Chef Albert Hall called this week with an update on the various projects he and his wife, Lila Yamashiro, have going on around town.
Hall says he’s hired Odell Baskerville to be the executive chef at Acacia at St. Philip’s. Baskerville is an instructor at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Tucson. He was executive chef at the Arizona Inn for a decade before that.
“If you don’t re-create yourself every five or six years, people get tired of it,” said Hall, noting that Acacia opened six years ago. He said a new menu with a “fresher and more-local approach than what we’ve done in the past” will debut in October.
Hall is also taking over the Gardens Café at the Tucson Botanical Gardens on Wednesday, Sept. 15. The new menu there will feature artisan sandwiches, salads, quesadillas, loads of organic options, specialty teas, ice cream and other items. He and his wife (who co-owns and co-operates the businesses with Hall) are currently working on the menu.
Also in the works is an organic juice bar at the Marketplace at Acacia. Hall didn’t know when it was expected to open, but said he'll hold organic-juice tastings there when it does.
Hall and Yamashiro also head up operations at the Tohono Chul Tea Room at Tohono Chul Park.