Lee del Real's Perfect Food Day
Lee del Real grew up in Arcadia near Camelback Mountain. This probably explains her deep love of hiking and "all sorts of outdoor things" -- canoeing, camping, skiing and "just exploring this beautiful state." She's also a forager and has picked wild raspberries on the Mogollian Rim.
Photo courtesy Lee del Real
She's a relatively new hospitality industry professional. After business school at ASU and working for a property management company, she wanted to figure out how to get out of the office and find a way to free up her mornings for more hiking time.
Her boyfriend, Aaron Chamberlin, is a chef and owns St. Francis. She's recently started working the front of the house and loves it. We got to meet her briefly during Chef Chamberlin's Summer cooking class at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market and she had some stellar restaurant suggestions for the guests. We wanted to pick her brain a bit more. So, we asked her to share her perfect food day.
Here it is:
Breakfast: There are two things I must have right when I wake up. One is cup of Cartel Coffee Lab coffee, brewed on my 8 cup Chemex. The other is something chock full of vitamins and minerals with just the perfect balance of protein and complex carbs. They keep telling me that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I have listened. Breakfast is like a science experiment in my house, I even go as far as drinking raw Spirulina. I just got a Breville juicer a couple months ago and I have not since gone a day without juicing. So this perfect morning it is going to be my favorite juice blend of of kale, spinach, orange, celery, ginger and lemon. This green monster provides a rush of sustained energy all day. You juicing skeptics out there have got to try it. All those juicers out there know just what I am talking about, it is addicting. All this juice and spirulina, and I am off to my morning hike.
Lunch: I was debating whether or not to include St. Francis as one of my favorite spots to eat. I do admit that I have particularly close ties to this restaurant. Some might say I am partial to St. Francis because of this. But in all honesty, I really can't get enough of this place. To leave St. Francis out of my perfect food day would only be a lie unto myself. I love St. Francis, I would eat there every day. Even on my days off I want to eat there. I want to have my birthday there, Thanksgiving there, and happy hour there. So on my perfect food day I am going to take a visit to my beloved St. Francis. My favorite thing of the moment is their kale and brussels sprouts salad with sunflower seeds, alfalfa sprouts, croutons, parmesan and a whipped honey zinfandel dressing. This thing is a beast, it is totally filling. Every bite is as perfect as the last. Even though I am full I am still going to have a roasted salmon "superfood" with quinoa, avocado, soy beans, radish and sweet chile vinaigrette. So light and healthy, this is my favorite salmon dish around. Mmmmm I crave it every time I see it pass me by on a Friday night.
14 E. Pierce St., Phoenix, AZ