Chef John in McClendon’s farm prepare for Mother's Day Special Event

John Sharpe - Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another Day in Paradise – Chef John’s news from the edge!




Its summer time in Arizona! How do I know? I have squash blossoms for you to enjoy.

The first of the season from Bob and Marsha McClendon’s farm. I drove to pick them up this morning. Along with squash, salad greens, arugula, beets, radishes and some delicious micro green sprouts.

All will be available for you to enjoy over this coming Mother’s Day weekend.

We are open all day for dinner on Sunday.  The menu is a la carte so it is just like a regular dinner menu only with some different special dishes for you to enjoy.

The blossoms are always my biggest seller every year as an appetizer. The recipe for them is in the cookbook.

I stuff the flowers with a mixture of sweet corn tamale and Oaxaca cheese. They are then dipped in a beer batter and fried till they are crisp and a golden brown. They are then served on a bed of our green Chile tomatillo salsa with roasted squash salsa. I will have fresh Chinook salmon from the Columbia River caught by the Nez Perce tribal fisherman. Served with wild ramps and fiddlehead ferns foraged from the forests of Washington State.

In honor of Mother’s Day we will have Rhubarb and Strawberry pie a la mode. Rhubarb is very special to me as we always had a rhubarb patch in our garden in England when I was a young boy. My Mother loved to make Rhubarb and Ginger Jam. I can still smell it to this day.

Special days are always about sharing times with the people we care about. Remembering the wonderful times when things seemed so simple, family was all that mattered and the days were full of sunshine and the smell of flowers. I remember many days like that from my childhood in the north east of England. I was very lucky to have a Father that loved to garden. We spent a lot of our time together in the garden; we grew a lot of our own food. But my Dad loved his flowers that he grew so proudly for my Mother. So on this Mother’s Day I remember them both. I spent some time in my garden this week planting seeds and pottering around. I love to be in the garden. It keeps me centered and focused on what is important.

I hope you all have a safe and happy summer this year. May your travels bring you closer to the people you care about. May your dreams bring you closer to the goals you strive to achieve?

May you reach the top of every mountain, not forgetting to stop along the way the smell the wild flowers and the forest as you tread lightly through its domain!

We will be here in the high desert of Arizona, trains streaking by the hotel, our staff cooking up a storm for all of you that pays us a visit. Our wonderful service staff will always strive to make your stay with us a memorable one. We have some new staff members for you to meet. I am confident you will find them all helpful and friendly. Bob has now been our General Manager for over three months and he is settling in very well. Ezra and Jesus are hard at work in the kitchen with some really talented new cooks so I am very excited about the summer ahead.

Patricia and I sincerely hope to see you here in the Turquoise Room over the months ahead.

Yes, it’s another day in Paradise- with thoughts from the edge!

~ Chef John

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