Friday, July 24, 2009

New Chef at Iridescence

After all my gushing over Don Yamauchi after my trip to Forte, he went and did me one better: he took up residence at Detroit's hands-down best fine dining establishment, Iridescence inside Motor City Casino.

The fact that he decided to try out another casino restaurant after having what I understand to be a not-entirely good experience at MGM speaks volumes for what he must see as his opportunity at Iridescence. All I can say is: yespleaseyespleaseOMGyesplease!

Read the full press release below:

Chef Don Yamauchi has taken the reigns at Iridescence, a premiere dining destination located atop Detroit’s elegant MotorCity Casino Hotel. He brings with him a fresh take on upscale comfort-inspired foods presented in an unforgettable setting.

Yamauchi, a Chicago native, is a recipient of the James Beard Society’s Rising Chef award. He has been named among Food & Wine magazine’s Top 10 New Chefs in America. A graduate of the Culinary School of Kendall College in Evanston, Ill., Yamauchi understands the nuances of the Midwest dining scene. He built his career as a co-owner and executive chef at Le Francais in Wheeling, Ill., and has served as executive chef at such highly regarded metro Detroit venues as Forte, Saltwater, Bourbon Steak and Tribute.

Yamauchi, a Farmington resident, stands to take Iridescence to the next level with his innate understanding of Midwest sensibilities, French culinary training and Asian-inspired flavors. His menu re-envisions classic dishes, and elevates them to new heights.

“This isn’t your grandmother’s Chicken Pot Pie,” said Yamauchi describing a signature menu item. His preparation of the comfort food favorite involves a confit enriched by duck fat. His menu features appetizers like Crab Louie with avocado puree, Wagyu Beef Sliders, and entrées like Pan-Seared King Salmon with miso butter. His fresh upscale take on comfort foods places Iridescence in a new class, as a restaurant destined to be everyone’s first choice, from special events to a casual weeknight dinner.

While the experience is sure to be a memorable one – from the breathtaking views high atop Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel to the extensive wine list, exquisite personalized service and inspired dishes – it is now a more accessible dining option.

Yamauchi understands the challenges of today’s economy for every family. The average entrée costs $25, and his adventurous tasting menus range from $35-$50. Iridescence remains dedicated to quality ingredients, artful presentation and refined service, as Yamauchi presents what he calls a “relaxed menu at relaxed prices.”

This marks a new beginning. Yamauchi will lead the MotorCity Casino Hotel culinary team overseeing all venues. Those restaurants include The Assembly Line Buffet, MotorCity Pit Stop, Flames and the Signature Lounge.