What Valley Chef Deserves a Comedy Roast?
Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail email@example.com. Miss a question? Go here.
Comedy roasts, first made popular by The Friars Club in the early 1920s, served the purpose of flabbergasting the guest of honor with both offensive yet funny insults and heartfelt praise.
And since celebs like Bob Saget, Pamela Anderson, and William Shatner have had their turns as roastees, why not a Valley chef? Which one? Here's who other Valley chefs and restaurateurs would nominate for the hot seat. Who would be your pick?
Bernie Kantak, Chef and Partner, Citizen Public House
I think the obvious answer here is Aaron May, with Beau MacMillan as emcee. Aaron is pretty open about people either loving or hating him and he has a great sense of humor about it. And you'd be pretty hard-pressed to get a more entertaining guy than Beau to head the thing up.
Chef Stephen Jones, Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
Chris Bianco is definitely worthy of a good roasting. He's got a great sense of humor and there's no ego attached to him, so it would make for a really fun evening.
Pauline Martinez, Chef and Owner, Perk Eatery
I'd like to see Charleen Badman of FnB roasted because she's "Badass" Badman and she certainly deserves the praise!
Cullen Campbell, Chef and Owner, Crudo
I'm sure that I won't be the only person to say Christopher Gross! He's been one of the leaders in this town for years. Plus, I think he would get a kick out of it.
Chef Payton Curry, Brat Haus
Based solely on his perfect meal, I believe that Aaron May would be up for a roast at a moment's notice. He has the right sense of humor and has a high tolerance for a good potbelly laugh or two.
Chef Stephen "Chops" Smith, Searsucker Scottsdale
Michael Demaria -- he's funny, been around for a while, and can take a good joke.
Chef Peter DeRuvo, Davanti Enoteca
Hands down, Beau Mac. I would love to celebrity-roast that guy -- and he'd take it as much as he can dish it! Love that dude!
Bill Sandweg, Owner, Copper Star Coffee and Circle H Barbecue
Matt Poole 'cause he can take it and he's a great guy -- even if he did steal my coffeehouse idea!
Aaron May Chef and Restaurateur
Chris Gross or Beau MacMillan seem like obvious choices. Both have a penchant for high jinx and bad behavior but also an incredibly high talent level in the kitchen, so naturally, I would enjoy dishing on both ends of the spectrum.
Kirsten Burruel, General Manager, DownUnder Wines and Bistro
As an admired chef and dear friend, I would love to see Romeo Taus participate in such an event. With his quick wit and passion for food, it would be a lovely experience for everyone.
Chef Kurt Jacobsen, Hidden Meadow Ranch, Greer
Eddie Matney, because he is an absolute character and very well known. He also has a sense of humor.
Christopher Gross, Chef and Owner, Christopher's Restaurant & Crush Lounge
Boy, I have no idea. It would have to be someone that would have a good sense of humor and is not too serious.
(Gross enclosed the photo below.)
Courtesy of Christopher Gross
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Phoenix dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.