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We Lunched… We Learned!

Posted on: August 11th, 2011 by Amy Martin No Comments

The Lunch & Learn Series at Sanctuary is in full swing. With three dates left with acclaimed guests as Gerry Rice of Boston’s Parker House, Marcus Samuelsson, the producers of “Best Thing I Ever Ate”, Aaron May and Matt Carter, you’ll want to reserve a seat before they are gone!

We had a chance to visit the Lunch & Learn on July 30th with Chef Geoffrey Zakarian, chef/proprietor of The Lambs Club and The National, in New York City. You may also recognize him from his duty judging Food Network’s Chopped and 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, but Geoffrey fans must add another show to the DVR list – the upcoming season of The Next Iron Chef premieres October 30th and you won’t want to miss it. Both Geoffrey and our own local Celebuchef, Beau MacMillan, are contenders!

Amy Martin, Geoffrey Zakarian & Taryn Jeffries

The afternoon opened with a hilarious video riddled with EATERAZ humor and Chef Beau’s lovability (gotta love those guys!), comically introducing the afternoon’s guest and host – Chef Geoffrey and Beau. The midday meal featured three courses, each paired with Robert Mondavi wines with tips and tidbits in between from Geoffrey himself. As he demoed the first course, White Gazpacho, he opened up a quick Q&A with the guests. A little “Geoffrey trivia”:

  • Did you know it takes twelve hours to shoot one show of Chopped? Yep. 4 hours of cooking and 8 hours of deposition among the judges. No one gets sent home on a whim.
  • We learned that Geoffrey buys his olive oil in small bottles, rather than in bulk, and stores them in the refrigerator to retain freshness.
  • He’s not a fan of flavored balsamic, and, his favorite sea salt is Maldon – you can pick it up at Whole Foods.

On to the meal…

The first course was lovely and perhaps my personal favorite of the afternoon – White Gazpacho with garnished with Peekytoe Crab Salad, Roasted Grapes and Almonds and finished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Sweet, very fresh, velvety and delectable. The Gazpacho was paired with a bright Fume Blanc from Robert Mondavi.

White Gazpacho

Second course was Branzino a la Plancha with Ramp Butter & Crisp Artichokes, topped with Lemon, Olive, and Tomato Relish and garnished with a salad of baby arugula, olive oil and coarse salt. The Branzino was paired with Robert Mondavi ‘s 2007 Merlot.

Branzino a la Plancha

The final course? Dessert. Rich Chocolate Pot de Crème with Bittersweet Brachetto Sabayon.  Sinful! The dessert course was paired with sweet, floral Moscato d’Oro from Robert Mondavi.


Chocolate Pot de Crème

Everyone who attended received take-home recipes of the afternoon’s dishes, and guests were visibly excited to impressed their own guests someday (so am I!) with his White Gazpacho. At the end of the meal and door-prize giveaways, Chef Geoffrey welcomed questions with another Q &A, warmly shook hands and posed for photos with the attendees.

Who wouldn’t want to spend an afternoon rubbing elbows with the restaurant industry’s top names? To sign up for one of the upcoming Lunch & Learn dates, call 480-607-2300 for reservations. View Sanctuary’s website for the current line-up.

*This meal was provided to us complimentary as a part of a media invitation. However, this has no effect on our opinions and comments regarding our experience. View our Disclosure Policy for further explanation.

About the Author - Amy Martin

Author of Her Plate, Amy's love of food, cooking and all things culinary keeps her endlessly plotting what her next meal will be. Her pastimes include creating in (i.e. demolishing) her own kitchen and baking far more sweets than her tiny family could ever eat.

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