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Rick Dupere Appointed Executive Chef for Aventura, the
Catering Company for the Phoenix Convention Center

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PHOENIX (December 20, 2006) – Aventura, the exclusive catering company for the Phoenix Convention Center, announced today that they have hired an executive chef to lead the catering operation at the convention facility. Chef Rick Dupere, was selected after a national recruitment effort, and joins the convention center from the J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge resort in Phoenix, Ariz.

“We are incredibly pleased to have someone of Rick’s talent and caliber join our team,” said Danielle Lazor, general manager of Aventura. “Rick brings a breadth of culinary experience and a creative flare that will provide our customers with a one-of-a-kind experience.”

As executive chef, Dupere will oversee menu development, culinary design and overall catering management for Aventura’s distinctive food and beverage operation. Aventura, which is an exclusive brand of ARAMARK Convention Centers & Cultural Attractions, offers high-end, personalized catering options for the Phoenix Convention Center’s events. The convention center has had a longstanding, exclusive partnership with ARAMARK and is the only convention facility in the country working with the Aventura luxury brand.

Dupere joins the Phoenix Convention Center after serving as the senior banquet chef at the J.W. Marriott for the past four years where he was responsible for opening the resort and launching its $30 million catering operation. Prior, Dupere served as the restaurant chef for Ritz Carlton’s Bistro 24 in Phoenix and as sous chef for the Ritz Carlton Boston Common where he opened the new property and oversaw the implementation of the property’s food and beverage program.

“Having an executive chef with Rick’s talent and experience at the Convention Center reinforces our commitment to providing guests with a unique, customer-focused experience that sets us apart from any other facility in the country,” said Jay Green, director of the Phoenix Convention Center. “I can’t imagine a more memorable experience than enjoying a five-star meal, prepared by one of the top chefs in the country, in the beautiful, new Phoenix Convention Center.”

Dupere’s experience in working in and opening new facilities will be put to good use as the Phoenix Convention Center continues its two-phase, $600 million expansion project that started in 2003 and will nearly triple the convention center’s event space. Phase One was completed with the opening of the new West Building in July, and Phase Two, which is set to open in January 2009, will bring the convention center’s total event space to nearly 900,000 sq. ft.
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One of the unique design elements of the new facility will be the North Building’s tasting room. This tastefully decorated room with high-end furnishings will offer meeting planners and guests an intimate dining area to experience the convention center’s culinary and service capabilities. The tasting room will provide an elegant setting to showcase the wide selection of menu items, comprehensive wine list, and range of china, linens and centerpieces offered at the convention center. In addition, the North Building will feature three outdoor event patios that will allow guests to take advantage of Arizona’s favorable weather.

“We are truly setting a new standard with regard to convention space and amenities offered to meeting planners and convention groups,” said Green. “Not only do we offer guests an exceptional setting that gives visitors a taste of Arizona, but with our matchless architectural design, top-of-theline event technologies and Aventura’s innovative culinary offerings, we are leading a new class of convention facilities.”

About ARAMARK:
Through its Sports and Entertainment Group, ARAMARK provides a wide range of professional services, including food, facility and other support services to over 50 convention centers, museums, zoos and science centers across the country. ARAMARK offers organizations a single source provider for concessions, event planning, premium dining needs and catering, on-site restaurants, retail merchandise sales and facilities management. For more information about Aventura, visit www.aventuracatering.com.

About the Phoenix Convention Center Expansion:
The $600 million expansion of the Phoenix Convention Center is a cooperative effort between the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona that will triple the size of the current facility and feature approximately 900,000 square feet of rentable space. The project is being built in phases; Phase One which opened in July 2006 and Phase Two opening in January 2009 – both offering four new levels of convention center facilities. During the expansion, the existing South Building will be established as a separate, self-contained building with interior upgrades. For more information visit: www.phoenixconventioncenter.com.

Contact:

Paul Peterson
Phoenix Convention Center
Ph. 602-534-7633
paul.peterson@phoenix.gov
www.phoenixconventioncenter.com

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Also See: Trade Shows, Convention Centers Going Green; Recycling Stations, Organic Food, Hemp Drapes, Natural Light / Sandi Cain and Darlene Gudea / August 2006
City of Phoenix to Move Forward with $600 Million Civic Plaza Expansion Project; Downtown Facility Will Expand from 302,000 square feet to 940,000 / June 2003
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