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

Chrysa --beside cool case.jpg
Chrysa beside a display of ironic kitsch
Chrysa Robertson, chef-owner of Rancho Pinot

People think of you as a hard ass. Is that your persona? Or is that really you?: Chef Pete Deruvo (of Davanti Enoteca) used to work for me, and he recently said that I have "broken more spirits than an exorcism." SO true! And my Wonder Woman cook Sacha Levine says I sometimes remind her of Carrie at the prom. Now THAT'S funny! Seriously, I am pure marshmallow inside. I have always been a bit insecure and defensive. I have pretty strong opinions. I expect a lot from my crew. I don't suffer fools. I want things to go perfectly, and when they don't, I sometimes take my frustration out on my employees. I think I'm a lot better than I used to be, but my past behavior is a real regret of mine. As my grandmother used to say, "You get more bees with honey than with vinegar."

Myth or reality: women have to be super-tough to be a chef: I don't think you need to be Wonder Woman. Do the work, know your shit, don't play games, and work and act like you deserve respect. It's a tough biz. Don't expect any special treatment. Stand up for your rights . . . and this coming from me, a big crybaby at times!!

You make a lot of cracks about male chefs. Care to expand on that?: I'm always dishing shit on boy chefs because I find so many of them SO competitive, so interested in showing off or trying to prove something. Yes, that's a gross generalization, but it's my experience. A wise woman I know once said: " Women cook to please; men cook to impress." Discuss.

People sometimes call you Arizona's Alice Waters. How do you feel about the comparison?: Hell, there is no way I would ever compare myself to Alice Waters. It's a great compliment to me, but I don't have a fraction of her single-minded passion, her dedication to her vision & her beliefs. To me, she is a purist. I am definitely not a purist. She is a HUGE inspiration to me, but I'm not even in her league.

What should be written on your head stone?: "Runner! I need a runner!!"

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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