15th Annual Chef’s Gala – A Showcase of Culinary Talent
A crowd of over 300 attendees gathered at the stunning Ranch House at Robson Ranch Arizona for the 15th Annual Chef’s Gala. This popular event, featuring a “New York, New York” 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 to create a special dish in a competitive yet friendly environment. Each participating chef had their main item selected at random back in November and was 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 designed beautiful tabletop arrangements, featuring a New York theme.
Throughout the evening, guests sampled each community’s dish and wine, viewed the tabletop presentations and voted on their favorites.
Although votes were very close, PebbleCreek walked away with both honors including the Chef’s Gala award and recognition for the best tabletop arrangement. The chefs at PebbleCreek – Mary Ahrens, Jonathan Hofberger and Robert Nixon – prepared a delicious dish featuring pancetta brie, white cheddar mac & cheese topped with house-made sausage with smoked brisket. This delectable dish was topped with a chipotle BBQ sauce with pickled red onion and sweet & sour pickle relish. Crystal Thomas and her banquet team at PebbleCreek created the award-winning tabletop presentation.
Other crowd-pleasing favorites included: Robson Ranch Arizona (Sous Chef Mary Haynes) – bison braised short ribs with goat cheese, parsley mashed potatoes & roasted multi-color baby carrots; Quail Creek (Chef Aris Cabrera) – cocoa rubbed sous vide lamb chop with boursin mashed potatoes, slaw & porcini cream; Robson Ranch Texas (Chef Aubrey Daniels) – pan-seared scallops, sunchoke puree, meuniere sauce & asparagus tips.
Next year, Atwell announced that the Chef’s Gala event will be held at the new Ranch House in SaddleBrooke Ranch. Executive Chef, Jose Salas, was recently hired for this new facility, which is scheduled to open later this year.