'Bunnyland' and brunch come to Fairmont Scottsdale Princess for Easter weekend

Posted: Updated:

If you're trying to plan out Easter festivities for you and your family this weekend, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has something for everyone.

Easter is in funny bloom at the resort, and 1,500 people have already booked their brunch reservations.

Executive Chef David Morris of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess says the great food is just the beginning. "We've got a eh ole mini-carnival going on," he says. "We've got bouncy balls, we've got the Easter Bunny, we've got an egg hunt. We've got a concert going on."

But make sure you come hungry. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess is offering an extensive outdoor brunch featuring cuisine from four different restaurants, Easter egg hunts, a "Bunnyland" with pony rides, activities for the whole family. There will also be visits from Mr. Bunny himself on Sunday, April.

Six Fairmont Scottsdale chefs are coming together to create the elaborate culinary festival. With food stations throughout the blooming courtyard, the menu highlights popular selections from Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak, La Hacienda by Richard Sandoval, Ironwood American Kitchen and the new Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar by Richard Sandoval.

Featured items include:

-Executive Chef David Morris' “Sunrise Breakfast & Brunch Favorites.” Offerings include spring-fresh juices, waffles, pancakes, French toast, Applewood bacon, fennel and chicken apple sausage, organic salads and build-your-own omelet and parfait stations.

-La Hacienda - By Chef de Cuisine Forest Hamrick. La Hacienda puts a modern twist on Mexican food featuring Costillas de Barbacoa de Res, made with braised beef short ribs, yogurt habanero slaw, tamarind piloncillo glaze and pickled vegetables, followed with refreshing, flavored agua frescas.

-Bourbon Steak - By Chef de Cuisine Jeremy McMillan. Those looking for a fine cut of beef should head straight to this station, with salt-crusted steamship beef round with horseradish crème fraiche and peppercorn sauce, along with soy, ginger and mirin-glazed mushrooms and broccolini with garlic-chili citronette.

-Toro Latin Restaurant & Rum Bar by Chef de Cuisine Michael Vargas. Fairmont Scottsdale's newest restaurant joins the brunch display with lomo saltado and chifa fried rice and tuna Nikkei ceviche.

-Ironwood American Kitchen - By Executive Sous Chef William Schultz. Ironwood American Kitchen offers traditional Easter fare with a twist, such as mint and lavender-rubbed lamb leg, wild mushroom asparagus risotto, spiced carrot soup, Kobe beef sliders and a mac 'n' cheese bar.

-Pastry Art & Desserts - By Executive Pastry Chef Carlos Salazar. A large array of desserts makes the perfect sweet ending to any meal. Artful creations by the pastry team include carrot and raspberry cakes, assorted cheese cakes, mousse shooters, chocolate dipped strawberries, Rice Krispie treats and other sweet sensations.

-Sipping & Savoring. Cocktail experiences include build-your-own Bloody Marys, champagne cocktails and a full bar. (Alcoholic beverages are an additional charge.)

Easter Brunch will be served from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, April 5 in La Hacienda Plaza. The price is $85 for adults or $35 for children ages 6 - 12, plus tax and gratuities. Children 5 and younger dine for free with the purchase of an adult brunch. Brunch reservations are required and can be made by calling 480-585-2694.


Hotel guests and brunch-goers can follow the bunny trail and white picket fence to Bunnyland, an Easter playground on the resort's Lagoon Lawn from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., with jumper rooms, a petting zoo, pony rides, wooden turtle races, potato sack races, jelly bean bingo, giant bubble making and entertainment from the Bunnyland stage including a magic show, the Heady Hoop Tribe professional hula hoopers and DJ Splash. The resort will also have three Easter egg hunts taking place on Canyon Lawn (near brunch at La Hacienda) at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Bunnyland and the Easter Egg hunts are both complimentary for hotel and brunch guests. Photo opportunities with the Easter Bunny will be available all through at the brunch, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Rack of Lamb with Dijon Bread Crumb Crust

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 75 minutes

Serves: 4

Sous Vide Water Bath (Anova Sous Vide immersion circulator )

Vacuum sealer and bags or zip lock bags if you do not have a vacuum machine


1 rack of lamb, about 2 pounds

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Dijon Bread Crumb Crust

1/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) shredded Parmesan

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1. Sous vide the rack of lamb

Set the sous vide for 145F, Sprinkle the rack of lamb with the salt, then vacuum seal in a large (gallon size) bag. Drop the bag in the sous vide and cook for 45 minutes - 1 hour…

2. Toast the bread crumbs

While the lamb is cooking, put the bread crumbs in a medium fry pan and toast over medium heat, stirring and tossing often, until the crumbs are toasted and brown. Pour the crumbs into a bowl, let cool for a minute, and then toss with the shredded Parmesan and rosemary.

3. Sear the lamb

Take the rack of lamb bag out of the sous vide, cut the bag open, and pat the rack of lamb dry with paper towels. Preheat a grill to high (or get a fry pan ripping hot over medium high heat), then sear the lamb on all sides, about 30 seconds a side. Immediately move the rack of lamb to a serving platter.

4. Add the bread crumb crust

Brush the lamb with the Dijon mustard, then pat on a thick layer of the bread crumb crust. Let the crust rest for 5 minutes, then move the lamb to a carving board and cut between every second bone. Serve

Sous Vide Root Vegetables with Brown Butter

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4

Finishing step: Sauté in brown butter

1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

8 baby carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

½ medium red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

4 cloves garlic, crushed

4 sprigs fresh rosemary, on the stem

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the Anova Sous Vide immersion circulator to 185°F (85°C).

Divide the vegetables and rosemary equally between two food bags. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to each. Season with salt and pepper and seal the bags.

Cook an hour or until vegetables are just tender.

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat, add cold butter and as it starts to sizzle and brown, add blanched vegetables, season with salt and pepper. Toss in brown butter to coat and finish with your favorite chopped herb, nuts, etc.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
7575 East Princess Drive in Scottsdale