Top Chef competitor Angelo Sosa has taken the culinary experience to a new level. Gaining his status working with Jean-Georges Vongerichten and cooking with Alain Ducasse. He has not only launched multiple restaurants that include Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen and Mexican cantina Abajo and Death by Tequila, and has also released two cookbooks.

(Photo Credit: JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa)

His latest endeavor is perhaps his greatest. In collaboration with seasoned restaurant operator Mark Stone he is opening a new restaurant at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa named after his Dominican Aunt Tía Carmen. She represents that person in all of our lives that inspired our soul to follow our hearts and dreams. He has been working on the project for a year and a half and is on site daily to be sure that the passion is represented in all aspects of the project from the details of the architecture to the herbs they are growing onsite garden.

Lamb Ragu with Mesquite Noodles (Photo Credit: JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa)

The initial work began in 2020 where the passionate team of designers and architects were defining the beautiful restaurant on zoom calls. Chef Angelo has been discovering the magic of the Southwest during this time and has become fascinated by the microclimates that Arizona has to offer and has found a way to incorporate the best that Arizona has to offer as he works with a local Native American tribe and an onsite garden to gather the ingredients of his masterpieces.

Tuna Crudo and Corn Coconut Broth (Photo Credit: JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa)

His childhood experiences growing up in a humble country town in Connecticut are what he attributes to his life lessons about work ethic and how to work with the land for your meals. His aunt “Tia” Carmen helped to teach him the great lessons that furthered his life path and showed him the passion and power that he harnessed within. He compared her lessons to those of the Five Love Languages with a sixth for him being food. He learned how to transcend and move people through a culinary experience and the necessary components of servitude and humility.

(Photo Credit: JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa)

The restaurant nearing completion is an architectural juxtaposition with a monolithic feel. The details from the high ceilings, the texture in the walls, the curvature in the archways and the incredible fixtures transports you to another world and reminds you of how small you are in the scheme of the world.

Tia Carmen’s is scheduled to open early April at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa. To book a reservation to try this contemporary southwestern cuisine visit

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