Using all five senses and only the freshest, best ingredients, Executive Chef Russell Michel at Canyon Ranch Tucson creates culinary delights and surprises that nourish guests in body and spirit. Prior to coming to Canyon Ranch, Chef Russell was Iron Chef of Sacramento and he hosted a TV segment called “Ask a Chef,” promoting wellness as well as taste. He embraces the Ranch philosophy of moderation, not deprivation, using natural ingredients that satisfy the appetite.
WHAT MAKES YOU A CANYON RANCH “WELLNESS ARCHITECT”?
I’m passionate about creating cuisine designed to feed the body, mind and spirit with purposeful intent. It’s my goal to inspire our guests to feel their best and foster positive energy which transcends through our amazing team who prepares the nutritionally balanced culinary expressions.
DO YOU HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE?
I enjoy waking up to the rising sun, saying good morning to my family and cherishing moments together as we begin a new day. I prepare lunch for us in the morning and feed my boys.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CANYON RANCH PHILOSOPHY FOR YOU IN YOUR BUSY LIFE?
Food is our fuel. We have many choices in life, and I choose to eat well each day as I practice what I preach. I aim to share that philosophy with our guests, fellow colleagues and family every day of my life.
HOW DO YOU BUILD IT INTO YOUR DAILY ACTIVITIES?
I practice what I emotionally and spiritually connect with, listening to my body, mind and spirit to help guide me through this incredible journey. I aim to remain present and focused on my purpose to help others. As I continue to research and design the new cuisine for Canyon Ranch, I elevate my awareness to better serve our guests’ wellness goals and enhance my colleagues’ development.
HOW DO YOU TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF AND UNPLUG FROM WORK?
This is the most difficult task as I feel my work is never done. That said, one of the most valuable offerings at Canyon Ranch is our holistic approach on wellness. My intent is to learn to unplug and take time for myself.
HOW DO YOU RECHARGE?
I love to exercise at the gym. Our founding father, Mel Zuckerman, said, “Change lives at Canyon Ranch and Canyon Ranch changes lives.” Drop the mic!
DO YOU FEEL A DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU TAKE TIME AWAY FROM STRESS?
The best “vacation” is when I take time to better understand what makes me tick. I’m working at Canyon Ranch because I believe in what we offer.