Anthony Redendo of Sofrita and Redendo's Pizzeria
|Courtesy of Anthony Redendo|
For Anthony Redendo of Sofrita and Redendo's Pizzeria, having a successful restaurant of one's own is not enough. Redendo is a teacher and mentor to his culinary students at Phoenix College as well as his followers on Facebook. Is this guy really a chef? There isn't an arrogant bone in his body! During our chat he constantly gave credit to his wife/business partner and emphasized how much he wants to help first-time restaurant owners.
New Yawk, New Yawk: My mother couldn't cook, not at all. A lot of Italian food. We grew up in Queens. Pizza every Friday night; spaghetti on Sundays. That was kind of how I grew up.
Behind every great man... She (Redondo's wife) is from Puerto Rico. She's kind of the driving force behind my restaurants. She actually manages all the restaurants. I'm really just the chef. I do the menus, but really she's the one that does all the concepts.
Biggest indulgence: Pizza, which is sad because I have diabetes. I can't really have a lot of it. Nothing like not being able to have your favorite foods in the whole world: pizza, pasta and bread.
Find out which celebrity chef Redendo idolizes after the jump.
Good ol' days on the Food Network: I long for the days when the Food Network first came out when it was like Mario Batali and I could actually learn stuff, but now it's like game shows. As a chef instructor I think it brings in a lot of dreamers, a lot of people who think the culinary world is a glamorous and they want to be on TV.
Biggest culinary influences: Wolfgang Puck, Douglas Rodriguez - I've opened their cookbooks. I think I shook Wolfgang Puck's hand one time. I'm Facebook friends with Douglas Rodriguez.
The Social Network: On Facebook I help a lot of people around the area with their restaurants. I was thinking about starting my own company, but I don't know how to take anyone's money. I've been giving free advice on Facebook. Chef Beckett and Payton Curry - I've been trying to support everyone.
If you could meet one person dead or alive... Gordon Ramsay
South Beach punk rock: I kind of had a thing with music for a while, but she (Redondo's wife) pulled me out of that. I was into the punk rock scene in Miami. She yanked me out of that. We met in Miami.
Local flavor: I kind of joke that I opened Sofrita for the community of Fountain Hills - I opened it for the town I live in. Everybody else in the Valley can come, but really I made it for us in Fountain Hills because really we have nothing. We designed the concept because we're kind of trapped out there. We have Flamenco Por La Vida, which was the house band at Bomberos. They come the first and third Thursday of every month.
Biggest pet peeve: Forgetting to flavor with something like salt. You can ruin a dish if you don't salt something properly.
Check back tomorrow for some sound advice from our culinary do-gooder.