Chef Patrick Karvis of TapHouse Kitchen: "If I Were to Open My Own Restaurant, This Would Be It"
There's certainly no shortage of beer-focused restaurants opening around town these days. Which chef Patrick Karvis knows is making it difficult for his restaurant to stand out.
"That's the way it works," the chef says with a shrug. "Five years ago it was sushi."
It's a fitting reference since the four-month old TapHouse Kitchen sits in the former home of Blue Wasabi, a sushi restaurant that opened back in 2008. And Karvis knows first-hand how trends come and go, having been living and cooking in the Valley since 1992.
The chef's experience in the Valley dining scene dates all the way to the golden days of local legends such as Michael DeMaria, Mark Tarbell, and Eddie Matney. Karvis worked in all their kitchens over the years, as well as at Lon's at the Hermosa Inn and Wright's at the Biltmore.
"I didn't go to culinary school," Karvis says. "So that was my training."
But just because he didn't go to culinary school doesn't mean Karvis stumbled into his career in the kitchen on accident. To the contrary, he tells an almost too good to be true story about the exact moment when he knew he'd spend the rest of his life working to become a chef.
Karvis says it all began when we was just a kid, washing dishes at a restaurant called The Fishery in Florida. One day -- as sometimes happens in the wild world of the Back of the House -- a fry cook up and walked out.
"So the chef was like, 'Patrick, do you wanna learn how to cook?'" Karvis recalls with a smile. "And I was like, "Hell yeah!" So I jumped on the line."
Later that night Karvis says he remembers putting a simple but life-changing deep-fried soft shell crab in the window and being thrilled at the idea that that very plate would go to a table of people who would enjoy something he made. It was an epiphany.
"Right then and there, that was it," Karvis says. He was hooked.