his experience there, he returned to Tucson, taking over as Chef de Cuisine back at the Primo, JW Marriott. After three years at the helm of the kitchen there, he joined the team at Casino Del Sol as Chef de Cuisine of PY Steakhouse and was recently promoted to Executive Sous Chef. Chef Roderick now assists in overseeing all 16 Food and Beverage outlets casino wide.
PY Steakhouse Chef de Cuisine Roderick LeDesma Wins Knife Fight 2018 >>
Chef Eliana Hernandez, PY Steakhouse Chef de Cuisine
Chef de Cuisine
Chef Eliana Hernandez has been in the culinary industry for over 10 years. She started as a dishwasher at the renowned West Hollywood Restaurant, Lucques. After just 3 short months she began working all of the stations in the kitchen and eventually worked her way up to be the Sous Chef. During her time with the Lucques Group, working with her mentor Chef Suzanne Goin, she was moved throughout the company to assist in the opening of many new restaurant concepts. Chef Hernandez was ready for a new challenge after many years of creating dishes that were focused on seasonal and rustic California cuisine. Following her dreams she joined the team of Jean-Georges Beverly Hills at the Waldorf Astoria. Working under an award winning Michelin Starred Chef was always a goal of hers throughout her career. During her time there she was offered a great opportunity which brought her to beautiful Tucson, Arizona. “Things didn’t happen as planned, leading me to work in a few of the iconic restaurants here in Tucson. Along the way I’ve met many amazing Chefs and am very happy to be a part of the culinary scene here in southern Arizona.” Chef Eliana Hernandez joined the Casino Del Sol Team as the Chef de Cuisine of PY Steakhouse in early 2022. “I’m very excited to add my touches to the menu that offer our guests that special one-of-a-kind Tucson steakhouse experience.”
Chef Robert Caldas - Bellissimo
Chef de Cuisine
Chef Robert Caldas has been working in kitchens since the age of 18. His Passion from cooking came from his grandfather who worked as a Chef in downtown Miami. Chef Robert attended the Art institute of Tucson where he started working at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain to learn the heart of hospitality. Soon After graduating with an Associates in Culinary Arts, he moved to Las Vegas Nevada to work on the strip. Working at 5 star resorts such as the Wynn and Bellagio. After 8 years of working on the strip he decided to move back to Tucson to be with his family and join the team at Casino Del Sol as Chef de Cuisine of Bellissimo.
Chef Chris Wilson - Festa Buffet
Chef de Cuisine
Chef de Cuisine Chris Wilson has lived in Tucson for 39 years. He has 30 years of experience in cooking and has worked at many of the resorts in the Tucson area, as well as the Scottsdale Princess Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Chef Wilson is a graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and is a member of the Chaine de Rotisseurs. Chef Wilson opened the Tequila Factory in 2003 and ran the Bellisimo Restaurant until 2007. He has been the Chef de Cuisine at Festa International Buffet in Casino Del Sol since 2003.
Chef Wilson credits his mother’s adventurous style in cooking for sparking his interest in the Culinary Arts. He says, “Being a Chef allows me to express my creativity, and I love to see the look on people’s faces when they enjoy the food I have made for them.”
Chef Jesus Cayeros, Banquet Chef
Chef Jesus Cayeros is a native of Sonora(Mexico). He graduated from the Le Cordon Bleu College of Arts in Scottsdale Arizona. His culinary career highlights opening and managing many great restaurants throughout Arizona. Most recently he was the Executive Chef of such programs as 47 Scott(Tucson, AZ) and the award-winning New American restaurant SALT Restaurant(Pinetop, AZ). His culinary philosophy stems from his a combination of training, education and family heritage.
Chef Iris Hernandez - Streetscape Deli
Chef de Cuisine
Chef Hernandez has more than 17 years of experience in the culinary industry. She started working at the Tequila Factory at Casino Del Sol in 2009. As Streetscape Deli Chef de Cuisine, she specializes in creating great sandwiches, salads, and much more. Chef Hernandez is currently a member of the American Culinary Federation.