During the month-long CALA Alliance Festival, the area’s Latino community is celebrated with a variety of artistic, culinary and musical events. One of the highlights of the festival is ¡Sabor! A Culinary Journey of the Americas, where top chefs from around the state put their personal touches on signature dishes from the Americas.

We’ll be bringing you sneak peeks of ¡Sabor! over the coming weeks with recipes from some of the chefs participating in the event. So don’t fret if you can’t make it to the event, as you’ll be able to whip up these tasty dishes yourself. Today we feature Michael Cairns of Montelucia Resort & Spa.

Chef Cairns oversees five dining venues at Montelucia, including the resort’s signature AAA Four Diamond restaurant, Prado, and the resort’s newest eatery, CENTRO Lounge. Some of chef Cairns’ career highlights include being honored at the prestigious James Beard House in New York in 2004 and being awarded the “Best Chef” Critic’s Choice Award at the Vail Wine & Food Festival in 2003.

Chef Michael Cairns of Montelucia Resort & Spa

Chef Michael Cairns of Montelucia Resort & Spa

Prado Salmon and Spinach Salad Recipe

Spinach & Toasted Walnuts
2 Heads of Baby Spinach
½ Cup of Dried Blueberries
½ Red Onion, Sliced Thin
2 Bell Peppers (1 Red, 1 Yellow) Fine Slice
1 Cup Toasted Walnuts

½ Cup Fresh Squeeze Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 EA Garlic Clove Minced
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Honey or Cane Sugar

Toss spinach in mixing bowl with blueberries and onions and half of the dressing an hour before serving, lightly wilting the spinach. Toss with bell peppers, walnuts right before serving and apply the remainder of the dressing.

Pan Seared Salmon with Arizona Citrus
4 EA 6oz Wild King Salmon or Scottish Salmon Skin on Fillet
2 Tablespoons Queen Creek Blood Orange Olive Oil
1  Orange
1  Grapefruit
6 Sprigs Cilantro
3 Tablespoons Blended Oil (Canola & Olive Oil)
3 Tsp of Salmon Spice

Salmon Spice
1/8 Tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/8 Tsp Light Chili Powder
¼ Tsp Sugar
1/8 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1/8 Tsp Paprika
1/8 Tsp Mexican Oregano
¼ Tsp Salt & Black Pepper

Combine all ingredients and blend together to make rub.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. In an ovenproof large sauté pan, heat blended oil over medium high. Season salmon filets with spice, place skin side down (make sure salmon is not ice cold or skin will stick to the pan) and sear for 4 minutes. Skin should be crispy and salmon golden brown. Turn over salmon and place in oven to finish cooking approximately 4-5 minutes until medium or your desired serving temperature. Place skin side up on plate, drizzle blood orange oil over skin and garnish with orange and grapefruit segments and cilantro.