How a Wolfgang Puck Disciple Plans to Change Movie-Theater Food
Former Spago chef Sherry Yard heads to the Santa Monica farmers market as she makes over the multiplex experience
This story first appeared in the Oct. 3 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
It's not every day that a chef who helped run one of the nation's most renowned restaurants takes over a multiplex concession stand, but that's just what Sherry Yard has done.
Yard spent 19 years as Spago's pastry chef, leaving in 2012 to launch a still-in-the-works uber-bakery concept at the historic Helms Bakery building in Culver City. And now she's taken the role of vp culinary direction at iPic Entertainment, an upscale theater chain that this year opened a six-screen outpost in Westwood at the former AMC Avco site.
Competitors like ArcLight have been elevating expectations for screen cuisine for years, but Yard is taking a quantum leap, curating seasonal candies, rethinking standards like popcorn (churro-flavored!), cooking in-house whenever possible (try the bao buns) and heavily sourcing from the Santa Monica farmers market.
"People thought it was crazy when Wolfgang [Puck] went to Vegas years ago," says Yard. "The perspective on movie food will change, too."