Executive Chef & Owner: Dahl Restaurant Group
A James Beard featured chef who has hosted two sold-out dinner at the famed culinary institution in New York City, Chef Lisa Dahl has pioneered the culinary scene in Sedona, AZ, over the last 20 years. As the executive chef and owner of four extraordinary restaurants in Northern Arizona’s red rock country, she has earned international acclaim for Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante Italiano, Cucina Rustica, Pisa Lisa and her newest, most buzzed-about addition, Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill.
Dahl was among the first to introduce fine dining to the small town of Sedona in the late ‘90s and she is now the largest restaurateur in the area with accolades spanning the culinary spectrum. In recent years, she’s been widely credited for Sedona’s emergence as a national “foodie destination”. Along with being a self-taught chef and successful restaurateur, Dahl is also a best-selling cookbook author and interior designer, having single-handedly designed the décor in of each of her restaurants.
After shedding her life in the Bay Area and a career in the fashion industry following the loss of her son Justin, Dahl sought healing and moved to Sedona, a town famous for its metaphysical energy and healing powers. Once settled there, she unearthed her long-held passion for cooking, one that she and her late son Justin shared. Her life long dream of being a chef and restaurateur was realized in 1995 when she opened Dahl & Di Luca Ristorante Italiano, where Chef Dahl’s passion for natural cooking comes to life with uber clean and healthy Italian-Mediterranean dishes.
Today, Dahl Restaurant Group warmly welcomes more than 350,000 guests per year among all four restaurants and is projected to reach 400,000 guests in 2017. On an annual basis Dahl Restaurant Group employs close to 250 people, many of who have been with the company for over 15 years. Each of Chef’s Dahl’s fine dining restaurants continue to garner prestigious recognitions and accolades, including the Wine Spectators Award of Excellence which has been awarded to Cucina Rustica and Dahl and DiLuca for 12 consecutive years.
Recent highlights of Dahl’s career include her James Beard House dinner in early 2017 and selling more than 16,000 copies of her award-winning cookbook The Elixir of Life. In 2016, she beat Arizona’s top male chefs for the title of “Burger Battle Champion” in Scottsdale, Ariz. Chef Lisa Dahl and her newest restaurant Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill will also appear in an upcoming episode of Travel Channel’s ‘Food Paradise’ airing in late 2017.
When not in the kitchen or her restaurant dining rooms, Chef Dahl can be found giving back to a number of organizations including The Verde Valley School Garden, The National Kidney Foundation of Arizona and other local non-profits.
Chef Lisa Dahl’s Food Philosophy
Chef Dahl lives by her mantra, “when you cook with love, you feed the soul.” She believes that flavors should never be overworked, food should speak for itself and only the finest ingredients should be used from the best sources available. Dahl prides herself in her relationship with local and regional organic growers, as well as with the highest quality specialty purveyors of meats and seafood. Chef Dahl is hands-on when it comes to
attention to detail in choosing the resources for her guest’s dishes, which focus almost entirely on organic produce, health-conscious ingredients and meats raised without antibiotics, hormones or GMOs and sustainably-harvested seafood.
A love of comfort food, bold flavors and Old World methodology are the essence of Chef Dahl’s cooking, as are her secret “elixirs” used within many of her ethnic dishes. Her signature Latin inspired chimichurri sauce is made from herbs grown on the property of Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill, while perfecting the balance of her ‘mother sauce’ has become the foundation for her unique Italian dishes as well as the pizzas at her award-winning Pisa Lisa wood-fired pizzeria.
A health nut at heart that lives by the credo “we are what we eat,” Dahl is a self-taught chef that became enthralled with vegetarian cookery as a teenager. That experience continues to inspire many of her most popular dishes that feature vegetables as the star.