This month, we kick off a monthly series to inspire you when it comes to that most-asked questions: what’s for dinner and what are we drinking? We find culinary experts each month to share their inspo, best recipes and how-tos for a great meal and a cocktail.
OUR EXPERTS | Chef de Cuisine Samantha Sanz and Bar Chef Christiaan Röllich
WHERE YOU’LL FIND THEM | The Sanctuary Resort at Elements & The Jade Bar
THE INSPO | Refreshing Flavors to Cool Down July
THE RECIPES | Ahi Tuna with Aguachile Drizzle & “The Villian” Mezcal Craft Cocktail
We kick off Dinner & Drinks with a new dream duo at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa, expanding upon the expertise offered by longtime Executive Chef Beau MacMillan who added two culinary powerhouses to his team—Chef de Cuisine at Elements Samantha Sanz and Bar Chef at Jade Bar Christiaan Röllich.
We kick off Dinner & Drinks with a new dream duo at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa.
Both have built impressive careers at top restaurants and are at tops in their fields, and we are very excited to see what this trio will develop next.
A two-time James Beard nominee, Sanz was most recently chef de cuisine of Talavera, at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, where she became one of the youngest chefs in the Four Seasons brand. Nogales, Mexico-born Sanz got her start at Elements, so this marks her return.
Author of BAR CHEF: Handcrafted Cocktails, Christiaan Röllich hails from A.O.C. and Lucques, both notable in Los Angeles. Forbes has called him “one of LA’s most innovative mixologists” while LA Weekly credits the Netherlands native with the city’s cocktail renaissance. Röllich got his start in the bar trade at Les Deux Café, where he worked for extra income while pursuing an acting and modeling career, which included standing in for Brad Pitt in Ocean’s Eleven.
Röllich says there’s a lot of talk about mixology these days, but what distinguishes him in the bar scene is his love of working in the kitchen to make his own bitters, syrups, liquers, juices and vermouths to make the best craft cocktail recipes. He invents new, innovative craft cocktails, and most likes to be known as a bar chef., bridging the collaboration between the kitchen and bar; he is the only bar chef in the U.S.
This makes Samantha Sanz and Christiaan Röllich the perfect pairing to kick off our series. So, what is for dinner and what are we having for drinks?
DINNER | AHI TUNA WITH AGUACHILE DRIZZLE & BLUE CORN CRUNCH
• 8 ounces of sushi-grade Ahi tuna sliced thinly.
• 1 avocado sliced
• Fresh mint
• 1 lime zested
• Flakey sea salt
• Queen Creek extra virgin olive oil
Blue Corn Crunch
• 1 cup of blue corn masa
• 1 ½ cup of sparkling water
• 1 pinch of kosher salt
• 1 frying pan with enough vegetable oil to fry.
In a mixing bowl, place the masa and slowly incorporate the sparkling water with a whisk. Once you have no lumps, season with salt.
Heat the oil to 340 to 360 degrees to fry. When the pan reaches the correct temperature, use a spoon to drizzle the mixture over the pan.
Let the mix crisp for about 3 to 5 minutes. Carefully remove the masa crunch from the oil and place on a plate with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Immediately season with salt.
• ½ of a ripe honeydew melon cut into chunks.
• 1 bunch of mint
• 1 bunch of basil
• ½ small serrano pepper (sliced)
• 3 tbsp of yuzu juice
• 1 tbsp of honey
• 1 cup of sugar snap peas (cleaned without the strings)
• 1 lime juice and zest
• ¼ cup of cold water
• ½ cup of ice
• 1 pinch of sea salt
Place all the ingredients in a blender except the ice and pulse quickly once until the ingredients start blending. Once the ingredients are half-way blended, add the ice.
The ice will prevent the mix from getting hot and turning into an unpleasant color.
Taste the mix and season with sea salt accordingly. Once the mix tastes good and is balanced, strain through the fine mesh strainer for the best craft cocktail.
Place in the refrigerator so it gets really cold.
Plate the Dish
Place the thinly sliced tuna on a plate shallow enough to hold the sauce. Then drizzle evoo over the tuna and flakey sea salt and lime zest. Garnish with a generous portion of the aguachile, picked mint leaves, the avocado slices, the blue corn crunch and edible flowers.
If you have a good amount of the aguachile remaining, add some tequila and ice, and you have a spicy margarita that almost tastes like the best mojito recipe!
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DRINK | THE VILLIAN
• 1 ½ ounce mezcal, preferably an espadin
• 1 ounce grilled pineapple, pureed
• ¾ ounce crafted maple vanilla syrup
• 1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
• Rosemary garnish
• Good quality ice
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Overfill a rocks glass with good, clear square ice cubes.
Add all ingredients to a steel cocktail shaker with ice.
Shake, shake, shake until the shaker is super cold.
Using a hawthorn strainer, pour the craft cocktail over the ice and garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs.
Cheers! While enjoying your craft cocktail, remember to drink responsibly.
We hope you’ll try these recipes at home. When you do, please share images and experiences with us @youriconiclife #iconiclifedinnerdrinks.