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The New Native American Cuisine by Marian Betancourt

Sonoran Desert Cuisine from Arizona's Kai Restaurant at Wild Horse Pass

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The New Native American Cuisine by Marian Betancourt

The New Native American Cuisine by Marian Betancourt

The New Native American Cuisine is a beautiful cookbook featuring cuisine served at the Kai Restaurant at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass just south of Phoenix, Arizona.

I asked a friend, who is well-versed in critquing books and in selecting cookbooks, to give me her impressions. The following are her comments:

The production quality is great. The cultural sections are well done and highlight a people that are not widely written about from a culinary standpoint, the people of the Tohono O'odham Nation.

The recipes included are good in that they use ingredients that were traditionally used by the Tohono O'odham people. It should be noted that most of the recipes are for more than the casual home cook.

I did appreciate that the very popular "Black Bean Hummus" was included and had actually been modified slightly to make it easier for the home cook. Several years ago I saw the Kai chef actually prepare this on television. I begged Wild Horse Pass for the recipe. Of course, when they sent it, it was for quantity preparation and called for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. This is an ingredient quite easy to obtain in AZ but you have to look for it a bit harder elsewhere. I noticed that the recipe had been adapted for the home cook by calling for chipotle powder rather than chipotle in adobo sauce.

I do think that it would be a great souvenir to take home from a visit to Wild Horse Pass. The photos are lovely and perhaps someone who stayed there for several days would actually have enjoyed one or more entrees featured in the book.

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