Chefs, What's Your Favorite Food City?

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

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Italian food watercolor illustration on a vintage map of Italy
It's tough not to talk travel without talking about food -- especially when those on the journey are chefs and restaurateurs.

See also:
- Chefs, What Sandwich Are You Eating Right Now?
- Has Service in Restaurants Become Too Casual?

Which destinations around the globe most inspire Valley chefs and restaurateurs? I asked a few and this is what they said. Any guesses as to which cities came out on top? Any that they missed?

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Aaron May,
Chef and Restaurateur

It's a tough call between Portland, Oregon, and Montreal, Quebec. Both great food cities with natural resources, daring chefs, and an innate sense of hospitality. Le Pigeon, Grüner Restaurant, and Pok Pok in Portland are exceptional. I just got back from a trip to Montreal and had one of the best meals I've ever had, at Joe Beef, and memorable dinners at Garde Manger and Au Pied de Cochon.

Chef Theresa Wille,
32 Shea

Chicago (where I'm from) is known for hot dogs, pizza, steaks, and food from around the world. But for sometime now, restaurants have been offering a new style of cooking: taking old traditional menu items and creating a deconstructed version (places like Alinea and Moto incorporate molecular gastronomy with a unusual dining experience). My favorite style of cooking that's going on in Chicago now would be gastropubs like The Publican, Girl and the Goat, and Longman & Eagle.

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Josh Hebert,
Chef and Owner, Posh

Tokyo, because I can get ramen anytime, any place, anywhere, and a beer out of a vending machine.

Chef Monte Healey,
Del Frisco's Grille

Phoenix. There's such a diversity of food and flavors, everything from traditional Western cowboy chow and spicy Southwestern and Latin American cuisines, to more exotic offerings such as authentic Vietnamese or Afghani restaurants. The chefs are innovative and willing to try new things, like classically French-trained chefs cooking with jalapeños and Mexican molé sauce, or Italian olives smoked with Arizona pecan wood.

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My Voice Nation Help

Not PHX thats for sure. Probably the worst city ever for foodies. SF, LA & Portland!

This does seem a bit biased. They all basically say they like the places their restaurants are about or where they may be from. How about ask readers what their fav. food city is. Fuck the chefs!

valleynative topcommenter

I think my favorite Food City is the one at 91st Ave and Thomas

Barb Walters Harris
Barb Walters Harris

gotta thank Chef May for the Montreal tips...headed there in July and was unaware of Garde Manger.....

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