Chef News

Mark Tarbell Dishes on Why Local Coffee Is Overrated and Shares the Best $9 Bottle of Wine

This is part two of my interview with Mark Tarbell, owner of Tarbell's in Phoenix and The Oven Pizza E Vino in Colorado. Part one of our interview with Mark Tarbell appeared Monday on Chow Bella.

How and when did you learn so much about wine: I was in wine school in Paris at age 19. But it all started with a couple of unfortunate experiences with MD 20-20, Boone's Farm, and Ripple. I thought, "There must be better than this!" And there was.

Most overrated ingredient: Local coffee. There are exceptions, such as R.O.C., but coffee beans are not from here. Roasting is both craft (honed by massive experience) and science. Selecting beans also is extremely difficult and complex. We should trust those who own and/or control the source in responsible ways and trust those with the best equipment and science behind the grinding and roasting. The best coffee is not burnt, green, or bitter. It's creamy, complex, deep, robust, and smooth. There. I've said it.