Boulders chef loves to play in the kitchen | Business


Boulders Resort & Spa executive chef Drew Wetmore doesn’t see his role as “work.”

“It’s like playing,” Wetmore said. “I play every day.

In his role, he oversees the resort’s five kitchens, including the Palo Verde Restaurant, the Kitchen & Bar Grill, the Spotted Donkey Cantina, the Spa Café, the Discovery Lounge and the Pool Pavilion.

He revamps the menu and plans food preparation to respect the integrity of the region by incorporating local produce and ingredients freshly picked from the resort’s certified organic garden.

“Chef Drew gets a lot of his culinary inspiration from nature,” said John Maskovich, director of food and beverage. “He even modeled the new design of the plaque from the surrounding landscape. ”

Wetmore joined the Boulders Culinary Team in 2018 and held the titles of Executive Sous Chef, Banquet Chef, Chef de cuisine for the Grill Kitchen & Bar and the Spotted Donkey Cantina, where he initiated tequila dinners. and the Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

A native of Tucson, Wetmore was a teenage student-athlete with an affinity for the culinary arts. He credits the FEAST program to Catalina High School for the refinement of her culinary skills.

“I started in the company at the age of 14,” he said. “I started at a breakfast restaurant in Tucson called The Egg Connection. Honestly, at this job I was a young kid, and it was just money. I wanted to pay for stuff myself.

He then obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. His internship at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess consisted of working with some of the best chefs in the country, like Michael Mina, Richard Sandoval and Forest Hamrick.

Thanks to Sandoval, he became familiar with molecular gastronomy, the scientific approach to nutrition from the point of view of physics and chemistry.

“Working with Richard Sandoval was really inspiring,” Wetmore said. “It’s essentially food chemistry. You use different starches and other ingredients to create food in ways that you don’t normally see.

Palo Verde offers views of the Sonoran Desert, as it overlooks the sixth fairway of the southern course and the duck pond. Wetmore called Palo Verde “good high comfort”.

“It hits this safe place that they love,” he said.

Starters include oven-baked pasilla pepper with quinoa, manchego, golden raisins, and a red pepper vinaigrette ($ 38); squid linguini with wild red crab, Calabrian pepper, verjuice butter and freshly picked herbs ($ 42); grilled beef tenderloin with mesquite spices with mashed green garlic, small old potato; red espuma, wild mushroom, cipollini onion, charred baby pepper and truffled beef jus ($ 62); braised short ribs with barbecue carrot, Sonora wheat berries, carrot butter, front pesto and marcona almond ($ 46); rainbow trout with spicy corn silk, puffed young tomato, grilled corn succotash, guajillo chili glaze and small green cilantro ($ 45); Seared striped bass with herb fregola, pea butter, smoked pancetta, heirloom radish and mountain watercress ($ 46); and local ranch chicken with smoked fingerling, braised thigh, salsa verde and charred lemon ($ 42).

Boulders has other top-rated restaurants including Spotted Donkey Cantina, a Mexican restaurant in el Pedregal. The festive restaurant offers a tequila list with dozens of varieties, like its exclusive Herradura Reposado tequila, and an innovative menu.

The Discovery Lounge is synonymous with comfort, with shared dishes and contemporary cocktails, as well as the view from the floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Grill Kitchen Grill Deck & Bar is both casual and stylish, with a show kitchen, dark wood furnishings, a fireplace, and a remodeled patio. Overlooking the 18th hole fairways, the establishment offers a menu of burgers, sandwiches and crunchy salads, as well as fresh seafood and dry-aged steaks.

Wetmore’s executive chef duties also require him to plan dinners at Boulders’ private villas and haciendas. It offers three- to six-course meals that range in price from $ 110 per person to $ 300 per person.

“I went out to the villas, cook and walk guests through what I’m doing,” said Wetmore, who lives in North Phoenix with his fiancee, Emily, and their four dogs.

“They can taste high quality meals. These could be high end groups or families going on vacation and want a chef to cook with them and talk about it.

“I like to educate people. I know a lot of techniques that people don’t normally see. I show them that it is not really difficult to cook. Once you’ve learned the process, it’s not that hard.

Holidays at the resort

Boulders Resort & Spa offers vacation dining this Christmas.

Palo Verde will be serving Christmas dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. on December 25 for $ 75 per person. Dial 480-488-9009, ext. 110, for reservations.

Starters are a salad of baby arugula with caramelized goat cheese, organic Mount Hope spelled, almond and orange gremolata and a champagne dressing.

For an entree, guests can choose between a pan-seared lamb loin with barbecue carrot mash, baby potatoes with truffle, roasted steadfast carrots, freeze-dried manuka honey, herbs and juice. of lamb with fermented garlic.

Finish the meal with an edelweiss pie – vanilla cookie, raspberry coulis, white chocolate mousse, crunchy hazelnut praline and raspberry icing.

Christmas dinner at the Grill Kitchen & Bar is served from noon to 7 p.m. for $ 75 / adult or $ 40 / child. For reservations, call 480-595-4621.

Appetizers include fall greens, a salad of baby greens mixed with chopped baby vegetables, roasted heirloom beets, toasted almonds, cranberries and a maple vinaigrette; or roasted parsnip bisque with carrot curls, herb mascarpone, forest leaves and grilled herb crostini in butter.

Traditional appetizer choices are glazed Christmas ham with a sweet brown sugar glaze, whipped potatoes with crème fraîche, crispy Brussels sprouts and whole grain mustard, or a spicy prime rib of beef. rosemary and black garlic with herb baby potatoes, spinach with parmesan cream, horseradish cream and black garlic au jus.

A trio of desserts will include a red velvet pie, a chocolate marbled cheesecake and an Edelweiss bar.

Boulders Resort & Spa

34631 N. Tom Darlington Drive, carefree


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