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Kenneth Arneson (“Chef Ken”) is a fourth generation Chef whose career started when aprenticed under CMC David Callaway and Chef Bruce Fry in the early 90′s. He honed his skills at Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. He joined the team at Cruise West as Corporate Chef and went on to open the House of Blues in Anaheim, Calif., Shady Canyon Golf Club in Irvine, Calif., Seattle’s Circa Restaurant, and Matisse Restaurant inside the Ayres Hotel at Manhattan Beach, Calif.  Chef Ken also served as the executive chef at the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort and Casino.

Chef Ken is now at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak where he redesigned the restaurant menus, switching the resort’s pool-side restaurant from a Cowboy steakhouse to a smokehouse BBQ. Chef Arneson also brought to Rico’s American Grill, a focus on sustainability, creating a new green initiative for the restaurant.

All that training paid off, Chef Arneson has received awards including first place at the 2009 Challenge to the Chefs and 2007′s Best Chef’s of the West. Chef Ken also enjoys philanthropic work and says, “giving back to the community is where the culinary arts truly begin.” He is involved with local charities such as SOS Taste of the Nations, St. Mary’s food bank and Gourmet for Good.

We asked Chef Arneson to share a recipe he felt exemplified Summer. He offered his BBQ Chicken Salad and told us that “Summer evenings are the perfect time to get outside and use the grill. These summer salads are a great light dinner that utilize the flavorful tastes of grilled meats. The BBQ Chicken Salad and Smoked Brisket Salad are both hearty and healthy dishes that are perfect for any summer dinner. The crispy greens, fresh and colorful vegetables and the smoky, grilled flavors of the meat, combined with the tanginess of the BBQ, poblano dressing in the BBQ Chicken Salad and the black bean salsa and horseradish dressing in the Smoked Brisket Salad create divine flavors. Both are easy to make and don’t require extensive cooking, so at-home chefs don’t have to heat up the oven inside, just spend a little time at the grill by the pool.”

BBQ Chicken Salad


  • 3 ounces of chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of BBQ sauce
  • 3 cups shredded romaine
  • 3 cups iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup diced cucumbers
  • ½ cup of dressing (recommended: roasted poblano pepper dressing)
  • Fried shoe-string potatoes


  1. Mix romaine and iceberg lettuce in bowl
  2. Add tomatoes, onions, cucumbers to lettuce mixture
  3. Add dressing to mixture of vegetables
  4. Drizzle roasted poblano pepper dressing and toss to cover lettuce with dressing
  5. Grill chicken breasts
  6. Slice chicken into strips
  7. Coat sliced chicken with BBQ sauce
  8. Top salad with chicken
  9. Top with shoestring potatoes

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort’s Spanish-Mediterranean design makes for a lovely vacation spot at the base of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. Phoenix’s gorgeous weather means the resort has acres of refreshing pools for you to enjoy.

Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort is located at 7677 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020, United States

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