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Food & Drink l



New Vig menu reflect’s chef’s vegan relatives BY KRISTINE CANNON Progress Staff Writer


s a kid, The Vig Chef Justin Woodard spent a lot of his time in the kitchen. He remembers his grandmother would sit him at the counter, and he would watch on as she made all her meals from scratch. “My grandmother used to cook with no recipes. It was just a thing, and at a very young age, that’s how I learned to cook,” he said. For Woodard, food is synonymous with family – and his family was top of mind when it came time to revamp the Vig’s recently launched fall menu. “My mom’s a vegan. My grandmother’s a vegan. There’s a lot of veganism in my family. So, I thought, let me take a look at this and see if I can incorporate the dishes in our menu and have it still make sense,” said Woodard. Woodward is also a corporate executive chef for Genuine Concepts, which owns The Vig, Cobra Arcade Bar, The Wom-

The Vig chef Justin Woodard shows off one of the new dishes on the revamped fall menu: black cod and fennel. (Kimberly Carrillo/Progress Staff Photographer)

ack, Ladera Taverna y Cocina, The Little Woody and The McMillan Bar Kitchen. His new menu has four vegan dishes, including steamed edamame, a harvest salad and cauliflower tacos. A third of the menu is composed of gluten-free dishes, including three salads, three tacos and coconut curry, which is also vegan-friendly. “We really wanted to have a vegan appetizer, a vegan entrée and a vegan salad. We couldn’t really get to the vegan dessert. Maybe that’s our next step. We’re still working on that,” Woodard said. One of the dishes close to Woodard’s heart is the coconut curry, made with red chiles, rice noodles, mango, Fresno chile, bean sprouts and green onions. “It sounds strange, like, ‘Why would they put curry on the menu?’ [But,] it’s very unique and it stands out,” he said. Maintaining the Vig identity – initially a neighborhood tavern and gathering hot spot to grub on comfort food – while incorporating more upscale, elevated, clean cuisine was the No. 1 challenge for Wood-

see VIG page 29

Downtown’s Prep & Pastry is mighty tasty

BY KRISTINE CANNON Progress Staff Writer


he newly opened Prep & Pastry is brimming with eye-catching details, from the tasteful sprinkling of green foliage throughout to the largerthan-life gold candelabra chandelier hung at the far end of the restaurant. But it’s what’s inside the Tucson-based restaurant’s pastry display upon entry that leaves patrons drooling: the giant, frosting-slathered cinnamon roll and other sinfully sweet treats, like the decadent Nutella and hazelnut dossant (a croissant and donut hybrid) and Earl Grey scones. Located at the Scottsdale Waterfront, Prep & Pastry’s grand

opening was held Sept. 17. Open until 3 p.m. every day, the restaurant specializes in breakfast, brunch and – of course – pastries. “After six years in Tucson, it just felt like the right time and the perfect place to come to Scottsdale,” said owner Nathan Ares. Prep & Pastry’s menu is a brunch connoisseurs’ dream. It includes the Cast Iron Duck Confit with braised duck, shallots, cabernet braised cherries, cherry goat cheese mousse, potatoes and over easy-eggs. There’s also the Everything Croissant Sammie, a breakfast sandwich that has a light spread of pistachio pesto and a stack of prosciutto, Muenster and American cheese, arugula and scram-

bled egg. Prep & Pastry’s Monte Cristo boasts a pineapple jalapeño mascarpone. Even the sides are must-order items – particularly Prep’s famous potatoes. “They’re seriously amazing,” one of the Prep & Pastry waitresses raved during the restaurant’s soft opening. Using a six-step preparation process, Prep’s baby Russet potatoes are steam-cooked to the ideal core temperature, then quick-dried on a rack dehydrator to remove excess moisture, and submerged in an ice shock. They’re then hand smashed, flash-fried with onions and tossed with fresh-chopped rose-

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Tucson-based Prep & Pastry opened at the Scottsdale Waterfront on Sept. 17. The restaurant specializes in breakfast, brunch and pastries. (Prep & Pastry/Special to the Progress)