By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
iPic brings fine food and film together thanks to Tanzy’s chef
Sherry Yard is passionate about two things: food and film.
Six years ago, she saw an opportunity in iPic Theaters and jumped in headfirst. With a recently renovated location in the Scottsdale Quarter, iPic is now the nation’s fastest-growing, affordable luxury “movie going experience.”
“I’m an avid moviegoer. My friends are as well,” Yard says. “We would have Monday night movie nights. There was always the conundrum of do we eat first? Do we watch the movie first? What do we do?
“When I found out about iPic, I was converted.”
Yard isn’t just a foodie. iPic’s chief operating officer, Yard is a Brooklyn-born chef who collected three James Beard Awards and a lifetime induction into its Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America.
She honed and expanded her skills at the Rainbow Room, followed by an appointment as executive partner within Wolfgang Puck’s company for nearly 20 years. Her fresh-from-the-farm desserts became staples at events such as the Academy Awards Governor’s Ball, and the Grammy and Emmy awards.
“I thought I was going to go into retirement working with Wolfgang,” she says.
She came on as vice president of culinary to change the “Dining in the Dark” menu, she says. iPic sits next to her eatery, Tanzy Restaurant, which was also recently refreshed.
Through June, iPic will feature guest chef menus and special cocktails of the month. Cooking with Sherry and Friends airs before the featured films and showcases the monthly special menu items.
Chef Lior Lev Sercarz created May’s chicken shawarma flatbread with Greek yogurt, cilantro, spicy chickpeas and zhatar.
Chef Miro Uskokovic is the mastermind behind June’s Balkan burger, stuffed with cheese and served on warm pita with roasted red pepper ajvar sauce, pickles, arugula and spicy French fries.
Drinks are considered as well. iPic’s executive bartender/corporate sommelier Adam Seger stars in the on-screen mixology segment Drinking with Spirit, showcasing cocktails to pair with “Dine in the Dark” menu items.
iPic is more than movies and food. There’s the “experience,” as Yard likes to call it.
Founded by Hamid Hashemi, iPic features pod and chaise lounge seating with courtesy personal pillows and blankets, along with push-button “Ninja Butler” service. Pods are equipped with swivel tables and a cubby in the corner for small items.
“The new iPic Scottsdale was designed to deliver our members and guests a differentiated, elevated entertainment experience,” Hashemi says.
“Our guests will be able to enjoy the newest releases in an intimate setting with their friends or loved ones in a shared environment. Scottsdale’s new auditorium seating will offer a glimpse into our next generation of auditoriums and seat design, which will be rolling out worldwide.”
Yard is proud of her company. “All of us work really hard with iPic,” she says. “When you get off work, you want an escape. You want to get away. We say, ‘Come for the food; stay for the movie.’”
“You can sit at home and watch a movie there. You can’t have that same experience, though. It’s all about taking care of you and hospitality – the creating and curating of a memorable experience.”
Next door to iPic Scottsdale, Tanzy offers Yard’s garden-fresh Italian dishes, most notably her handmade pasta dishes like spinach-ricotta gnudi with roasted mushrooms, basil pesto, gorgonzola cream and grana Padano; beet agnolotti with mascarpone-potato filling, poppy seed, black winter truffle and parmesan; and pappardelle with slow-cooked Bolognese, plum tomato, fresh ricotta and basil.
“I love the beet pasta,” Yard says. “It’s so good. It’s all about the beet. It takes me back to California.”
Showcasing Prime USDA beef, Tanzy’s new steak section features 21-day wet-aged cuts: petite filet mignon, New York strip loin, Wagyu flat skirt steak and “cowboy cut” bone-in rib-eye for two.
Yard is known for her desserts, so be prepared to save room.
“I have a dessert cart that’s coming,” she says. “I’m going to have cakes you can’t get anywhere else. I have a flourless chocolate mousse cake. I love chocolate mousse – everyone does. I want to bring it back in a more modern way. I have a raspberry infinity cake. It’s a luscious version of red velvet cake. We have cookies for days and ice creams.”
Tanzy’s new culinary menu will be complemented by Seger’s diverse beer, wine and craft cocktail list. There are five flavors of spiked Italian ice (limon, passion-ginger, strawberry mojito, blood orange-pomegranate and chocolate-espresso-maldon) and housemade Italian liqueurs including chocolatecello, citruscello and cherrycello.
“Our guests are foodies at the restaurant and at the theater,” Yard says. “It’s all about the experiences.”