Chef Salad Highlights Part II: The Smart, Funny and Sometimes Provocative Comments Our Local Chefs Made in 2012

chef salad 2 collage.jpg
Chow Bella
Clockwise from top left: Chuck Wiley, Bryan Dooley, Pete Deruvo, Cullen Campbell.

Ask any chef: Food- and restaurant-related TV may provide drama and entertainment (although even that is questionable), but it sure as hell isn't based in reality. Feet ache, ceilings leak, employees call in sick, the health department shows up, grease traps overflow, food prices skyrocket, stoves catch on fire, customers skip out on reservations, Yelpers yelp and the restaurant critic invariably shows up on the day something catastrophic has just happened. Not that a chef would be caught dead whining.

See also:
-- The 10 Best Things I Ate in 2012
-- The 11 Best Things I Drank in 2012

They're a hardy lot, these lifetime members of the Suck-It-Up Club. And we've gotten to know them a little better -- both as individuals and as professionals -- here at Chow Bella this past year, where they've candidly shared their thoughts about everything we've asked them. Here's Round Two of the Chef Salad highlights of 2012. If you missed part one, read it here.

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The barrio queen
Silvana Salcido Esparza, chef-owner of Barrio Cafe and Barrio Queen

If you were a food, what would you be?: Cochinita pibil -- slow-roasted, a little fat, and full of flavor!

What really annoys you about "foodies" is: Foodies were fun 10 years ago. They were like hairdressers. They knew everything about anything and they always knew where to go. Unfortunately, in the age of Yelp, foodies are not foodies anymore. Now, they're usually just assholes and posers. Food is such a personal experience. I say, "Eat and let eat."

What advice would you give an aspiring chef?: Culinary school or not? The million-dollar question. I would say, get your ass to work first, figure out of this is for you before you blow your wad and owe the government for that student loan for a long, long time because culinary school is stupid-expensive.

But, if you are a young Mexican, I say do it. Let me help you, work for me, let me teach you. I figure the more Mexicanos start stepping up to the plate to represent our own food, the better. I mean, it's embarrassing for me when non-Mexicans know more about Mexico and her food than a Mexicano who eats and lives it on a daily basis. Orale cabrones, where the fuck are you?

Bryan Dooley, chef-owner of Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue

Name a chef/cook or restaurateur you'd love to spend a week with and explain why: I'm not really much of a chef worshiper. I'd rather spend a week on the road with Jack Kerouac, or throwing stars with [natural science writer and anthropologist] Loren Eiseley, or talking about the moon with Neil Armstrong. Those are my real heroes.

Location Info

Barrio Cafe

2814 N. 16th St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Pig & Pickle

2922 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Rancho Pinot

6208 N. Scottsdale Road, Paradise Valley, AZ

Category: Restaurant

ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho

6850 E. Main St., Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

St. Francis

111 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant


3603 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Bryan's Black Mountain Barbecue

6130 E. Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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