MJ Coe Dishes on His Love of Wonder Bread and Baking to the Willy Wonka Soundtrack

Categories: Chef Salad

Katie Johnson
MJ Bread and Tammie Coe Bakery on Roosevelt
What's a big mistake you see happening in the food industry?
I think people that poach ideas, and copy product and push it off as their own is really weak, unprofessional, and pathetic. You're in a field where there are so many avenues for creativity, so get creative, be original. Be professional.

To me food should be:
Food is supposed to comfort. For instance the other night, Tammie and I went out, and we got a soft pretzel and they had some canned gravy to dip it in and it was was just so damn good. They also had Cheez Whiz.

Cheez Whiz? That takes me back to my childhood...
Isn't that what food is supposed to do? Food should stir emotions, be a catalyst for conversations, and recall memories. If you can do that, as a chef, that's success right there.

Name a culinary mentor and explain what you learned from that person:
I can't just pin point one mentor, For the production and creativity side, I've worked with a bunch of old school / old time bakers, their hands where like a bunch of bananas, and if you stepped outta line, you would get a smack upside your head. Discipline was learned. As for the business end, Rich Melman from Lettuce Entertain You in Chicago. He has taught me how to look for solutions to problems, and how to expand my thought process while looking at my business from an customer's standpoint.

Last meal on earth:
Hands down: Los Dos Molinos' red chili burrito (enchilada style) with rice and beans

What should be written on your head stone?:
Why not?

Enjoy this Chef Salad? Check out Nikki's previous interviews with:
M.J. Coe of Federal Pizza
Steven "Chops" Smith of Searsucker
Aaron Chamberlin of St. Francis
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

Tammie Coe Cakes

610 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Federal Pizza

5210 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Los Dos Molinos

8646 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

Pino's Pizza Al Centro

139 W. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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