Ghost Ranch Modern Southwest Cuisine Welcomes New Team for 2021 Reopening
By Lisa Padilla -
Monday Jan 04, 2021
Ghost Ranch Southwest Modern Cuisine is excited to announce a new team, both on the management and cuisine sides, who will reopen the restaurant on January 11. The popular eatery, located at 8749 S. Rural Rd., Tempe, closed in July due to COVID-19.
David Mora will lead Ghost Ranch’s kitchen as executive chef. Born in Colombia and raised in Florida, Mora began his culinary career in Miami, where he fell in love with the diversity and the ever-expanding U.S. food world. He comes to Ghost Ranch after stints at Copa Café in Flagstaff, Mariposa in Sedona, and The Boulders, where he served as sous chef at Palo Verde and chef de cuisine at the Spotted Donkey. He lives in Chandler with his wife, a pastry chef specializing in savage tarts and freak shakes, and his stepdaughter, a budding violinist.
When he’s not cooking ribeye with Argentinian chimichurri, green chile enchiladas, and the perfectly cooked egg, he enjoys hiking, seeking out great hot springs, and foraging for local mushrooms.
“I’ve spent more than a decade exploring the complexity of southwest cuisine and I am thrilled to bring what I’ve learned to Ghost Ranch,” Mora said. “I know the restaurant has quickly become a staple in the Tempe community and I hope to continue serving the area authentic dishes with innovative twists.”
New sous chef Tyler Moonsoo holds more than 15 years of experience providing quality service in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry, including restaurants and resorts like The Boulders, Ah-So Sushi and Steak, Obon Sushi and Ramen with, and Wrights Kitchen at Waldorf Astoria. Moonsoo will assist Mora with the development and execution of dishes that highlight quality ingredients native to the southwest.
Lisa Graf completes the kitchen leadership team as pastry chef. A native of southern Colorado, Graf embarked on her first culinary adventures as a teenager, backpacking and eating her way across Europe. These travels inspired her to pursue a career as a pastry chef, and after relocating to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the early 2000s, she honed her skills as part of an esteemed local culinary arts program, earning her pâtissier certificate in 2006. She launched her career running the pastry programs at two James Beard Foundation-recognized restaurants, La Boca and the Compound. In the ensuing years, she worked in the kitchens of Mama’s Fish House in Maui and Scottsdale’s Roka Akor and Hotel Valley Ho. She takes inspiration from travels, mentors, and family. She loves working with local and seasonal ingredients to create one-of-a-kind desserts with Southwestern flair.
Mora, Moonsoo and Graf will be introducing a variety of new items to the restaurant’s menu, including Pastel de Elote and Cocoflan.
On the administration side, Ashleh Robles joins Ghost Ranch as the new general manager. Born and raised in Tempe, Robles began her career in the hospitality industry when she was 17, and she has dedicated her career to customer enjoyment and satisfaction. With a background in psychology, she worked in finance and event planning and spent more than a decade in several roles in high-end lounge, club and bar settings in the greater Phoenix area. As general manager for Ghost Ranch, she creates cocktail specials and pairings as well as holiday menus, and her attention to detail and superior multitasking skills result in flawless front-of-house operations. Her goal has always been to provide guests with outstanding experiences that offer variety, novelty, and an opportunity to expand their interest in local foods and flavors. In her free time, Robles enjoys discovering and foraging for wild foods while off-roading and traveling throughout Arizona. She loves the Ghost Ranch Cowboy Steak washed down with a strong sturdy IPA!
For more information visit www.ghostranchaz.com
Reflecting the multicultural history of the region, Ghost Ranch dishes embody the spirit and possibility of the Wild West with hearty cowboy steaks, smoky rancho beans, larger-than-life taco platters and legendary bowls of green chile stew. Ghost Ranch honors the history of Arizona by offering guests exceptional hospitality in a setting inspired by the iconic red rocks and beauty of the desert.
Contributed by Ivana Morales
Pictured from left to right: David Mora, Lisa Graff, Tyler Moonsoo, Ashleh Robles