Chuck Wiley Dishes on the Two Local Chefs He Most Admires, His Three Favorite Local Dishes and His Sensual Last Meal

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See also: April's Edible Education at Scottsdale Old Town's Farmers' Market

This is part two of my interview with Chuck Wiley, executive chef of Cafe ZuZu and the Hotel Valley Ho. If you missed part one, where Wiley discusses his oddball guilty pleasure, read it here.

Is comfort food here to stay?: Definitely. However, I define comfort food as food which is approachable and familiar, and in the end, eating it makes you comfortable. Comfort food is not necessarily a 2,000 calorie plate of meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Five words to describe you: Happy, grateful, curious, optimistic, determined.

Four words to describe Café ZuZu: Fresh, beautiful, seasonal, unfussy.

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Describe the American food scene 20 years ago: A few pockets of inspiration.

Describe it now: Many, many more pockets of inspiration! There are so many more choices, so much more beautiful food now than 20 years ago -- chefs, farmers and artisans all over the country creating something wonderful.

The great thing about being a chef is: Being surrounded by beautiful food.

The tough thing about being a chef is: You're only as good as your last plate.

The most fun I've ever had in the kitchen was: During those fleeting, yet constantly recurring "Golden Ages" when you're cooking and working with people you genuinely enjoy and respect, and together you are creating something truly inspired. I get high just thinking about it.

Location Info

ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho

6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Sushi Ko

9301 E. Shea Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Cafe Bink

36889 N. Tom Darlington Drive, Carefree, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Zinc Bistro

15034 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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