This week we're spending some time with Dominic Fasano, the guy responsible for the expanding menu at downtown's coffee and crepe haven, Jobot Coffee Shop.
Fasano -- who credits his discovery of cooking, in part, to an obsession with infomercial gadgets -- trained at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute and studied Italian cuisine during a three-month stay in Italy.
After his last culinary home -- the downtown Phoenix brunch spot Palette -- closed up shop (tear, tear) Fasano seized the opportunity to live and work in the same community. This guy's got the details on all of Jobot's plans, including the return of Beats n' Brunch and the future of Nachobot.
But first, we want to hear a little more about the infomercial thing.
You know like gadgets and funny things like that! I would watch reruns of those things all the time even though I had already seen someone chopping or using this blender and that processor. Using gimmicky tools in the kitchen...I loved it. I was always taking mental notes and learning, learning, learning. And when I got older I thought, "I think I like food." So yeah, that got me going as far as the culinary world.
So, do you own a bunch of those things then?
No, no, no. I honestly didn't know better back then. I mean, some of those things are useful, as cheesy as they are, but I'm old school. I like using a knife, a pot and pan, an oven and stovetop.
Get the scoop on Nachobot after the jump.
So after working in Italy and at Palette, how did you end up here at Jobot?
After Palatte closed I had a vegan baking company for about a year and I was selling stuff to John Sagasta (owner of Jobot) at [his other location] and we just developed a relationship from there. So when he opened up Jobot we came together. He needed help and I wanted to work close to home -- I live right across the street; It's cool to live and work in the same community.
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We are all dying for more info about this whole Nachobot thing.
Nachos will be a really fun thing to do and offer on a somewhat gourmet level. Slow roasted meats, different toppings and ingredients, cheese options, different chip options...really fun. We don't know of any nacho bars, so it'll be something different. We're considering it, but I know it's already been published in several places.
Also, the little gimmicky name?
You can pronounce it Nachobot as in n-a-c-h-o-bot or not as in not-Jobot. So it's a clever idea, like this'll be "not-Jobot" and that's "Jobot." That's why we are really leaning towards the Nachobot thing, just to utilize the name. You're probably not supposed to do that but it'll be a cool business. First Friday we did some Nachobots -- I mean, nachos, and we got a really good response.
Join Fasano tomorrow for the second part of our conversation.