Sherry Yard has an impressive resumé. A James Beard Award winner, she was executive pastry chef of the Wolfgang Puck empire for more than 20 years and has written two bestselling books — The Secret of Baking and Desserts by the Yard.
In her current role as vice president of culinary development for iPic Entertainment, a title she's held since 2014, her seemingly infinite to-do list has grown exponentially.
She's a self-proclaimed movie fanatic, so joining the iPic team came naturally — a perfect fit that combined the best of both worlds: food and entertainment. During her first visit to an iPic theater, she thought, The only thing missing is just a little higher level of food. An introduction to iPic’s president and CEO, Hamid Hashemi, was all it took.. “At that point, I was with Wolfgang and I was overseeing it all, from Spago to worldwide, and it was just meant to be,” she says. “I love movies, and I think Hamid’s vision for this is unprecedented. I’d love to be with a visionary like that.”
The Boca Raton-based movie chain opened several locations nationwide, inviting guests to experience a more opulent moviegoing experience. Each iPic theater offers guests plush recliners, surround sound, an in-cinema menu, and an in-house restaurant. At the helm of iPic’s dining concepts is Yard, who aims to make iPic an innovative culinary destination within an all-encompassing venue. “And it’s also a little selfish, if I may say so, because I want to go somewhere where I want to eat the food,” she says.
Locally, Miamians get to enjoy dinner and a movie on a new level at iPic North Miami Beach, which opened at the Intracoastal Mall late last year. Tucked inside the theater is the Tuck Room, designed for pre- and post-movie food and drinks. Although a few of iPic’s “dine in the dark” offerings overlap with the Tuck Room’s menu, the latter concentrates on social small plates. Offerings include papas
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Yard and her team are always looking for ways to better their menus. “I think the most important thing is that you get the best ingredients and you cook with your heart,” she says. The chef's menu pairs well with the handcrafted concoctions by mixologist Adam Seger. Custom cocktails put customers in charge of their libations and include Tuck’s signature liquid nitrogen bottle service and rum library.
At iPic, Yard’s role allows her to fulfill her first love of throwing parties and entertaining people. The chef recalls the days when she worked alongside Wolfgang Puck to execute parties for the Oscars, Emmys, and the Academy Awards' Governors Ball. Nothing, she says, beats her time at iPic. “For me, I’ve always wanted to entertain,” she says, “and this is the ultimate form of entertaining.”
The chef is eager to work with the next iPic theater. After the recent launch in Miami and Houston, Yard is excited for the New York City location. “This my hometown,” she says. “I’m from Brooklyn, and the Tuck Room concept there is going to be unique and exciting. For me, it’s very touching to go back.”
Yard hopes that, eventually, people won’t have to say to there isn’t an iPic near them. “I think we need one in every city,” she says. “That’s what I’m looking forward to.”