Grilled Watermelon Salad, created by Chef Eric Finney
Arizona Grand Resort & Spa is known for having luxurious suites, an exhilarating 7-acre private water park, and now an inventive culinary team crafting innovative flavors. Leading the Grand Culinary Team is Chef Eric Finney, who has lent his skills to the James Beard House in NYC, served VIPs at the Salt Lake Olympics and now calls Arizona Grand Resort home base. When Chef Eric is not at home creating gourmet baked mac-and-cheese with buffalo mozzarella and herbed bread crumb topping or creating a new twist on an old classic like Chimmichurri Hollandaise sauce he can be found in the kitchens of the Lobby Grill and Arizona Grand Ballrooms working hard to make your taste buds dance. His blend of high-quality ingredients, new takes on classic plates and seasonal cooking position Chef Eric as a culinary contender in Phoenix. We asked Chef Eric what keeps him motivated, with a smile he responded “knowing that we create lasting memories for our guests is what keeps me going every day.”
There are the restaurant and banquet staples that Chef Eric is always whipping up like Cedar Plank Salmon with Pineapple Mustard Glaze or Kobe Braised Short Ribs, but he loves to get creative and create new dishes using the season’s freshest offerings. His favorite summertime treat is watermelon, and we want to share his delicious recipe for Grilled Watermelon Salad. This fresh take on a perennial staple is sure to be a hit at your next summer cook-out.
Grilled Watermelon Salad
4 cups baby arugula
½ cup crumbled goat cheese
½ Watermelon, rind removed and cut into rectangles
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons high quality balsamic vinegar
Place watermelon on a very hot grill just long enough to create grill marks on both sides of the watermelon and transfer smoked flavor from the grill. Place watermelon rectangles in refrigerator to cool. (Watermelon should be very cold when you actually prepare the salad.) Remove watermelon from refrigerator and cut into uniform cubes. Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl and toss. Enjoy!