Yulissa Acosta named Chef de Cuisine at Hearth ’61

Rising through the ranks can be the most satisfying and rewarding ways to earn a promotion. That’s how Yulissa Acosta earned her new title as Chef de Cuisine at Mountain Shadows Resort’s signature restaurant Hearth ’61. Acosta was part of the opening team at restaurant as a cook when it opened in 2017. Always looking to improve her culinary skills and with her culinary knowledge she was promoted to Sous Chef in 2018.

“We are delighted to have Chef Yulissa Acosta take the reins of our beloved Hearth ‘61 restaurant in her new role,” said Vice President & General Manager Andrew Chippindall. “With her unique culinary flare and working alongside Executive Chef Charles Wiley and Executive Sous Chef Alfred Muro, Chef Acosta will be the perfect person to continue elevating our cuisine by highlighting the best local ingredients.”

The Nogales Mexico born and Phoenix raised Acosta realized her passion for cooking in high school and was awarded a scholarship to Scottsdale’s Classic Cooking Academy upon graduation. From there she worked at Bink’s Midtown and Mirabel Golf Club before joining Hearth ’61.

Part of her new role is menu development and she will use her roots and love of Mexican-American & Southwestern cuisines and incorporate classic French cooking skills to the menu. She recently debuted Duroc Farm’s Pork Chop with Jacob bean ragu and black pepper glaze as well as the Two Wash Ranch Chicken Roulade with barley risotto, romanesco, and natural jus to the menu. She will also continue to follow the culinary standards set by Chefs Wiley and Muro.

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Chef Angelo Sosa to open Tía Carmen at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort

Early April will see the debut of Tía Carmen, a contemporary Southwestern cuisine restaurant from Bravo’s “Top Chef” and HBO Max’s “Selena + Chef” Angelo Sosa. He and seasoned restaurateur Mark Stone’s new signature restaurant at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort is named the after Sosa’s aunt. Chef Sosa learned alongside chefs Jean-George Vongerichten, Alain Ducasse, Stephen Starr and Masaharu Morimoto before opening his Michelin recommended Añejo Restaurant, a Mexican hotspot in New York City.

“Throughout my life, my Tía Carmen instilled in me a passion and love for cooking, teaching me the impact and the power that food can have when made from a place of pure love,” said Chef Sosa. “The discovery of traveling through the Southwest gave me the opportunity to explore the region through the lens of ranchers, potters, farmers, and artisans. I have always had a deep fascination and appreciation for Southwestern food traditions. It has been an honor and privilege to be able to contribute to this beautiful and rich culinary narrative.”

The menu from Chef Angelo Sosa

Serving dinner, Tía Carmen’s dishes will be made with regional ingredients from local purveyors prepared in a wood-fired grill. The menu will be written in three sections, light + fresh, maize + harina, and charcoal + wood + fire. Chef Angelo Rosa’s signature dishes will include Tuna Crudo with chilled corn coconut broth accented with jicama and garnished with dill; Southwestern style tri-tip kebabs garnished with Thai Basil, cilantro, pickles, and serrano chilis; Lamb Ragu with mesquite noodles; and Tía Carmen’s Chicken Guisado, a stew made with succulent pieces of thigh meat and seasoned with a mélange of cumin, annatto, arbol, and oregano.

Mitchel O. Bushell is creating a cocktail program emphasizing local herbs & spices, distilleries and ingredients for house made syrups and juices. Many of the cocktails will be prepared with artisanal agave spirits. The wine program is being curated by former Morimoto Restaurant Group’s Eduardo Dingler. Emphasis will be on wines from Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe and other west coast wineries and emerging wineries in Europe.

The 130 seat restaurant is designed by Thomas Schoos and his L.A. based hospitality design firm Schoos Design. The “Earth meets Art” theme offers a clean and warm ambiance with natural forms from the local landscape. Plateware and the Southwestern tablescape from Phoenix’s Blue Door Ceramics was made exclusively for Tía Carmen. For more information and to stay up to date about the opening follow @TiaCarmen.Phx on Instagram.

Carcara Restaurant to offer Native American & Sonoran inspired cuisine

Finishing touches are being put on the yearlong renovation at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown and will culminate with the opening of its new signature restaurant in September, Carcara. Executive Chef Chaz Frankefield has been tapped to oversee the new restaurant that will offer locally sourced ingredients for its Southwestern inspired menu.

The 7,000 square foot restaurant includes a 2,000 square foot patio that will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and hand crafted cocktails. Chef Frankenfield’s menu will include dishes such as prosciutto wrapped seared sea scallops served alongside Ramona Farms red corn polenta, wilted spinach and tangerine cranberry sauce or beef ribeye with roasted fingerling potatoes, jalapeno cilantro chimichurri, shaved garlic and lemon broccoli.

“We are thrilled to introduce Carcara not only to our local Phoenix community, but also to travelers and guests of Sheraton Phoenix Downtown,” said Frankenfield. “From the modern design incorporating lush greenery and warm earth tones to the Sonoran and Southwestern-inspired menu using locally sourced ingredients, Carcara evokes the heritage and history of the local Phoenix community and welcomes all to immerse themselves in the destination.”

New York based Celano Design Studio designed Carcara with the regions agricultural history including cotton fields and citrus groves as inspiration. A 14-foot tall Chestnut Oak tree grows in the heart of the dining room and offers a 21 foot canopy. Other feature include a fireplace, two fire pits with Cara Cara orange trees lining the patio and three private dining rooms.

To make a reservation at Carcara Restaurant call 602-262-2500.

Check out the new lunch menu at Ghost Ranch in Tempe

One of the “Best New Restaurants” in 2018 was Ghost Ranch which recently introduced a new lunch menu. The south Tempe restaurant opened in August and it’s not un-common for a restaurant to make changes to their menu. Seasonal availability of ingredients is one of the biggest reasons restaurant mix it up on a regular basis.

With then popularity of the local restaurant scene to keep people coming back you need to offer new and exciting dishes on a regular basis. New restaurants open daily around the Phoenix area and people can easily be distracted with the latest and greatest restaurant.

New lunch menu

The new lunch menu offers a variety of delicious meals for everybody and includes….

Torta—Chile Colorado braised pork, avocado, tomato, cabbage slaw, aioli, Noble Telera Bread and served with choice of Rancho Papas or side salad.

Tacos—Choice of protein (pork, steak or chicken), homemade tortillas, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, red and green salsas. Served with rice and beans.

EnchiladasChoice of pork, chicken or veggie with red or green sauce. Served with rice and beans.

Rice Bowl—Choice of pork, chicken or veggies, rice, beans, guacamole, pico de gallo and cotija.

Soup and Salad—Cup of Pumpkin Soup and ½ salad.

Ghost Ranch also mixed it up with their Happy Hour menu. Everyday from 3 – 6p.m. guests can enjoy selected $3 appetizers, $5 selected wines by the glass, cocktails and well drinks or $1 off beer.

Ghost Ranch is at 1006 E. Warner Rd. Tempe 85284.

The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch launches Five C’s Supper Series

2019 marks the 100th anniversary of The Grand Canyon becoming part of The National Park Service. February is the month in which Arizona became a state and The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch is celebrating both with a new Five C’s Dinner Series.

Brick chicken with Oyster Mushrooms. All photos by Debby Wolvos

On Feb. 21, March 28, April 25, May 30 and June 20 the resorts signature restaurant, Kitchen West will prepare unique 3-course menu. Each dinner will celebrate each of the five C’s that Arizona is known for Copper, Cattle, Citrus, Cotton and Climate. The family style dinners are inspired by Arizona’s roots and southwestern cuisine prepared by Executive Chef Rick Dupere.

Western style cooking techniques including searing in cast iron skillet over a wood fire will give meats bold and hearty flavors. Guests will dine on citrus salads, butcher boards followed by entrees that include rib-eyes, sea bass, roasts and more. Seasonal and locally sourced ingredients will be used if available. Here are the  complete menu’s for all five dinners.

The Blueberry Maude Mule

Each dinner is $85 per person plus a 20% gratuity and taxes. Each dinner will start with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m. with appetizers and Arizona wines. Dinner will follow at 6:30 and will be paired wine or a cocktail.

With limited seating reservations are required and can be made by calling Angelica at 480-596-7525.

The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch
Braised Short Ribs

The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch is at 7700 E. McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale 85258.

Much anticipated Ghost Ranch to open August 27th

One of the most highly anticipated restaurant openings of 2018 is happening as August ends when Aaron Chamblerin’s Ghost Ranch opens on the 27th. It’s been a busy year for Chamberlin having opened Taco Chelo in downtown Phoenix and Ghost Ranch’s neighbor Tempe Public Market. He also sold his central Phoenix restaurant St. Francis to focus on opening Ghost Ranch.

All photos courtesy of Ghost Ranch

Eat at Ghost Ranch

The modern Southwestern restaurant located is on the same corner as TPM at the northeast corner of Rural & Warner. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner on weekdays and brunch and dinner on weekends.

The menu will focus on cuisine from northern Mexico, Arizona, Texas and New Mexico combining the culinary talents of Chamberlin and chefs Rene Andrade  & Roberto Centeno. Both chefs come to Chamberlin Hospitality from other Phoenix area restaurants and will offer dishes from their upbringing in Nogales.

Ghost Ranch
Chile Relleno

“One of my favorite things in the world is the smell of roasting chiles, and it was that smell that made me want to open up a restaurant that embodied the bold flavors of the Southwest,” said Chamberlin. “Rene and Roberto have such a deep understanding of the history, culture and flavors of the region — they are the perfect talents to help make my dream a reality.”

The menu includes red and green chile smothered enchiladas, cowboy steaks, seasonal vegetables from local farmers and grilled trout from the wood smoking grill. Seasonal soups and salads will be on the menu as well.

A beer and wine list has been carefully created as are signature cocktails made with regional ingredients and spirits.

Follow my Instagram @SandyWass as I will be headed to preview Ghost Ranch next week and will be posting from there.

Ghost Ranch is in the Landis Crossing shopping center at 1006 E. Warner Rd Tempe 85254. http://GhostRanchAZ.com.

Mission Possible Cafe story as important as its food.

The Phoenix Rescue Mission helps men, women and children who are homeless, addicted and traumatized in a non-traditional way through their job training program. In the fall they will open the Mission Possible Cafe at 1516 W. Van Buren St. after men and women go trough a four months of training to learn about food service and other valuable skills.

Once opened Mission Possible Cafe will serve southwestern inspired meals with an emphasis on Mexican grilled cuisine Mon.-Fri. from 6a.m.-2p.m.

As important as the quality of food at affordable prices, employees will focus on their customer service skills.

The Mission Possible Cafe approach

The holistic approach taken by Phoenix Rescue Mission at Mission Possible Cafe focuses on more than the rehabilitation it offers, it includes job training through its vocational training program.

“Adding Mission Possible Café to Mission Cookies and Mission Catering as a training ground for our already successful Food Service Manager¹s Training program, will allow us to continue to serve our clients and help them advance,” said Jay A. Cory, President and CEO, Phoenix Rescue Mission.

Eight Month Vocational Course

After completing the first four months of food training, participants will apply what they’ve learned by working in the cafe.

The goal is to have participants take what they’ve learned as they go out in search of a job in the food service industry to help them get back on their feet.

“Clients will learn food service operations, develop leadership skills, and be prepared for successful placement in management level positions in the food service industry. We hope the community will join us for a great meal and help transform lives in the process,” said Cory.

You can stay up to date with the progress of the opening by visiting http://www.missionpossiblecafe.com/

 

 

 

 

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