Adam Brown of Noca in Phoenix: "This Has Always Been Home"
This is part two of our interview with Adam Brown, the executive chef of Noca in Phoenix. Brown's been in charge of things since the restaurant resumed dinner services last month, after a months-long hiatus that began when the previous chef stepped down. On Tuesday, we heard from Brown and the restaurant's owner, Eliot Wexler, and today we're back to learn more about the chef and how he'll put his own stamp on the Noca menu.
Evie Carpenter Adam Brown of Noca
When Claudio Urciuoli left Noca last fall, Wexler knew there were only two people he would consider for the job, he says. So he asked Brown whether he'd be interested in coming back to Arizona, and Brown said yes.
Evie Carpenter Noca has been open sine 2008.
"This has always been home," Brown says, referring to the kitchen at Noca.
It would be months before he could give notice and leave his position in Austin, but by December, Brown was back in the Valley. From there, it was a whirlwind to get dinner service back up and running, though thankfully Brown and Wexler have a number of staff members who have been with the restaurant for years, they say.
For now, it's a fine balance between just getting things back up to speed and working a few of Brown's more personal touches into the menu. And though both Wexler and Brown say they're trying to keep the menu constant, they've already made quite a few changes since opening on Friday, February 14.
One of the additions includes pierogi, a tip of the hat to Brown's childhood in Ohio and his grandmother's Polish cooking.
As far as actually running the kitchen goes, the young chef says he hasn't really faced many difficulties from the staff -- though looking at his résumé, it's obvious this isn't his first time running the show. Plus, he's a pretty humble guy.
Evie Carpenter Handmade pasta at Noca