by Kaylee Hultgren | February 01, 2008

Thomas "Mac" Gregory“I like to look at past successes and translate that framework into the present.”

Thomas “Mac” Gregory is the new food and beverage director at the 468-room Phoenician, a 250-acre resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., which features nine restaurants, a 27-hole golf course and a spa complex. Gregory is a certified sommelier and a published, oft-quoted mixologist. Previously, he ran F&B at the 654-room Hyatt Regency Orange County at Disneyland Resort in Garden Grove, Calif.

What first inspired you to get involved in the food and beverage business? One summer internship at Club Med, and I fell in love with the industry. I’m not a cubicle kind of guy, so I really enjoyed involving my business sense in this manner.

Will you use some of the drinks you’ve invented? Yes, to some extent. But I strongly feel that each destination should tell its own story, so my past creations don’t always make sense for my new environment. I will develop a whole new set of cocktails that tell the Phoenician story.

What is your approach to F&B? I try not to reinvent the wheel with wildly extreme food and beverage items. Instead, I like to look at past successes and translate that framework into the present. I believe things work in cycles, and what was a success in the past will be again.

What is your favorite aspect of the job? Every day is a different experience. Being innovative and having people enjoy what I have literally brought to the table is very satisfying. It’s fun making people happy and seeing them take pleasure in the moment.