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17th Annual Chef’s Gala Showcases Culinary Talent from the Robson Resort Communities

PebbleCreek recently hosted the 17th Chef’s Gala event in the beautiful Tuscany ballroom with more than 300 guests.   This popular event, featuring a “Mad Hatter’s” theme this year, is spearheaded by George Atwell, Vice President of Food & Beverage for Robson Communities, Inc.   Atwell served as master of ceremonies for the evening.
The Chef’s Gala provides chefs and their teams from the Robson Resort Communities the opportunity to create a special dish in a competitive yet friendly environment.  Each participating chef had their main item selected at random and were tasked with the preparation of a sample size dish to be served at the event.  Furthermore, the chef paired their dish with a specific wine to enhance the flavors of their creation.
In addition to the chef’s competition, the banquet and catering staff from participating communities decorated their respective serving area reflecting the Mad Hatter’s whimsical theme.
Throughout the evening, guests sampled each community’s dish and wine, viewed the decorative presentations and voted on their favorites.
For the decorative presentation, Quail Creek was announced as the winner under the direction of Epifania Torres, Director of Banquet & Catering and assisted by Maria Julieta Parkerson.  Kudos to all of the other community banquet & catering teams for their hard work and creative interpretation of the Mad Hatter theme.
The highly coveted Chef’s Gala award went to Robson Ranch Texas, for their delicious smoked Chateaubriand black garlic tenderloin prepared by Chef Aubrey Daniels and assisted by Jeremy Trietsch, Food & Beverage Director.  This award-winning dish was served with a Bordeaux wild mushroom glace de beau, au gratin potatoes, roasted asparagus and balsamic heirloom tomatoes.  In addition, a Bonanza Cabernet Sauvignon was paired with the dish.  Mr. Robson, Founder & Chairman of Robson Communities, was on hand to personally congratulate Chef Aubrey and his team.
Other crowd-pleasing favorites included:  SaddleBrooke Ranch (Chef Elba Hernandez) – Lamb osso bucco with farro & black rice and an olive tapenade;  PebbleCreek (Chef Mary Ahrens, Chef Michael Brunette, Chef Jeffrey Vegso) – Apple smoked pig topped with a braised & then fried pork belly with an apple and cherry port reduction served over a sweet potato hash; Quail Creek (Chef Aris Cabrera, Chef Marco Morando, Chef Omar Martinez, Chef Cris Cervantes, Chef Jonathan Posada) – Crab stuffed sole paupiettes served with a spinach risotto, melted leeks, buerre blanc and purple magic;  Robson Ranch Arizona(Chef Jay Ganzhorn, Sous-Chef Mary Haynes and Bridgette Alvarez) – Duck breast topped with a red currant gastrique & served with a goat cheese croquette and ratatouille.