Talavera hosts one-night showcase of James Beard House menu

Diners are invited to take a culinary journey with Executive Chef Mel Mecinas as he showcases the cuisine that informed and inspired his career for one special night in Talavera on Friday, July 31.

Executive Chef Mel Mecinas presents a special dinner July 31 at  Talavera that will showcase the menu he plans to prepare at the James Beard House in early July.

Executive Chef Mel Mecinas presents a special dinner July 31 at Talavera that will showcase the menu he plans to prepare at the James Beard House in early July.

Attendees will experience the six-course tasting menu that Chef Mecinas will serve at the James Beard House in early July, drawing inspiration from his birthplace of Oaxaca, Mexico, his formative years in southern California and his current home in the Southwest.

“This menu represents who I am, and where I came from,” says Chef Mecinas.  “So many people and places have influenced my technique and I am honored to pay tribute to my heritage through my food.”

Add Mr. Mecinas, “I am thrilled to be able to bring the menu I will present in New York at the James Beard House back to our loyal Talavera diners.”

Talavera is located at the Four Seasons Resort in north Scottsdale, 10600 E. Crescent Moon Drive, Scottsdale.

Chef Mecinas’s menu includes techniques learned under the famed Joaquim Splichal, such as his signature blinis, peppered with ancho chilis for a Southwest twist.  Seafood dishes such as the Spiny Lobster Salad speak to Chef Mecinas’s time in California, cooking with the bounty of the coast.

Further inspiration is drawn from Chef Mecinass own family, including an interpretation of his grandmother’s legendary mole sauce. The menu Chef Mecinas will present in Talavera, and also in New York, is as follows:

  • Smoked Salmon Parfait with caviar and ancho-chili corn blini
  • Spiny Lobster Salad with white and green asparagus, cucumelons and white peach vinaigrette
  • Olive-Oil Poached Alaskan Halibut with fricassee of oxtail, fava beans and morel mushrooms
  • Braised Rabbit with truffle polenta gnocchi, chanterelle and chorizo
  •  Pancetta Wrapped Buffalo Tenderloin with Press coffee rub, squash blossoms, vegetable and mole sauce
  • Sweet Corn Honey Cake with lemon cream, poached rhubarb and pine nuts.

Cost for the six-course menu is $110, with wine pairing available for an additional cost.  The menu will be offered from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Reservations are required.  For more information and reservations, call 480-513-5085.

Chef Mecinas will return to the James Beard House on July 9.  Only 250 restaurants are chosen per year to host a dinner at the Beard House, a storied culinary venue named after the celebrated author, educator and champion of American cuisine.

Four Seasons will be live streaming the dinner on James Beard House’s JBF Kitchen Cam. Food enthusiasts and Four Seasons social media followers will have an exclusive chance to virtually enter the kitchen and watch the culinary team prepare, cook and plate the multi-course dinner in the same kitchen where James Beard entertained friends and family and taught aspiring chefs for more than 25 years.

Meliton “Mel” Mecinas, an 18-year veteran chef of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, was named executive chef of the Scottsdale property in February 2006.

Mr. Mecinas began his Four Seasons career in Santa Barbara, where he achieved one of his career highlights: cooking the second course in a seven-course 90th birthday celebration dinner for renowned culinary personality Julia Child.

In Scottsdale, Mr. Mecinas is responsible for the property’s many dining options, including the two main restaurants – Talavera and Proof, an American Canteen.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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