Hot Chef Rising Star at MOJAVE in Washington Wine Country
Chef Kristin M. Johnson, a wisp of a lady, dances along the floor of her open kitchen at Mojave Restaurant with intensity and purposeful movement.
Although part of Desert Wind Winery and Inn, what she wants is to make a name for Mojave restaurant by focusing on innovative flavor contrast, locally-sourced Pacific Northwest products, and produce. Mojave has a Southwestern theme and décor showcasing stronger flavor profiles that pair with Desert Winds lustier wines. Chef Johnson's menu is carefully crafted utilizing the best offerings she can find in her local farmers' market in Prosser and the relationships she builds with her purveyors.
A recent dinner paired with Desert Wind wines showcased her version of a Caesar salad, a flaming tequila lime prawn pasta, a Painted Hills rib-eye steak rubbed with her own blend of " Mojave spice" finished to perfection with truffle salt, and the sweet ending was a Basil Lime Crème Brulee with candied lemon.
"What, in little Prosser, near the Yakima Valley?" you ask in an astonished tone.
Yes, this part of the Yakima Valley surrounded by several established AVA's is exploding with wineries, winemakers and soon more chefs will follow. Although the dining nearby is not yet anything to recommend, unless you like barbecue, we can definitely recommend Kristin's food at Mojave. As she says, "We want guests to have a pleasant experience here and be wined and dined." Have lunch or dinner at Mojave and find out for yourself.