Star-Studded Lunch & Learn at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
When Mrs. Roaming Boomers (Carol) gets the opportunity to learn a few cooking techniques from world-renowned chefs, she is very quick to jump at the occasion.
On Saturday, we were invited by the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain to attend their popular Lunch & Learn weekend series led by Executive Chef Beau MacMillan of Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef fame, along with celebrity guest chef Mel Mecinas, the 14-year veteran chef at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale.
Around 100 adoring fans packed The Views Ballroom at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain where Iron Chef Beau MacMillan presided over the festive atmosphere as he introduced Chef Mel Mecinas with a short video highlighting Chef Mels impressive accomplishments in the culinary world, which included a commission to cook for Julia Child’s 90th birthday celebration.
After introductions, and thunderous applause, Chef Mel took the cooking stage to demonstrate the preparation involved in our three-course meal which included Sautéed Mexican Prawn (squash blossom empanada, mole oaxaqueno), Honey-Cilantro Glazed Sea Bass ( wrapped in banana leaves w/ heirloom tomatoes, three melon salsa), and Peach Horchata Sorbet (mexzcal syrup).
Everything was out of this world, but the Honey-Cilantro Glazed Sea Bass was the real standout for me. As Chef Beau said, “it’s like eating butta”.
Sautéed Mexican Prawn
Honey-Cilantro Glazed Sea Bass
Peach Horchata Sorbet
This was the second installment of the Lunch & Learn weekend series with nine more star-studded culinary stars to go! Here’s the coming lineup:
July 27: Kelly Fletcher, Executive Chef at the award-winning House of Tricks restaurant in Tempe, Ariz. Fletcher infuses traditional flavors of Spain, Asia, France, Mexico and the Southwest to create culinary intrigue through imagination and passion.
July 28: Lee Hillson, Executive Chef of T. Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort & Spa in Phoenix, who competed on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and has created meals for President George W. Bush, Barbra Streisand, Princess Diana and Billy Joel. Hillson will be joined by Charles Kassels, Executive Chef of Paradise Valley’s El Chorro Lodge, who has cooked for high-profile events including The Winston Cup NASCAR Race in Phoenix. Hillson and Kassels will be joined by Chef Beau MacMillan for this special event.
Aug. 3: Jeremy Pacheco, Executive Chef at LON’s at The Hermosa Inn in Scottsdale, where he also oversees the restaurant’s half-acre seasonal garden which serves as a natural training ground for his culinary staff. Pacheco will be joined by award-winning chef on the Boston scene, Gerald Tice.
Aug. 4: Gerald Tice, Executive Chef of Parker’s Restaurant in Boston’s Omni Parker House Hotel, who has served the likes of President George Bush, Sr., former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Prince Albert of Monaco.
Aug. 11: Bruce Seidel, CEO of HUNGRY, a new food channel on YouTube.com. Seidel will be joined by Sandy Pollock and Crystal Cook, also known as the Casserole Queens. Best friends whose delicious cooking goes far beyond casseroles, there’s nothing retro about these women except for their stylish vintage outfits! Sandy and Crystal’s recipes are modern classics with a twist, perfect for Sunday Suppers and easy entertaining.
Aug. 17: Gregory Wiener, Executive Chef of Top of the Rock, the signature restaurant at The Buttes, a Marriott Resort in Tempe, Ariz. Wiener brings 19 years of experience, a unique style of European, Mediterranean, and regional American cuisine, and awe-inspiring passion to his guests.
Aug. 18: Kevin Binkley, recent nominee for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Southwest” award and Chef and owner of Arizona’s award-winning Binkley’s Restaurant in Cave Creek and Café Bink in Carefree.
Aug. 24: Shinji Kurita, Executive Chef of ShinBay, a contemporary Japanese eatery. ShinBay was nominated for “Best New Restaurant” in 2012 by The James Beard Foundation. Kurita will be joined by Chicago’s famed Chef Danny Grant.
Aug. 25: Danny Grant, Executive Chef of RIA restaurant at The Waldorf Astoria Chicago and named one of Food & Wine’s 2012 “Best New Chefs.
To reserve your spot for one of these wonderful culinary events, click here.
Disclosure: our wonderful experience was hosted by the fine folks at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain.