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An Inspiration for Passion and a Passion for Food

By Lisa Dahl Subscribe to RSS | June 21st 2012 | Views:

We recently spent time withchef, restaurateur and author Lisa Dahl, one of the leading lights in preserving old world food traditions in the face of new modern menus. Ms. Dahl is the owner and chef at two of the Southwest’s leading Italian food restaurants, Dahl &Diluca and CucinaRustica, both located in drop-dead gorgeous Sedona, Arizona, about 75 minutes north of Phoenix, AZ.

When you meet Lisa in one of her restaurants, book signing or a cooking demonstration, you’ll find a bubbly woman who absolutely passionate about great food, fine dining and the love it inspires. In turn, you then get excited and inspired. As Executive sous-chef for the restaurants, Lisa makes sure that her food is marked by fresh ingredients, simplicity and care in preparation. This extra special attention has raised Dahl & Di Luca’s profile as the best Italian restaurant in Sedona.

Lisa has been in Sedona for about 13 years, and in that time has created some of the most mouth-wateringly good food creations that keep her restaurants busy and full of glowing customer comments on all the right travel and food websites. We sat with her to learn a bit more about her inspirations and passions, and to learn secrets in her kitchen.

Q: What made you want to be a chef? What inspired you?

Lisa Dahl (LD): “It has always been a delight of mine to cook. I remember helping my mother in the kitchen, and asking questions about the wonderful flavors and smells. Later in life, I found opportunities to learn more, taste better and share my own innovative food creations with others, and I’ve not yet looked back!”

Q: As Executive chef, do you have to deal with all the daily ingredient ordering, menu preparations, buying new equipment as needed and paying bills?

LD: “Thankfully, my team and I work together to lessen the load of all the items you ask. More importantly, I don’t see this as work! Cooking brings a sense of accomplishment for me – from the initial research into seasonings and ingredients to the entire cooking experience, it’s so rewarding. It gives me a great sense of awe.”

Q: Many of the comments on the travel sites about your restaurants Dahl &DiLuca and CucinaRustica echo this theme of love. Where is the love in your food?

LD: “I have a favorite saying – ‘When you cook with love, you feed the soul’. It’s truly a work of passion in the kitchen. When my team and I set out to create exquisite flavors in our Italian food, we share a lot of the same excitement. That accomplishment we gain in the kitchen translates into wonderful sensations and unforgettable flavors for our customers. And they love it!”

Q: What brought you to Sedona in the first place?

LD: “All of us have a wondrous journey that we call life, and my own journey has taken life’s twists and turns. These brought me to Sedona in the mid-1990s, I fell in love with the area and its potential and today call it home.”

Q: What’s your favorite dish on the menu?

LD: I have many favorites on the menu, but one in particular is also a favorite with our customers. It’s Pollo al Rosmarino (Rosemary Chicken), one of our restaurant’s signature dishes. We prepare it with fresh boneless chicken breasts, sautéed with pancetta, mushrooms and onions and simmered in a fragrant and heavenly light rosemary marsala wine sauce. It’s so delicious.”

The next time you’re traveling throughout picturesque Arizona, detour yourself to Sedona for the breathtaking physical beauty as well as for delicious Italian food in Sedona at Dahl &DiLuca and CucinaRustica.

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Article Source: LivingDahl

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