Cena Ristorante, located at The Chateaux Deer Valley, is opening later this week, and the kitchen is bustling with activity.
Executive Chef Chris Wellmon and his staff have been preparing for the May 4th reopening, the upcoming summer guests, and the creation of a new summer menu that starts May 24th. The new summer menu is sure to represent the culinary skill and craft of one of the finest kitchens in Deer Valley and Park City.
“The food tells the cooks’ stories,” Chef Wellmon said. “The food reflects the mentality of the kitchen.”
Chef Wellmon and team have been hard at work creating new summer dishes that are both locally-sourced and seasonally inspired, and sure to produce a community interest.
Finding the majority of his creative insight from well-known food blogs, Chef Wellmon seeks to create a seasonal menu of sophisticated Italian food that pushes the culinary envelope.
Don’t worry, the chef’s choice, Chicken Parmesan, and guest favorite, Cena Spaghetti & Meatballs, will both remain as regular menu items, as well as new creations that have been in the works for weeks as the team has perfected these dishes for the new menu.
Chef Wellmon and his team of excellent sous chefs and cooks begin the new menu process by brainstorming together. Once ideas are shared, the real fun begins. This developmental stage is when the chefs are at their best – drawing upon experience and having a willingness to risk as they create each new dish. Once the recipe is crafted, tested, and approved, the physical beauty of the dish is constructed until it is also perfected.
One such dish Chef Wellmon has creatively mastered is the Risotto Crab Cake. As an antipasto, this is sure to start your meal off right. Suggested by Chef Wellmon, the dish pairs well with arugula tossed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and lemon wedges.
Chef Wellmon’s Risotto Crab Cakes:
Yields 10 two-ounce cakes
2 tbsp red pepper diced small
1 tsp garlic minced
1 tbsp shallots minced
8 oz Dungeness crab meat
¼ cup white wine
1 lemon zest each
1 tsp dijon mustard
½ tsp chili flakes
1 egg each
½ cup fresh focaccia bread minced
1 cup risotto cooked (preferably cooked with chicken stock without cheese)
¼ cup of olive oil
Sauté peppers, garlic, and shallots on medium heat until peppers are tender. Add white wine and continue to cook until the wine is reduced by more than half. Set aside and let cool. While the peppers, garlic, and shallots are cooling, add the remainder of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, then incorporate peppers, garlic, and shallots. Add all remaining ingredients and mix together. Be sure to not overmix. Portion crab mixture into 2-3 ounce cakes. Place on a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add the olive oil and cook cakes until golden brown on both sides.
Try this recipe at home or come in and allow us to cook this highlighted menu item for you. Call to make a reservation: (435) 940-2200. Along with the restaurant reopening May 4th, Cena will be offering a 2-for-1 dining option for those intrigued to try decadent dining.