Harold Marmulstein of Salty Sow in Phoenix on Cooking at the James Beard House (Again) and What Phoenix Does Better Than Austin

Categories: Chef and Tell

Lauren Saria
Harold Marmulstein of Salty Sow in Phoenix and Austin.
Harold Marmulstein
Executive chef, partner
Salty Sow
4801 East Cactus Road

It's not every day a chef gets to cook at the illustrious James Beard House in New York City. But in a few weeks, chef Harold Marmulstein will cross the country to present his food at the famous house for a second time.

The first time around, the chef says, he applied for the opportunity, and he went out to New York to cook last February. This year, the foundation invited Marmulstein to come back, and he's preparing to present a five-course "spring-inspired" farmhouse menu on May 7.

More »

Casey Hopkins-Johnson of Welcome Chicken + Donuts on Her Favorite Doughnut, Her Feelings About Krispy Kreme, and the Restaurant's Next Collaboration (Hint: Butterscotch Pudding)

Categories: Chef and Tell

Lauren Saria
Meet the woman who puts the "donut" in Welcome Chicken + Donuts.
Casey Hopkins-Johnson
Head baker
Welcome Chicken + Donuts
1535 E. Buckeye Road, Phoenix

You have to get up early to get a doughnut from Welcome Chicken + Donuts. On the weekends, some varieties will be sold through before the lunch customers even start to arrive.

But if you think you have to get out of bed early to enjoy one of the restaurant's deep-fried, doughy creations, just know that Casey Hopkins-Johnson has to get up even earlier to make them.

More »

Robert Nixon of Geordie's Steak at The Wrigley Mansion on The Restaurant's New Name

Categories: Chef and Tell

Lauren Saria
Robert Nixon of Geordie's Steak
Robert Nixon
Executive Chef
Geordie's Steak at The Wrigley Mansion
2501 East Telawa Trail, Phoenix

The Wrigley Mansion has always been a destination for some of the very best views in town. Built by chewing gum mogul William Wrigley Jr. in 1932 as a gift for his wife, the sprawling home features panoramic vistas of the Valley and one of the city's most opulent venues for special events. The maze of rooms, balconies, and spiral staircases gives the mansion an air of old school charm, the kind of feeling that just can't be replicated in something new.

But despite all that the place has going in its favor, the fine dining restaurant located inside the mansion has mostly fallen off the radar. What was once a tempting dining destination has become more of a classic Phoenix spot that gives longtime residents a dose of nostalgia more than anything else.

More »

Chris Schlattman of The Upton on Porter-isms, Christopher Gross, and Matt Carter's The House

Categories: Chef and Tell

Lauren Saria
Chris Schlattman
Chris Schlattman
Executive Chef
The Upton
7216 E. Shoeman Lane, Scottsdale

Until recently, chef Chris Schlattman's goal in the kitchen, he says, was to learn -- and then leave.

When he wanted to learn about sugar, he got a job as a pastry chef. When he wanted to learn about molecular gastronomy, he staged for a week and landed a job at Grant Achatz's Alinea in Chicago. He wanted to learn about resort cooking, so he went to T. Cook's.

At each job, he learned what he wanted to know. Then he split.

"That's what cooks do when they're young," Schlattman says. "You're basically a thief. You steal information."

More »

Joey Bruneau of Nabers in Chandler on Pizza, Bacon, and Anthony Bourdain

Categories: Chef and Tell

Lauren Saria
Joey Bruneau
Executive Chef
825 N. 54th Street, Chandler

He's been working in the kitchen for more than 15 years, but chef Joey Bruneau once considered pursuing a career in art. He even received a full scholarship to attend the Art Institute of Phoenix, where he would have studied design.

The idea of having a desk job didn't appeal to Bruneau, so he chose a career in the kitchen.

"So, I guess, food is my art now," Bruneau says.

More »

Meet Cory Oppold and Juan Zamora, the New Chefs at Atlas Bistro in Scottsdale

Categories: Chef and Tell

Lauren Saria
Atlas Bistro sous chef Juan Zamora and executive chef Cory Oppold
Cory Oppold
Executive Chef
Juan Zamora
Sous Chef
Atlas Bistro
2515 N. Scottsdale Road

Since opening in 2002, Atlas Bistro has established itself as a must-go destination for adventurous diners. Thanks to the ever-changing menus of contemporary cuisine, food enthusiasts know they can count on a seasonally influenced fare paired with excellent bottles of wine from the adjacent AZ Wine Company store.

More »

Natalie Morris on Giving Up Good Food Finder and Her Upcoming Bean Book

Categories: Chef and Tell

Courtesy of Natalie Morris
Natalie Morris
Sustainable Food Systems program at Mesa Community College

To those in the local food community, particularly those with an interest in sustainable food, the name Natalie Morris should be a familiar one. The trained chef turned entrepreneur created Good Food Finder, an online directory that identifies and locates local food producers around the state.

Morris started that project in 2011 after receiving a fellowship grant from the University of Arizona's Borderlands Food and Water Security program at the Southwest Center. She spent years gathering information from all over the state and putting it in an easy-to-use online form, but in October of this year made the decision to turn the project over to Local First Arizona.

"I sort of had to admit to myself that I needed to send my kid off to college," Morris says of the decision.

More »

Luis Milan of Sol Diablo Cantina in Tempe on College Avenue and the Best Taco Ever

Categories: Chef and Tell

Lauren Saria
Luis Milan
Chef, owner
Sol Diablo Cantina
560 S. College Ave., Tempe

If you haven't been down on College Avenue in Tempe lately, you might be in for a surprise. What was once a fairly quiet corner of the Arizona State University campus has recently become a hub of activity; this is where you'll find the school's giant new bookstore and a handful of new local restaurants including Postino from powerhouse restaurant group Upward Projects and the Valley's second location of Snooze, based in Denver.

This is also where you'll find Sol Diablo Cantina, a taqueria and tequila bar from chef Luis Milan.

"This was just supposed to be a small project I wanted to do," says the chef.

More »

5 Favorite Chef and Tells of 2014

Categories: Chef and Tell

Lauren Saria
BJ Hernandez of Havana Patio Cafe
Betty-Jane Hernandez of Havana Patio Cafe: "You Just Have to Roll with the Punches"

In 1991, when Betty-Jane (BJ) and Gilbert Hernandez opened Havana Cafe in a space just off Camelback Road, you couldn't even get chorizo or black beans in this town. You could smoke inside restaurant dining rooms (in fact, Havana Cafe eventually became the first non-smoking restaurant in the city) and very few people knew what Cuban food was all about.

Over the last two decades, little Havana Cafe has helped shape diners' understanding of the Caribbean island's cuisine. Or at least, they did until earlier this year when their building was sold to be razed and turned into a new restaurant from LGO Hospitality. The new concept will be the company's fourth in the bursting Arcadia dining scene.

"It's like the Foxs and the LGOs are having a turf war," Hernandez laughs.

Read full story

More »

Brian Archibald of The Graduate Tempe on Opening Restaurants and What He Missed About Phoenix

Categories: Chef and Tell

Lauren Saria
Brian Archibald
Executive Chef
Tapacubo, The Normal Diner
Graduate Tempe

With the arrival of the Graduate Tempe one of the prime properties around the Arizona State University campus will finally be used to its full potential. The new boutique hotel is one of the first to come from a new brand that's targeting city schools and their guests - potential students, alumni, visiting parents - by taking over older hotels and turning them into retro-chic accommodations. In this case, that means saying good-bye to the Twin Palms Hotel.

"It was in bad shape," says Graduate Tempe Executive Chef Brian Archibald. "The city was glad to have us take it over."

More »