The New Native American Cuisine: Five-Star Recipes from the Chefs of Arizona's Kai Restaurant

The New Native American Cuisine: Five-Star Recipes from the Chefs of Arizona's Kai Restaurant

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The New Native American Cuisine: Five-Star Recipes from the Chefs of Arizona's Kai Restaurant by Marian Betancourt, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, Michael O'dowd, Jack Strong

One of only six U.S. restaurants to achieve the AAA's Five Diamond status—and the nation's only Native American restaurant to have earned this distinction along with a Mobil Five Star rating—Kai Restaurant at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, on the outskirts of Phoenix, is redefining Native American cuisine. With classical European culinary techniques, artful plating, and pairing with the finest wines, the Kai chefs bring an ancient cuisine into the modern spotlight. Specialties include grilled elk chop with truffles, sweet corn panna cotta with venison carpaccio, buffalo tartare with prairie quail egg, and butter-basted lobster tail on fry bread with avocado mousse. Now, with The New Native American Cuisine, leading food writer Marian Betancourt and two of Kai's top chefs make this cuisine available to home cooks. Beautifully illustrated with rich full-color photographs of the resort and its award-winning restaurant and dishes, this sumptuous book presents more than fifty unforgettable recipes for cocktails; small plates and main courses; soups and salads; and fish, meat, game, vegetables, and desserts. Some of the recipes are complex, some simple, but each will please the palate of anyone wishing to add an exciting new dimension to their culinary experience. You'll also find a glossary of key Native American foods and a shopping guide. Most of the ingredients for the recipes are available everywhere, and others can be easily acquired from specialty producers and online sources. For a true appreciation of Native American cuisine, one must also understand the land and culture that gave rise to these simple flavors. The New Native American Cuisine is not only a cookbook—it is also a guide to the rich history and culture of the farmers and ranchers of the Gila River Indian Community.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762748952
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 09/01/2009
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 1,261,232
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Marian Betancourt wrote The Texas Hill Country Cookbook: A Taste of Provence (Globe Pequot, 2007) with Chef Scott Cohen. She is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books, and her writing about food and travel has appeared in many publications including Sante magazine, Irish America, and American Heritage, where she wrote about the Mashantucket Pequot Indians of Connecticut. She has written about many well-known chefs including Daniel Boulud, Bobby Flay, Tom Douglas, Michael Lomonaco, and David Rosengarten. She lives in New York City. Michael O’Dowd, the award-winning Executive Chef of Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa, is devoted to putting a contemporary spin on classical culinary methods with unique plate presentations emphasizing not only freshness and taste, but height, color, and texture. With his extensive working knowledge of cuisine from Catalan to Native American, this chef relishes the challenge of creating what he terms “Native American Cuisine with Global Accents,” which has earned Kai AAA Five Diamonds and Mobil Four Star awards. Previously Chef O’Dowd worked in the finest restaurants in New York as well as prestigious hotels such at The Ritz Carlton, and he has shared the kitchen with Michelin Chefs Gunter Seeger, Boris Keller, and Pierre Orsi. He has been featured widely in the national food and beverage media, and appeared on David Letterman’s opening television show. (O’Dowd’s other passion is his racecar, which was featured in Modified Luxury and Exotics.) This chef’s love of fine food and wine began early, while growing up with a dad who was a top executive for Seagram’s. Jack Strong, Chef de Cuisine, brings a rare combination of Native American heritage and luxury culinary experience to Kai. He has an extensive background incorporating locally grown and indigenous ingredients into high-end and specialty menus. Strong is from the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in Oregon and has a long history of using his culinary skills for community involvement. Before coming to Kai, Strong was the sous chef at The Phoenician’s Windows on the Green Restaurant in Scottsdale. Working at Kai gives him the opportunity to fulfill his dream of furthering the advancement of Native American cuisine and giving back to the local native community through the resort’s programs with Gila Crossing School.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Chapter 1 Celebrating the Bounty of the Sonoran Desert 1

Chapter 2 Reclaiming an Agricultural Heritage 11

Chapter 3 Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort & Spa: A Showcase for the Story 17

Chapter 4 Putting a New Spin on an Ancient Cuisine 23

The Recipes

Signature Cocktails

Sundown at Komatke 27

Mesquite Bean Martini 28

The Great Fruit Martini 28

Mani Sahna 28

Waig 29

Aji Mojito 29

Chia Seed Lemonade 29


Third-Generation Fry Bread 31

Chemaith Bread 32

Cornbread Pudding 34

Kai Cornbread 35

Huitlacoche Biscotti 36


Black Bean Hummus 38

Three Sisters Composition: Sweet Corn Panna Cotta, Pickled Local Squash, and Vension Carpaccio 39

Tres Pescados Ceviche from the Sea of Cortez 42

Dried Mango and Sandalwood-Dusted Lion's Paw Baja Scallops with Poached Salsify and Ojo de Cabra Mud 44

Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Pumpkin Brulee 46

Buffalo Tartare with Prairie Quail Egg and Kai Sweet and Sour Sauce 49

From the Fields: Salads and Soups

Salad of Baby Lettuces with Foie Gras Date Cake and Goat Cheese 52

Wood-Grilled Butternut Squash Puree with Wild Boar Bacon, Rio Zape Beans, and Pima Cotton Candy 53

Confit of Heirloom Tomatoes and Sun Roots with High Country Mushroom Espresso 57

Tribal Wild Salmon Belly and Lobster Consomme 59

Chilled Sixty-Day Sweet Corn Soup 60

From the Oceans and Streams: Fish Entrees

Butter-Basted Lobster Tail on Fry Bread with Avocado Mousse and Red and Yellow Teardrop Tomato Salsa 63

Caramelized Red Mullet and Quinoa with Rhubarb Chutney 64

Cedar-Wrapped Tribal Black Cod with Potato and Leek Confit and Lobster-Tepary Bean Relish 66

Spiked Hamachi on SaguaroGelee and Pomegranate-Ginger Spritzer 68

From the Prairie and the Sky: Meat, Game, Poultry Entrees

Skillet-Seared Prairie Squab Breast with Oxtail Merquez Sausage Frittata Espanola 72

Pecan-Crusted Colorado Rack of Lamb with Recado Rub and Cornbread Pudding 75

Grilled Tenderloin of Buffalo with Smoked Corn Puree, Chorizo Scarlet Runner Beans, and Cholla Buds 77

Grilled Elk Chop with Truffle, Gila River Eggplant Caviar, and Saguaro Seed Phyllo Dough Crisps 80

Korobuta Pork Tenderloin Rubbed with Toasted Ground Coffee and Pueblo Hatch Chiles with Dried Fruit Crostini and Plum Chutney 82

Dry-Aged American Kobe Beef Tenderloin with Desert Succotash and Golden Raisin Compote 84

From the Earth: Vegetable Side Dishes

Posole and Desert Succotash 88

Pickled Local Squash 89

Horseradish Dauphinoise Potatoes 89

Cholla Buds 90

Olive Oil-Marinated Grape Tomatoes 90

Roasted Baby Beets 91

Tian of Rainbow Chard Leaves 91

Afterlife: Dessert

Goat's Milk Cheesecake on Mesquite Meal Crust with Fennel-Pistachio Crumbs 94

Fry Bread with Ibarra Chocolate and Kahlua Ice Cream and Ancho Caramel Sauce 95

Three Sisters Creme Brulee: Squash with Candied Pepitas, Fire-Roasted Corn with Huitlacoche Biscotti, Mount Pima Anise with Candied Red Bean Paste 96

Local Olives Prepared Three Ways 99

Finishing Touches

Flavored Vinegars and Oils 102

Vinaigrettes and Marinades 103

Syrups and Sauces 106

Dust and Mud 110

Salsas, Chutneys, and Compotes 111

Garnishes 114

Glossary of Native American and Desert Foods 117

Appendix A Shopping Guide for Native American Heritage and Specialty Foods 122

Appendix B Where to Learn More about the Native Culture of the Sonoran Desert 125

Metric Conversion Tables 129

Index 130

Acknowledgments 134

About the Authors 135

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