We can’t help but appreciate when a restaurant is viewed as more than just a place to grab a bite to eat. Chef Aaron Chamberlin, owner of St. Francis in Phoenix, believes that tradition, history and community make a restaurant more than just a eatery but a neighborhood gathering place as well. Chef Chamberlin named months-old St. Francis after the neighborhood land deed owned by the Brophy family that dates back to 1936. Now, on February 10, Jesuit Priests Father Eddie Reese SJ (Brophy President) and Father Dan Sullivan SJ (Pastor of the St. Francis Church) will bless the restaurant as a neighborhood gathering place and a continuation of the century-old Jesuit tradition, Haustas (a time to be together in the community)—a custom where family and friends break bread and enjoy the gifts of people and giving.
In honor of this custom, St. Francis restaurant will offer a special farm-fresh meal that will be so fresh that the menu can’t be planned until a few days before when the produce is pulled out of the soil. The Brophy farm-to-table menu is a collaboration of Chef Chamberlin and farmer Patrick Duncan. It will be a four-course feast that includes soup/salad, seafood with fresh vegetables and wood-fired braised meat and vegetable entrée. A delicious ending includes a decadent chocolate dessert. The Brophy Farm-to-Table menu will be offered on February 10 and the cost is $60 per person or $90 per person with wine pairings.
Patrick Duncan, owner of Duncan’s Trading Co. in Litchfield Park, grows and distributes seasonal organic specialty produce to an exclusive clientele of the valley’s finest restaurants and resorts. As a proud graduate of Brophy College Preparatory, the communal relationship between the Brophy Jesuits and St. Francis Restaurant is a natural fit. Duncan is known as a “visionary of exotic organics” including heirloom and hard to find items such as cardoon, charentais melons, purple brussels sprouts and the coveted calabacitas con flor (mixed baby squash with blossoms). Duncan’s unique produce are the inspiration for Chef Chamberlin’s seasonal menus that are known for their distinct, profound flavors. Duncan grows nearly 200 varieties of certified organic specialty fruit and vegetables on his sprawling tract.
If you can’t make it to the farm-to-table event next week, we suggest stopping by St. Francis when you can for a dose of Chef Chamberlin’s wood-fired cuisine. We’re big fans of his flatbreads, open-faced pot roast sandwich and divine desserts. 111 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix. 602.200.8111. http://www.stfrancisaz.com/.