Marian Betancourt wrote The Texas Hill Country Cookbook: A Taste of Provence (Globe Pequot, 2007) with Chef Scott Cohen. She is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, and her writing about food and travel has appeared in many publications including Sante magazine, Irish America, and American Heritage, where she wrote about the Mashantucket Pequot Indians of Connecticut. She has written about many well-known chefs including Daniel Boulud, Bobby Flay, Tom Douglas, Michael Lomonaco, and David Rosengarten. She lives in New York City.
Michael O'Dowd, the award-winning Executive Chef of Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, is devoted to putting a contemporary spin on classical culinary methods with unique plate presentations emphasizing not only freshness and taste, but height, color, and texture. With his extensive working knowledge of cuisine from Catalan to Native American, this chef relishes the challenge of creating what he terms “Native American Cuisine with Global Accents,” which has earned Kai AAA Five Diamonds and Mobil Four Star awards. Previously Chef O'Dowd worked in the finest restaurants in New York as well as prestigious hotels such at The Ritz Carlton, and he has shared the kitchen with Michelin Chefs Gunter Seeger, Boris Keller, and Pierre Orsi. He has been featured widely in the national food and beverage media, and appeared on David Letterman's opening television show. (O'Dowd's other passion is his racecar, which was featured in Modified Luxury and Exotics.) This chef's love of fine food and wine began early, while growing up with a dad who was a top executive for Seagram's.
Jack Strong, Chef de Cuisine, brings a rare combination of Native American heritage and luxury culinary experience to Kai. He has an extensive background incorporating locally grown and indigenous ingredients into high-end and specialty menus. Strong is from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in Oregon and has a long history of using his culinary skills for community involvement. Before coming to Kai, Strong was the sous chef at The Phoenician's Windows on the Green Restaurant in Scottsdale. Working at Kai gives him the opportunity to fulfill his dream of furthering the advancement of Native American cuisine and giving back to the local native community through the resort's programs with Gila Crossing School.