Executive chef, Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage
A native of Los Angeles, Juan Morales’ fondest childhood memories center around family dinners and cooking with his mother — watching the passion and attention she gave to each item she prepared. She instilled that passion and drive into Morales, which drove him to work with some talented chefs throughout his 20-year career. Morales, who now serves as the executive chef at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa Rancho Mirage, began his culinary journey as a chef with the Patina Group, where he learned from well-known chefs Joachim Splichal and Octavio Becerra.
Following Patina, he ventured to Las Vegas and Green Valley Ranch, where he utilized his knowledge of the culinary industry to work with amazing teams. He brought new and exciting flavors and food concepts such as Kobe and Japanese A5 beef to various restaurants, one of which was rated a top 10 steakhouse in Las Vegas. As he learned that a good chef seeks out the guest’s initial response to a dish, he quickly became accustomed to adjusting and improving flavor profiles based on these reactions. Morales prefers to use only the freshest produce and proteins, and there’s no better place to do that than right here in California. He is now working to further establish that concept at Agua Caliente.
Morales studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Pasadena, California. On the weekends, you can find him in the snow skiing, snowboarding, or hiking.
You can find Juan Morales during the Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival 2023 at:
Sunday Grand Tastings Featuring Curtis Stone