In honor of this week’s inaugural Desert to Dish Culinary Weekend–a lineup of dining events including farm-to-table dining experiences, exclusive tours of Arizona farms, and one-of-a-kind interactive opportunities with six renowned chefs from across the country–at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia, get to know the event’s participating chefs. First up, Michael Cairns of Scottsdale’s own Prado.
Name: Michael Cairns
Restaurant: Prado at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
What are you most looking forward to during the Desert to Dish event? Bringing chefs from outside of the state to experience the amazing agriculture we have in the state of Arizona. The event is also a tribute to the farmers within our community that give so much to the industry.
Have you always been intested in the culinary arts? How did you get your start? At age 13 I helped my father’s friend by peeling bags of garlic and onions and it made me want to chase my passion for food. Besides, computers can’t cook.
How would you describe your cooking style? Clean, simple and approachable. Let the flavors of the product speak for themselves.
What are some ingredients that at-home chefs should experiment with this fall? I love to incorporate spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc. outside of baking. They are perfect for braising game.
Where does your inspiration come from when creating new dishes? My clients.
Favorite pizza topping: Pepperoni
Favorite midnight snack: It’s a toss-up – Oreos or PB&J
Go-to cocktail: Tito’s Vodka on the Rocks
Favorite dessert: Chocolate Flourless Cake
Favorite holiday dish: Growing up I can’t remember a family gathering that didn’t include my dad’s ambrosia salad. My updated twist is to always use fresh whipped cream.