You don’t see posts often from me on “Where and What in the World,” but Maralyn has encouraged me to get with it and convey my thoughts. She is responsible for the photos.

A quick weekend trip to Sedona and Cottonwood, Arizona.

There were two primary segments to our weekend jaunt. Maralyn wanted to interview again and catch up with Chef Ivan Flowers. Then, she wanted to attend Mari-Lyn Harris’ (Sedona Pies) pie and wine pairing at the Pillsbury Wine Tasting Room in Cottonwood. These two events took us to Sedona and Cottonwood, respectively.

Friday night, June 25, we went to Fournos Restaurant, owned by Flowers and his wife Tracy. We thoroughly enjoyed a six course meal of Chef Flowers’ favorites. These were highlighted by lobster bisque, lamb chops, and a dessert of tiramisu. Each of our six offerings included a different pairing of wine. Each course was great, but for me, these three were the hits of the show.

Chef Flowers, of course, came to Maralyn’s attention when he was Executive Chef at “A Different Point of View” in Phoenix. We had experienced several outstanding meals at that location. Due partly to change in corporate ownership, Flowers left this restaurant and opened and developed several different establishments in Sedona. Finally, he started his own place in Sedona with the woman who initially was his Marketing and P.R. consultant and later became his wife.

Now, Fournos is smaller than Flowers’ earlier kitchens, but he has total control over all aspects of meals. The seating capacity is 24. Such small size of this restaurant means that Flowers also has much less capacity than before for delegating. He now combines the roles of creator, delegator to himself, and final reviewer. So far, he said he likes all of these roles fine.

Wife Tracy Phillips is in charge of Fournos excellent wine list and prepares desserts. She was responsible for our excellent Tiramisu. The restaurant has only one waitress, Tess Griffin, who did an excellent job. Behind the scenes, Alfredo moved quickly around, doing whatever needed to be done.

The next day, Saturday, we attended Mari-Lyn’s pairing in Cottonwood at Pillsbury’s Wine Tasting Room. Mari-Lyn creates her pies with wine and other unique and fresh ingredients. For this wine tasting, she prepared two pies, peach and rhubarb/strawberry for us, topped off with whipped cream. This combination really went well with a Pillsbury Pinot Gris for the peach variety and a Rose serving for the rhubarb/strawberry. Both wines seemed especially balanced with the combination of pies and whipped cream.

We had a nice conversati
on with Sam Pillsbury, owner of the Arizona vineyard. He has been planting vines for about ten years and swears that, each year, he learns something new about the wine business. He still functions as a film maker, but conveys passion for wine making.

During our first night at Sedona, we were hosted by The Inn at Oak Creek. This Charming B&B; was the result of the 1995 conversion of a Sedona area art gallery.

The Morrison family gutted the gallery into a 12 room charming B&B;, with decks in all rooms overlooking Oak Creek and views of the red rocks. Current owner Jim Matykiewicz took over in 2005 and has continued with the same setup. In the afternoon, we were welcomed with cookies and then appetizers between 5 and 6 P.M. His breakfast offerings included an opening of granola and yogurt, raspberry and cantaloupe, followed by a main course of pancakes and especially crispy and firm bacon.

For more information:

Fournos Restaurant

3000 U.S. 89 Alternate (S), Sedona, AZ 86336-5095

Sedona Pies

Pillsbury Wine
1012 N Main Street, Old Town Cottonwood, AZ

Inn on Oak Creek
556 Hwy 179, Sedona, AZ 86336 800.499.7896 or 928.282.7896

Norman E. Hill, FSA, MAAA, Meber AICPA
Member: International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association
Member: Society of Professional Journalists