Chef Giovanni Arias, new head chef at Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa, recently talked with Feast Miami about his new gig. When asked what he brings "to the Canyon Ranch table," Arias replied: "I can bring out the best of any ingredient and transform a simple and fresh dish to a more sophisticated and succulent dish. I am accustomed to working with a variety of products and ingredients while combining exotic flavors from all around the world, whether it is in a stew, stir fry or using different types of cooking techniques. I also like to challenge myself into looking beyond the basics in my ingredients."
All of which sounds reasonable enough. But the same post lists Giovanni's Thanksgiving menu for Canyon Ranch:
Roasted Turkey Breast
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Whole Wheat Bread Stuffing
Sauteed Green Beans
Might have been a delicious meal, but the menu doesn't appear to be especially "sophisticated", nor does it contain much "variety of products and ingredients." And while the chef claims to enjoy "challenging" himself "beyond the basics in my ingredients", this is the least challenging Thanksgiving day menu I've seen.
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That's fine by me -- I really do prefer sticking to basics, especially when it comes to holiday turkey dinners. Plus Arias' non-Thanksgiving Canyon Ranch menu is more involved than this. Come to think of it, so is any menu. But it just seems unseemly to boast about being the sort of chef who likes to push the envelope, so to speak, and then put out a holiday menu devoid of a single interesting touch or even the slightest hint of an out-of-the-ordinary idea.
This is just another of many reasons why I'm in favor of restricting all chef interviews to ten words or less.
Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa
6801 Collins Ave., Miami Beach