Barona executive Jim Phillips

Barona Resort & Casino’s Executive Chef Jim Phillips has been honored with the coveted Gold Medallion Award as “Chef of the Year” by the California Restaurant Association, San Diego Chapter. Phillips oversees six award-winning restaurants, several casual eateries and special events catering at the Lakeside, Calif., property, managing more than 400 staff members. He has 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. He also 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. Phillips is apprentice chairman of the American Culinary Federation Chefs and Culinarians of San Diego and serves as treasurer of Chef Celebration, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships for emerging local culinary talent.