January 29, 2021

Paul Schaum

New elements menu focuses on creativity and synergy

Cooperation and collaboration might seem like unspoken qualities of every successful business; however, they become incredibly essential when working in the food and beverage industry. Now, take the importance of those essential qualities and amplify it by a thousand. That’s what you can expect when dining at an upscale establishment like elements in Paradise Valley. Oh, but there’s one thing that the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa can offer that other fine dining restaurants cannot … an absolutely stunning view of the Valley that creates an unmatched ambiance and unforgettable experience for those lucky enough to have been.

As for those essential qualities mentioned above, elements has a culinary trifecta of talented chefs that combine to create one of the most synergistic menus you’ll ever see. Executive chef Beau MacMillan, chef de cuisine Samantha Sanz and bar chef Christiaan Röllich work together to marry the kitchen and bar offerings, so that everyone dining at elements can receive the complete top-to-bottom experience.

“This is just the beginning,” chef Sanz said when talking about her team. “We are about to take off.”

Both chef Sanz and bar chef Röllich applauded one another, expressing the importance of connectivity within the new elements menu. In fact, Röllich talked about how each of their backgrounds and inspirations have intertwined with each other to create a unique culinary experience for their guests.

Before I get to the incredible food, it needs to be mentioned that bar chef Röllich made arguably the greatest cocktail I’ve ever had while I was dining at elements. It is not currently on the menu but is bound to make an appearance soon. It is tentatively called the Winger and is a creative rendition of a gin and tonic. Röllich was inspired by the popular Portuguese cocktail mixture of White Port and tonic, so he decided to combine cultures and create his own cocktail that intertwines all three. Needless to say, it was exquisite. After all, Röllich is the author of Bar Chef: Handcrafted Cocktails, which is currently an editors’ pick on Amazon.

Menu favorites

The menu is loaded with delicious American food renditions, including plenty of Asian influence and seafood flavors. One of my favorite items on the menu is the Brussels sprout. Yes, you read that correctly. I would not be surprised if you’ve already shrugged off the idea of ordering a vegetable that you might have despised growing up, because frankly, I felt the same exact way… at first.

Our wonderful server, Greg, highly recommended them, so we had to try them out. The first thing that I should have told you was that they are served with crispy pork belly and kimchi sauce. In other words, they are Asian-inspired brussels sprouts cooked with bacon. Ok, that might be an oversimplification, but they were delicious nonetheless.

If you are a fan of seafood, then elements is the place for you. The dinner menu includes fan favorites like the miso-glazed salmon and the Chilean sea bass, but my eyes were immediately set on the black truffle and lobster risotto. Cooked with chanterelle mushrooms and toasted with walnut gremolata, this seafood staple is brought to life by the culinary team at the Sanctuary.

Last but certainly not least, the dessert menu has everything your heart (and sugar tooth) can desire. While the menus are constantly changed based on the season, there is one dessert that seems to be standing the test of time. The PB Bombe is a creamy peanut butter base coated in a decadent chocolate exterior topped with a golden flake for presentation. When it was first described to us, it was compared to Reese’s on steroids, and well, my friends… that description was spot on. I’m talking the kind of bite that makes you close your eyes, smack your lips and say “mm mmm!”

Ultimately, elements offers the extremely rare combination of picturesque scenery and top-notch cuisine. The open dining concept presents an incredible panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Whether you’re gazing at the mountains at sunset or fixated on the brightly-lit city at night, there might not be a better view of the Valley than at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa.