Chef Mercer & Mercer’s Kitchen
Fun Sedona Foodies
His staff refer to Mercer Mohr, as a simple, generous, observant man; who loves excellence and likes playing with food to entertain them. Pairing food with entertainment is his recipe for fun Sedona foodies. It’s also the mark of an excellent chef. Whether it’s on the plate, or somewhere in the venue, entertainment is what dining out is really all about. Mohr is leading the way in Sedona, with a network of restaurants participating in weekly foodie events that he personally attends every night with his fiancé, Emily Young.
Chef Mercer is the owner of Creekside Restaurant, Mesa Grill at the Airport, and Creekside Galleria Coffee Shop. Theses venues represent an elite group of some of Sedona’s great and affordable dining establishments. And, they all have beautiful panoramic views of either the Red Rocks or Oak Creek, as a delightful ambient feast.
Their menus offer an eclectic American cuisine sourced from top quality seasonal ingredients featuring local, and organic vegetables, organic chicken, cage free eggs, fresh seafood flown in weekly, and prime grade New York strips. Mohr has a message here. “Keep it simple”… with unprocessed, real food, and 5-6 ingredients. “Less is more” he says. Especially if the presentation is entertaining, and the meal is satisfying.
As the Executive Chef for the elegant Four Seasons Clift Hotel in San Francisco, Mohr won San Francisco’s Chef of the Year, for “innovative wine dinners and contributions to the New American Cuisine emergence.” He’d been working on a style he’d coined as ‘American Experimental,’ so this award was indigenous with his culinary creations. His chef status was elevated to rock star status, when he was invited to participate as a celebrity chef on a weekly radio program called, The Greengrocer. “Lady Luck has always been on his side,” he said.
He says his biggest life changing event, was leaving the corporate world when he came to Sedona in 2009 and began working for himself. In February of that year, Wild Thyme Restaurant Group was born. And in 2010, Ken’s Creekside Restaurant was revived from a failing business into a profitable one. Two lessons he brought with him, “You’ve got to create a menu that fits your neighborhood. And give people what they want.” Although Mohr and his partner were known for throwing unruly customers out of their restaurants the first two years… they had twelve restaurants seven years later. In their eighth year of business the partnership ended. The split gave Mohr the commercial real estate he owns today.
What does Mercer Mohr value most? He said, “True friends!” What is his greatest joy? The immediate satisfaction from entertaining others with great food and drinks. He hosts at least a party every month or so. Some of them are fun cooking parties with up to with up to 8 cooking stations in his home. There is a cooking theme with ingredients and recipes for couples to choose from. Guests go to their stations and he announces, “Go for it…dinner’s at eight.”
Mercer also has a passion for boats and animals. He lived on a 42 foot Silverton Motor Yacht when residing in San Francisco’s Alameda Bay area. Also near and dear to his heart, is his small 15# white American Eskimo canine. He’s created a ‘Dog Friendly’ patio and menu at both of his restaurants. And he only contributes to charities involving animals.
Mohr considers other great restaurants in Sedona like The Dahl & Diluca group, friendly competition. He said he’d participated in a James Beard Event with Lisa Dahl, and “Has a lot of respect for her!”
At fifty-eight, what’s on Mercer Mohr’s bucket list? “Maybe a couple more restaurants, and travel.” Last year he and his fiancée, Emily, went to Paris. “This year we’re going to Italy, - Lake Como and Tuscany, where we’ll probably get married.” With his love of caviar, fresh seafood, and Thai food, Mercer says, Japan, Scandinavia, and Thailand are travel destinations for him as well.
Chef Mercer gives us a large offering of diverse culinary pleasures. He also promises his restaurants will entertain and delight you with atmosphere, a friendly staff, fun events, and signature dishes. Look for his fun foodies activity to take Sedona to a new level of dining.
If you’d like to follow the nightly fun in Sedona’s local restaurants; call Mesa Grill
928) 282-2400 and sign up for “Mercer’s Monthly” to receive his calendar of events.
Story by Patti Polinard | Photos provided by Mercer Mohr
For more information on Mercer's Kitchen, visit: mercerskitchen.com