Aaron Chamberlin Dishes on (Not) Being a Celebrity Chef and the Hype Around St. Francis When It Opened

Aaron C --front window.jpg
Chamberlin in his "office" at the front of the restaurant
But people consider you a celebrity chef. You don't?: Not at all. I don't care about being on TV or doing charity events. I don't need my ego stroked. It doesn't help my career. I need and want to be in my business. I'd rather spend time with some kid in my kitchen or get excited about my seedlings, about growing something I can eat.

St. Francis got a lot of great press right out of the gate. Wasn't there was some backlash from that?: Yeah, we got the wrong message out there. People had massive expectations because I'd worked with Michel Richard and other great chefs. I just wanted to feed the neighborhood, but the hype was crazy, and here I was, just fucking trying to figure out how to get the tile in the bathroom. We went from zero to 60 in one day. No wonder people didn't like it or get it. WE were still trying to figure it out.

How has St. Francis evolved?: We're faster, smarter and we have more clarity about who we are -- a neighborhood restaurant.

Do you watch TV cooking shows?: No, I don't have a TV. I have a cell phone and a laptop, and I'm at my technological peak right now. This is as far as I go. In fact, I plan to regress. In 10 years, I won't have a phone.

Name a national/international chef you admire and explain why: Jamie Oliver -- for making us realize that we're all fat.

Enjoy this Chef Salad? Check out Nikki's previous interviews with:
Michael Rusconi of Rusconi's American Kitchen
Chrysa Robertson of Rancho Pinot
Lynn Rossetto of The Splendid Table
Cullen Campbell of Crudo
DJ Monti Carlo
Pete DeRuvo of Davanti Enoteca
Chuck Wiley of Cafe ZuZu
Justin Beckett of Beckett's Table
Bryan Dooley of Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue
Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Cafe
Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar
Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House
James Porter of Petite Maison
Johnny Chu of SoChu House Neo Asian + Martini Bar
Stephen Jones of Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
Chris Gross of Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge
Chris Curtiss of NoRTH Arcadia
Payton Curry of Brat Haus
Mark Tarbell of Tarbell's
Josh Hebert of Posh
Kevin Binkley of Binkley's Restaurant
Lori Hashimoto of Hana Japanese Eatery
Larry White, Jr. Lo-Lo's Fried Chicken & Waffles

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Location Info

St. Francis

111 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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Well said Aaron!

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