Chef Dustin Christofolo of Quiessence on What You Can Expect When It Reopens and How He Got Started in the Family Business
Lauren Saria Chef Dustin Christofolo at The Farm at South Mountain, outside Quiessence.
Quiessence, The Farm at South Mountain
After years of running the show at The House at Secret Garden, chef Dustin Christofolo will take the reins at Quiessence when the restaurant reopens at the end of October. He'll replace chefs Greg LaPrad and Tony Andiario, who moved on from the restaurant in spring after eight years there. Today, we chat with Christofolo about how he ended up in the family business (his mom, Pat Christofolo, owns The Farm Kitchen at The Farm at South Mountain, Morning Glory Cafe, and Santa Barbara Catering, and the pair co-own The House at Secret Garden) and how he knows he's ready to take on the high-profile position of executive chef. Don't forget to come back Tuesday for the second part of the interview, where we find out more about his first passion: wine.
It's been only a few months since the Farm at South Mountain's Quiessence shut down for the season amid news that chef and owner Greg LaPrad wouldn't be returning in the fall. For many Valley residents, it meant the end of an era, during which LaPrad and his friend and executive chef Tony Andiario brought the farm-to-table movement from California to Arizona. They established the charming eatery as a destination for simple, fresh cuisine, making it arguably one of the best restaurants in the city.
Lauren Saria The edible garden at Quiessence.
But today we aren't telling the story of either of those chefs. Today is a chance to look forward to what we can expect when Quiessence re-opens for the season at the end of the month.
Dustin Christofolo (as you might have surmised from his name) is no stranger to the farm or its dining outlets. As the son of successful restaurateur Pat Christofolo, he can honestly say he grew up around it all.
"It kind of leads me to believe it's in my blood," Christofolo says.