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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Chef whips up food for pets

August 11, 2005, The Arizona Republic

Arizona Biltmore Executive Chef Michael Cairns has cooked for presidents, celebrities and captains of industry.

A lesser-known entry on his resume: creator of canine concoctions.

Cairns developed the Phoenix resort's Pet Pals' menu, tucked inside the room service menu alongside the regular offerings, a children's menu and a teen menu.

There are three entrees, Kojo's Dirty Rice with Beef, Zen Yo and Sylvester's Seared Salmon.

The description for Zen Yo, a vegetable stir-fry with poached eggs, reads like the pitch for a spa treatment: "Developed especially to help pets adjust to jet lag and altitude, this dish is easy to digest and helps to re-hydrate travel weary dogs and cats."

They go for $11 and include Sedona bottled water.

Cairns said the volume of pet orders ranges from two a day to 10 or 12, depending on the mix of vacation and convention guests at the resort. The idea was born out of special requests the kitchen received from pet-toting celebrities and other guests, he said.

The resort even does special orders off the pets menu, i.e. Zen Yo with egg whites only, or vitamins sprinkled over one of the dishes.

"It's amazing to see how many pets are spoiled," he said.

When he sees guests walking their pets around the resort, some stop him to say, "Thanks for dinner last night."

Spoil Yourself with a Figurine of Your Favorite Dog Breed


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