Three Chefs and A Whole Lot of Peas at Sanctuary's Saturday Night Lunch & Learn Dinner
This past Saturday, local celebrity and executive chef at Elements restaurant, Beau MacMillan, and the Sanctuary Resort & Spa hosted the sixth installment of their annual Lunch & Learn dining series -- and they were nice enough to invite us to join in the fun and experience this awesome summer event.
If you don't know anything about the Lunch & Learn series, here's a little background: Sanctuary came up with the idea 11 years ago to help stay busy during the slow, muggy months of July and August. It's a cool event that brings local and national chefs out to demo their skills and feed people great dishes paired with tasty adult beverages. The first event drew all of ten people but they continued with the program and turned it into a (more often than not) sell out.
This past Saturday, Beau Mac invited local chefs Lee Hillson, executive chef at Royal Palms' T. Cooks, and Charles Kassels, executive chef of Paradise Valley's historic El Chorro Lodge. The menu was kept secret until a couple days before the event so most of the guest were a tad surprised that the main ingredient of the evening was none other than the tiny green veggie that haunted most of our childhoods -- the pea.
Once the almost sold out crowd had downed a couple glasses of champagne and started munching on buttery, seasoned popcorn, they all seemed to forget about the fact that they were going to be dining on three-courses of a most hated veggie and the questioning sighs of "Peas?" turned into lively conversation as the crowd waited for the chefs to take the stage.
And when they finally made it to the Sub Zero/Wolf demo kitchen and started talking about their key ingredient of the night those sighs turned into anticipation (and hunger pains) as we all watched Chef Kassels sear thick pieces of Alaskan salmon; Chef Hillson make homemade raviolis stuffed with a pea and goat cheese puree; and Beau Mac describe his bacon miso broth with pea custard.
Ryan Jones The trio of chefs hard at work with a few bottles of Stella in the demo kitchen.
5700 E. McDonald Drive, Paradise Valley, AZ