Our favorite Arizona wine geek, Sam Pillsbury is no longer our hidden source for entertainment and great wine. The Sundance Channel tapped him as a “Tastemaker” ambassador for Phoenix. Watch the clip where he shares his passion for wine, art and favorite places to eat… including Quiessence! Thanks Sam!
Archive for the ‘Behind the Greens’ Category
“Eat Locally.” The headline on the back cover sums up this 325-page book that covers all things sustainable by celebrating local American food heroes, delivering 80 seasonal recipes and is a must-have for foodies, locavores… everyone!Don’t miss pages 101-103 featuring a profile on Chef LaPrad.
Edible is now available on bookstores nationwide, but savvy shoppers will bundle the purchase with a 2-year subscription to Edible Phoenix Magazine for only $56.
Nicole Whittington has been serving Quiessence and Morning Glory Guests for over 3 years. She shares some of her thoughts here…
Q: What did you study in college and how does that affect your job at Quiessence?
A: I don’t know that I studied much in college, but I have a BS in nutrition with a dietetics focus from ASU. There’s definitely a direct correlation between my degree and Q. Dietetics is kinda of the all encompassing umbrella within the nutrition program, so I took culinary classes, as well as menu planning, restaurant management and touched a bit on sustainability. My last semester at ASU, I joined a CSA one of the new professors started, which increased my passion for sustainable and local agriculture. I was beyond excited, when I got back home from my post-graduation trip, to find that Quiessence was hiring and had to take my chances at applying.
It has been an amazing experience working here. I have learned more that I ever hoped for from the community and local farmers aspect to the kitchen and wine program. Chef Greg has truly been an inspiration to me and has offered nothing but encouragement for my love of food and community. He has even helped me find a graduate program in Boston that offers a Masters of Liberal Arts in Gastronomy, started by Julia Child.
Q: What was the best thing you’ve tasted this season?
A: I really enjoyed the first of season spring asparagus and sugar snap pea salad with house made ricotta cheese, pea tendrils, meyer lemon preserves and grilled ciabatta bread. It was just a really great representation of spring, a very simple salad with just a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper so the true taste of the vegetables really stood out.
Q: What does the perfect day away from work look like?
A: I actually just had my perfect day away from work a couple weekends ago. A friend and I camped out at Fossil Creek and spent the day hiking and exploring. We were the only two people on the trail and had an amazing time swimming at the base of the waterfall, rope swinging into the creek, taking photos, encountering a rattlesnake for the first time and finding large dried animal bones. We didn’t quite make it to the hot springs, but we did visit the Fossil Creek creamery (where Q gets our fresh goat cheese). We got to feed the baby goats and chat it up with the owners before grabbing a bite at one of the local restaurants. Grrrrreat
Recently, our very own Chef Greg LaPrad was featured in the national eco-list of “40 Chefs Under 40.” In fact, he was the only Arizona chef on the list!
MNN journalist Matt Hickman writes:
“As executive chef at Quiessence Restaurant & Wine Bar, LaPrad is committed to seasonal, local, organic produce and he enjoys changing the menu every day to reflect the freshest local produce available. And unlike many restaurants that use only a tiny handful of major food partners, LaPrad’s growing list of purveyors is currently about 80 deep. Rather than dealing with just a few major companies on a daily basis, he works with dozens of smaller, local vendors.”
Congrats to Greg and team!
Enter the doors of Quiessence Restaurant at the Farm and you’ll be greeted by a bounty of fruits, vegetables and flowers. But they’re not limited to the plate anymore.
Artist Bertica Garcia Dubus has beautifully captured the juicy pulp of fresh cut limes, crispy paper skins of red onions and waxy sheen of golden peppers in her series of food-inspired paintings now on display throughout the restaurant’s dining rooms.
Long time fans of the Farm will remember Bertica from her work with the Artist’s Studio. More recently, she presented an exhibit of 35 paintings in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
The paintings will be on display throughout the summer and fall of 2009 and are available for purchase.
Make your dinner reservation to enjoy food for all the senses. 602-276-6701.
We may all get our fifteen minutes of fame, but few of us come from a family so influential that a major road has our surname on it. But thatâ€™s the scenario for Ron Power Jr. and his wife Trescia â€” who own Power Ranches in San Simon, AZ and think nothing of tooling down that major East Valley artery known as Power Road. Ron is a descendent of James Oliver Power, who began farming a 2,000-acre spread near Queen Creek in 1917. After World War II, the family began running cattle and later moved their farming and ranching operation to a remote spot in southeastern Arizona, where their cattle could graze on pristine pastures. These days, Ron and Trescia supply us with the 100% organic Limousin beef we offer at Quiessence, their commitment to quality evident in every juicy, ultra-flavorful bite. Check out their website (www.powerranches.com) to learn more about the superiority of the Limousin breed, what the Powers feed their cattle (alfalfa and natural grasses) and more importantly, what they donâ€™t give them: hormones, additives, antibiotics, steroids or animal byproducts.But maybe the easiest way to become a believer is by conducting your own taste-test. So why not bring Dad down to the Farm on Fatherâ€™s Day? Weâ€™ll serve him the best steak heâ€™s ever eaten, and youâ€™ll feel good knowing itâ€™s the safest, healthiest beef money can buy â€” solid proof he raised you right.
Eric Glomski: Vigneron
If you’ve met Eric before, you’d describe him as a Wine Grower, River Activist, Outdoorsman,Â Brewer… the list goes on!
Now you can add Touring Vigneron to the list. Eric is currently traveling with fellow wino & Tool singer Maynard James Keenan to sign bottles and promoteÂ their Arizona Stronghold wines.
We know and love him for the incredible Arizona wines produced from his Page Springs Cellars and Arizona Stronghold Vineyards.
For years he’s been a visionary force behind the state’s growing wine movement but with a unique focus of making incredible wines accessible and enjoyable by everyday people, specifically families.
He envisions a new American wine culture similar to Western Europe where “…wine is seamlessly integrated into family and culture,” says Glomski.
Â By the way, a VigneronÂ means wine grower in French. You learn something new everyday.
Stop by Quiessence Restaurant & Wine Bar to enjoy a glass (or bottle) of:
- Page Springs “Familia Blanca” Malvasia (white)
- Page Springs “La Serrana” Viognier (white)
- Arizona Stronghold “Nachise” (red)
For years, David and Kathryn Heininger of Snowflake have churned out Arizonaâ€™s â€œBest Homegrown Goat Cheesesâ€ at their Black Mesa Ranch.
But you may not know the best part of their story.
Black Mesa Ranch proudly raises its livestock without antibiotics, hormones or other medications/treatments and practices free-range techniques. In fact, they are the first producer in Arizona to earn “Certified Humane Raised and Handled” accreditation.
Last week, Quiessence proudly presented a special dinner series featuring Black Mesa Ranch pork and we will continue to showcase their prized cheeses on our regular menu.
If youâ€™re looking to get your hands on the artisan cheeses, the ranch is currently out of stock due to high demand. But donâ€™t fret! Thereâ€™s plenty of craftsmanship behind their Goat’s Milk Fudge, Spiced Pecans, and Chocolate-Dipped Apricots.