20 Things No One Told You About Being a Chef in Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com.

Most of us are familiar with the less-glorious aspects of being a chef: the long hours, the time it takes to get to the top, and (ouch!) the aches and pains.

See also:
- What Is the Role of the Food Critic?
- Is it Proper Etiquette to Call a Chef "Chef"?

But what about being a chef in Phoenix? What's so distinctive about cooking here? I asked a few chefs what they had to find out for themselves and here's what they had to say.

Left to right: Chefs Stephen Toevs, Massimo de Francesa, Stephen "Chops" Smith, and Jeff Kraus

1.) Everyone here loves chain restaurants.
Chef Stephen "Chops" Smith, Searsucker Scottsdale

2.) Even though we live in a major metro area, the breadth of resources are smaller than expected.
Jeff Kraus, chef and owner, Crêpe Bar

3.) How much Gold Bond Powder you will need when doing summer outdoor culinary events.
Chef Stephen Toevs, The Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix

4.) Sourcing specialty items can be very challenging.
Chef Massimo de Francesa, Taggia at FireSky Resort & Spa, a Kimpton Hotel

5.) When it's August, the swamp cooler in your kitchen is pointless except for adding life-sucking humidity to the air.
Chef Don Newman, Taps Signature Cuisine & Bar, Mesa

6.) Even though it's sunny year-round, I have yet to get a tan, due to spending the majority of my time in the kitchen.
Chef David Viviano, The Westin Phoenix Downtown

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