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“I have no boundaries here—I buy the food from where I want at the level of quality I want. I know where everything comes from,” he says. “At Enchantment quality means more than saving a dime—we are a destination with travelers coming from all over the world to stay with us and dine with us. They are well traveled and they know their food—anything but the best isn’t acceptable.”
Steven’s team of more than 50 goes through four cases of avocados every day to make fresh guacamole—everything, from the salsa to the ice cream and desserts, is made from scratch. Locals and travelers alike rave about Yavapai’s Sunday brunch with live jazz, which includes a seafood station, lamb and caviar. Yavapai’s wine list includes 900 bottles with an inventory of 12,000, earning the restaurant numerous awards from Wine Spectator. During the warmer months you can dine on Yavapai’s terrace with the 220-room resort’s manicured lawns, adobe casitas and swimming pools spread out below.
Enchantment opened in 1987 on 70 acres of a private homestead in Boynton Canyon just southwest of Sedona. Its focus was on tennis, and the resort still boasts seven courts. Local Apache believe First Woman, the founder of their tribe, was born in the canyon. Several times each year the Yavapai-Apache return to the canyon at sunrise to hold sacred ceremonies, including one honoring First Woman. The 24,000-square-foot Mii amo, a Native American term meaning “journey” or “passage,” plays a major role at Enchantment—the spa is only open to Enchantment guests or those who choose to stay in one of Mii amo’s 16 rooms and suites. Enchantment also offers a kids’ program, a 12,000-square-foot meeting village, a par-3 golf course and putting green, and mountain bike rentals.
Yavapai Restaurant at Enchantment Resort
525 Boynton Canyon Road, Sedona
Daryl Richards and The Grille at ShadowRock
Daryl Richards began cooking in his hometown of Phoenix when he was 17 – he graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 1993 and became the executive chef at The Grille at ShadowRock at the 219-room Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa in 2006. The resort puts a high value on adventure and wellness, and Daryl has created a menu reflecting both themes. “Sedona is a destination where people come to try new things, especially international travelers,” says Daryl.
The menu at The Grille at ShadowRock includes items recommended by the spa so guests with wellness in mind can stay on track. Daryl says people are surprised when they order spa-recommended entrees and don’t receive “rabbit food.” “There’s no such thing as bad food, but rather bad eating habits,” says Daryl.
The Grille at ShadowRock at Hilton Sedona Resort and Spa
90 Ridge Trail Dr., Sedona
Nathan Schreiber and Storytellers
It’s fair to say the ambience at Storytellers steakhouse inside Cliff Castle Casino is unlike any other restaurant in the Sedona area. The intimate eighty-two-seat dining room resembles a red rock cave, complete with cozy booths in grottoes filled with Native American artifacts. Recessed kinetic lights slowly change colors to give the appearance of an Arizona sunset while a trickling waterfall at the entrance welcomes guests. Chef Nathan Schreiber’s background is as unconventional as Storytellers’ atmosphere; a Verde Valley native, Chef Nate, as his co-workers call him, worked at an A&W Root Beer stand and a diner in Cottonwood while playing basketball for a Cliff Castle Casino–sponsored team. He was offered a job as a line cook at the casino after its renovations in 2000 and worked his way up to become executive chef in 2005.