Chrysa Robertson Dishes on Male Chefs, How She Handled a Customer Complaint and Why She's Not Really Arizona's Alice Waters

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Nikki Buchanan
Chrysa Robertson at Rancho Pinot

This is part two of my interview with Chrysa Robertson, chef-owner of Rancho Pinot. If you missed part one, where Robertson talks about what it takes to be a woman chef and whether she's a marshmallow or a hard ass, read it here.

See also: Aaron May Dishes on Being a Chef, a Restaurateur and a Party Boy

What's your guilty pleasure?: Trader Joe's olive oil potato chips & frosty Tecate light beer in cans -- preferably consumed in the pool.

The great thing about being a chef is: If it's your restaurant, nothing beats being your own boss.

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Fall "garbage salad": prosciutto, Fontina, apples, dates, pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts and arugula

Favorite thing to eat growing up: My mom's roasted pork with crispy potatoes and applesauce.

Favorite thing to eat now: Combination of prosciutto, Fontina, apples, dates, pomegranate seeds, hazelnuts and arugula. My chefs call it "garbage salad."

The most fun I've ever had in the kitchen was when: We did a benefit dinner at Rancho a few years ago with a couple of great chefs I used to work for. We had rigged up a rotisserie out on the sidewalk to cook whole ducks. It involved a tire jack stand, a motor with a bicycle chain and several sheet pans filled with blazing mesquite charcoal. The best part was parading the cooked ducks through the dining room on a 12-foot skewer!

You raise chickens and do a bit of gardening. Is this for practicality or . . . ?: If I weren't a chef, I would be a landscaper. Or a cowgirl. I LOVE working outside. The hens started as a hobby, and we have since expanded the coop three times. There is nothing like a fresh egg! I use them at Rancho for pasta, ice cream, desserts, salads, etc. The "ladies" (48 of them at last count) eat most of the scraps from the restaurant, and anything else left over goes into the compost for the herb garden and the rest of the "compound". I consider the ladies dream employees, although by the time we buy the extra feed, each egg ends up costing about a buck.

Location Info

Rancho Pinot

6208 N. Scottsdale Road, Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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