Chef Bertrand Bouquin Elevates the Culinary Experience at Desert Mountain
Writer Shoshana Leon
Photographer Loralei Lazurek and Courtesy of Desert Mountain
Arizona is known for stunning desert landscapes and pristine golf courses. Over the past few years, Arizona has also become known for its thriving culinary scene, and continues to attract award-winning chefs from across the world to share their take on global cuisine.
Located in far north Scottsdale, Desert Mountain offers the best of all three with spectacular scenery, six Jack Nicklaus golf courses and exceptional dining led by an acclaimed international chef.
Since Chef Bertrand Bouquin came to Arizona to lead culinary operations at Desert Mountain in April 2017, he and his staff have been working to enhance the menus and the experience at Desert Mountain’s nine restaurants and grills for its 4,000 members and guests.
Chef Bouquin brings extensive culinary knowledge to Desert Mountain with an impressive resume and several accolades in his 30 years in the food and beverage industry. A native of Burgundy, France, he started cooking at age 15. He has worked for some of the world’s most celebrated French chefs, including Alain Ducasse and Daniel Boulud.
Before joining Desert Mountain, Chef Bouquin served as executive chef at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs for 12 years. He opened the hotel’s restaurant, Summit, which was named Best New Restaurant by Esquire magazine and has received many other prestigious awards. He is also a James Beard nominee.
Before joining the Broadmoor, Chef Bouquin worked at the award-winning Maisonette in Cincinnati, Club XIX at the Lodge at Pebble Beach, and the renowned Restaurant Daniel and Café Boulud in New York City.
After working all over the country, Chef Bouquin is happy to be in Arizona. “It’s a beautiful place,” he said. “It has a great food scene and there is so much to do.”
One of his proudest career milestones was being named Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, Master Chef of France. He was given this honor in June by one of his mentors, Daniel Boulud. Although he has many impressive awards, Chef Bouquin remains humble and focused on his craft and the customers.
“I was thrilled to receive the Master Chef of France award from my mentor and to have my wife there to celebrate with me. It is an honor to be recognized but awards don’t make you a better chef,” he said. “I continually strive to the best chef I can be because I truly love what I do.”
From the food to the service, Chef Bouquin is hands on in all aspects of culinary operations at Desert Mountain to ensure the quality of ingredients, the bar program, training for the staff of 80, and the guest experience.
When he joined Desert Mountain, he hit the ground running. He analyzed and refined the menus to better align with each restaurant’s theme in a more authentic way. He has enjoyed the great feedback from members on the new menus.
Desert Mountain has a diverse collection of dining experiences located throughout the community. Constantino’s features high-end Italian fare in a farmhouse setting. Starters include veal and pork meatballs, a salumi board featuring Italian meats and cheeses, and a daily chef’s preparation of foie gras.
The menu also offers pizza, a selection of pasta dishes and entree options, from chicken and veal scallopine to steak and seafood, as well as a family-style menu. The restaurant overlooks the Chiricahua golf course and on a clear day, you can see all the way to State Farm Stadium in Glendale, home of the Arizona Cardinals.
As part of the Outlaw golf course, Arizona Grill highlights Southwestern cuisine with north-of-the-border and south-of-the-border selections. North-of-the-border options include roasted gazpacho, brisket and chocolate chipotle ribs. South-of-the-border Mexican favorites include a variety of tacos, enchiladas, green chile tamales and fajitas.
Perched above the Apache golf course, Apache Steakhouse offers the best cuts of meat and fresh seafood, from Oysters Rockefeller and Dungeness crab bisque to lamb chops, pork chops, salmon, mussels and cioppino. Dessert options include baked Alaska for two, crème brulee, New York cheesecake and grilled peach cobbler.
Having spent much of his illustrious career at hotels and restaurants, Chef Bouquin enjoys the opportunity to get to know Desert Mountain members and their families, and interact with them on a regular basis. Catering for holidays, special events and golf tournaments is a big part of culinary operations at Desert Mountain.
“My staff and I strive to make our members happy,” said Chef Bouquin. “The staff is like a family and we enjoy serving families.”
Chef Bouquin is currently working to open a new clubhouse in early 2019 featuring a gastropub concept, where members can relax, watch sports and enjoy elevated bar fare. He is involved in every facet of this new venture, from the restaurant’s design to the food and beverage menu. “I’m very excited about the new concept and I can’t wait for our members to experience it,” he said.
In his time at Desert Mountain, Chef Bouquin has made a positive impact on the culinary program, and there are delicious things ahead that members are sure to enjoy.