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

Aaron C --front window.jpg
Aaron Chamberlin in his front window "office" at St. Francis
Aaron Chamberlin, chef-owner of St. Francis

You spent six years with LGO Group. What was that like?: I have a lot of emotional attachment to LGO. I still go there and pick up trash while I'm waiting for my coffee. It was a special place to be part of, and I got a lot out of that experience. That was my finishing school. It got me out of the fine dining mentality and made me a business chef.

So Bob Lynn [founder of LGO Group] was another important mentor, right?: Yeah, he can smell talent. He can smell people who will work like a dog. He's a team-builder. People who worked there have gone on to do massive things -- Doug Robson, Craig DeMarco, Jay Bogsinske and Jared Porter. I mean here was this lineup of chefs making granola, fruit and yogurt.

So, are you looking to build an empire?: Well, I don't expect to get rich. I live in a simple house. I don't drive a fancy car. The days of "who has the most toys wins" are gone. To me, who has the least is the winner.

Pete DeRuvo, executive chef of Davanti Enoteca

What do you understand now about being a chef that you didn't 10 years ago?:Keep everyone on the same page, every day, every shift, every moment. Things go sideways when you don't communicate!

Cullen Campbell, chef-owner of Crudo

Most over-rated ingredient: I don't believe there is one, as long as it is prepared well and balanced.

Buzzword you wish would go away: Casual fine dining. We are all casual fine dining. No need to state it.

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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