MARICOPA — Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club has a new executive chef.

Don Stansell has been hired to oversee menu creation, food preparation, service and catering at the club’s popular Arroyo Grille restaurant, according to a press release from the club.

Stansell has more than 25 years of culinary experience, having first developed his cooking skills while serving in the Navy from 1994 to 2002. While serving as a culinary specialist in the Navy, Stansell traveled the world, expanding his food knowledge and palate at stops in Thailand, Greece, Italy, Spain, Hawaii and Australia, according to the press release.

Stansell graduated from Le Cordon Bleu culinary and hospitality school in Pasadena, California, and later trained as a saucier chef at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Oklahoma.

Stansell’s golf club experience includes a five-year stretch at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa as well as serving as the executive chef at Two Brothers Tap House and Brewery in Scottsdale.

“I am humbled and honored to join the team at the Arroyo Grille at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club,” said Stansell. “The opportunity to work for the Ak-Chin Indian Community and Troon Golf is very exciting for both me and my family. I look forward to bringing taste-of-the-world flavors to our guests of the Arroyo Grille. I am passionate about providing casual yet upscale country club fare with a Mediterranean and Southwestern flare.”

Stansell was hired after a nationwide search, said Ak-Chin Southern Dunes General Manager Brady Wilson.

“We are excited to see the fresh eyes he will bring to our menus, wine dinners and events and as with all of our veterans, we collectively thank Don for his service to our country,” Wilson said.

For more information on Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club or the Arroyo Grille, visit www.akchinsoutherndunes.com.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.

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