When the temps reach 120+ degrees in Phoenix, we head for the hills. But what happens when state budget problems force the closure of our treasured natural sanctuaries? As always, our fearless friends at Arizona Highways Magazine are stepping up to the plate to keep our state’s parks open for everyone to enjoy.With the purchase of any $24 subscription to Arizona Highways Magazine, a $5 donation will directly support our state parks. You can even direct your funds to a specific state park!
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
Your pet could be on 12 News Valley Dish!
Our sister restaurant at the Farm, Morning Glory Cafe is one of the Valley’s best dog-friendly patios. In fact, 12 News Valley Dish will be on property to highlight the restaurant.
We need you! Grab the pooch and join us for breakfast next Wednesday and you could be seen in the TV segment. We’ll have complimentary coffee and lemonade (water for the dogs). Our full breakfast menu will be available as well!
Wednesday, May 19th
Dogs must be on leash
Tell us you’re coming! RSVP by email at email@example.com.
See you then!
After a standing ovation last year, our Earth Day dinner returns with a “green” feast of family style vegetarian dishes!
Before the dinner, mix & mingle with friends and guests outdoors where farm owner A. Wayne Smith will deliver a welcome speech covering the Farm’s history and vision for sustainability.
Join fellow neighbors as we share the bounty of Mother Earth in a family-style, multi-course vegetarian farm dinner featuring the fresh produce of Maya’s Farm and McClendon’s Farm.
All net proceeds from tonight’s dinner will be donated to the World Food Programme. The World Food Programme fights hunger worldwide and is leading the fight against hunger in Haiti as well as all over the world. With just a single dollar donation the WFP can provide four nutritious meals to hungry people worldwide.
Vegetarian Earth Day Dinner
April 22, 6:30 pm.
Space Is Limited. Reservations Required.
Call 602-276-0601 $59.00 per Person
Includes Reception, Hors D’ouvres & Vegetable Feast
Tax and 18% Service Charge Not Included.
The Arizona Republic writes:
“Valley chef Greg LaPrad, executive chef at the Quiessence Restaurant at the Farm at South Mountain, has been selected to prepare a dinner for a selection of international culinary luminaries at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City on July 7.
LaPrad was nominated after a James Beard Foundation board member ate at Quiessence in 2009.
In June, Quiessence will serve preview dinners based on the menu developed for the James Beard House.”
Thank you to Edible Phoenix magazine and the local food community for selecting Chef Greg LaPrad to receive the 2010 “Local Hero Award.” This marks the second time LaPrad has earned the award for his unwavering commitment to locally-sourced ingredients and his sincere relationships with the folks behind Arizona’s agriculture.
Also, LaPrad is featured in the Spring edition of the magazine in an article titled “Chef’s passion is the essence at Quiessence.”
Chef de Cuisine Tony Andiario shares one of the pasta dishes that ignites the romance at Quiessence each evening. The campanelle pasta is made to resemble small flowers and is paired with toasted pistachios, raisins and shrimp.
Campanelle Pasta with Toasted Pistachios, Raisins, and Shrimp
1lb Dried Campanelle Pasta or Similar Substitution (Penne or Farfalle)
1/4c. Pistachios (shelled, toasted, and salted)
8 ounces of 16/20 Large Shrimp (Shelled)
1/4c. White Wine
10 Large Basil Leafs of Fresh Basil
2 Large Garlic Cloves (sliced thin)
1 Shallot (minced)
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese
½ Cup Salt
Bring 1 gallon of water with the ½ cup of salt to a boil. Split the shrimp lengthwise and season lightly with salt and pepper. Steep the raisins in 1 cup of hot water or wine. Drop the pasta into the water and cook for 1 minute less then the directions on the package. When the pasta is 2 minutes from completion, add butter to a warm sauté pan over medium high heat.
Add shallots, and garlic to the butter, sweat out for 30 seconds. Next add the pistachios and the raisins removed from the steeping water. Finally add the shrimp and white wine.
Remove the pasta from the water and add to the sauce, toss to coat and adjust the consistency of the pasta by adding more liquid or reducing the sauce. Turn off the heat and tear basil into pasta and stir in parmesan cheese.
Serve immediately in warm bowls.
Thanks to Andrea Robinson and the morning crew at Fox 10 Arizona for highlighting Quiessence Restaurant at The Farm at South Mountain in their February edition of “Taste of the Town.” After a quick tour of the Farm property, she joined Tony in the kitchen to roll fresh pasta which turned into a quick midweek dish for viewers.
In the January issue of The Wild Blue Yonder, (Frontier Airlines’ in-flight magazine,) The Farm at South Mountain was listed as a “Don’t Miss”destination in Phoenix!
“Never again to be mistaken as a desert tumbleweed town, Phoenix’s secret is out. The city that anchors the Valley of the sun—or just “the Valley”—has grown up and out, stretching across 500 square miles and clocking in as the fifth-largest city in the nation. Famous for its miles of fairways, cosmopolitan restaurants and luxury spas, Phoenix is a welcoming oasis for the weary. And, with a remarkable 334 days of sunshine a year, it’s an ideal winter escape for visitors craving a healthy dose of vitamin D.”
After a visit to the Valley, The Travel Channel featured Quiessence Restaurant on the list of “Top 5 in Phoenix.” The producer planned to spend one hour at The Farm, but immediately rescheduled her afternoon to enjoy an entire day with us.
A big thank you to Travel Channel filmmaker Allison who called Quiessence “Amazing seasonal organic cuisine.” Watch the video here.