Chef Wendy Gauthier, who many know as the 2019 Iron Chef Tucson champion and owner of Chef Chic, is embarking on a new journey in Tucson's culinary world. On Sunday, October 30, she'll be closing her restaurant, Chef Chic, and taking on the role of executive chef for the Lodge at Ventana Canyon.
"It's great for me and my family — for my team," said Gauthier. "It's going to be an exciting, exciting adventure."
Gauthier is ecstatic about the new opportunity and knows that big things are on the horizon, not only for her but for the loyal staff that goes through the daily grind with her as well.
"They called me and said they were looking for somebody," said Gauthier. "I see this as a great step for me and an amazing opportunity. I'm also bringing all of my kitchen staff with me. So, that was a pretty cool deal — I get to keep my team together."
Back in 2001, Gauthier started Chef Chic as a catering company, and from there her culinary career blossomed. Then in 2019, she opened up her first brick-and-mortar at 1104 S. Wilmot Rd. and last year they celebrated the company's 20th anniversary.
To celebrate her recent stint at Iron Chef Tucson 2022, Gauthier is hosting a special dinner on Sunday, October 16 at 6 p.m. The dinner is being held inside Chef Chic and will feature dishes she whipped up during this year's competition. It'll be a great way to celebrate Gauthier's cooking and also give her team a loving sendoff before they move to the Lodge at Ventana Canyon.
"We may have a party at the end of the month, too," said Gauthier. "It's still kind of hard to say but we'll definitely have some specials and deals going on."
Those familiar with Chef Chic's menu know of its breakfast and lunch options such as eggs, breakfast bowls, high-protein options, sandwiches, salads, wraps, and grab-and-go meals. Perhaps there's a chance you'll recognize some of the recipes up in the Foothills.
"I think will definitely incorporate a lot of our unique sandwiches that we do at the cafe and just incorporate a lot of our own menu from our tea drinks and our style," said Gauthier. "We'll definitely have more gluten-free and vegan options out there as well. So, I think it'll be a more balanced idea of anything from comfort foods to high-end. We'll be able to handle a lot of people's requests."
In the end, the move to the Lodge at Ventana Canyon, which is not to be confused with Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, is bittersweet. However, with the retainment of her team, the incorporation of certain recipes, and the support from Tucson eaters, Gauthier couldn't be more excited about the new opportunity.
"I want to thank the community," she expressed. "I mean, I wouldn't have been in business for 21 years without Tucson and all of the support and love. I'm still going to be part of the Tucson chef scene. I'm still an ambassador for the City of Gastronomy so I'm not going away. I'm just doing something different. I could not have done this for 21 years without Tucson and it just means the world to me and for all the support that I've had."
Again, Chef Chic's last day at 1104 S. Wilmot Rd. is on Sunday, October 30. For more information on the Iron Chef Tucson dinner, follow Chef Chic on Facebook. The Lodge at Ventana Canyon is located at 6200 N. Club House Ln. For more information, visit ventanacanyonclub.com.
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