Chef Paco Aceves has left his mark at two fine dining spots in West Virginia and now his work calls him out West.
Aceves, currently executive chef at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, began his West Virginia career at the Bridge Road Bistro. Today is his last day at Stonewall.
Benchmark Hospitality, which operates Stonewall and numerous other resorts around the country, invited him to interview for a job at Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa in Moab, Utah.
The draw: "Southwestern cuisine," said Aceves, a native of New Mexico.
It doesn't hurt that the exclusive, 55-room resort is located on the banks of the Colorado River, surrounded by famous Utah sites such as its arches, red rock cliff, mesas and mountain buttes. Aceves makes the move next week and starts his new job March 5.
His 7-year-old daughter is thrilled to move, and his wife, a native of Buckhannon, is looking forward to the climate.
"She's going to live in a place that has less than 12 inches of precipitation a year - and that includes snowfall," Aceves said.
A graduate of New York's Culinary Institute of America, Aceves worked in Texas, New Mexico and Ohio before coming to West Virginia.
At Stonewall, Aceves grew into a position where he was the "go-to" guy for a staff.