Chef News

14 Phoenix Chefs on Restaurants They'd Like to Visit

Most of us have a restaurant bucket list. And, okay, some of the locations are fancier than others. But imagine you cook for a living — your list has gotta be impressive. From the usual suspects like Thomas Keller's French Laundry and Per Se and Rene Redzepi's Noma to spots featured on Netflix's "Chefs Table," check out restaurants all over the world where Phoenix chefs would love to dine. 

What national or international restaurants are on your must-try list right now? 

Charles Wiley, executive chef of ZuZu at the Hotel Valley Ho 

Eleven Madison Park in New York City is on my short list. Daniel Humm’s food looks amazing, and I love his commitment to ultra-fresh ingredients and cooking with the seasons.

Jason Alford, chef of Roka Akor 

Hawksworth in Vancouver, B.C.

Cruz Robles, chef of Bevvy

U.S.: The French Laundry and Momofuku; U.K.: The Fat Duck; Japan: Sukiyabashi Jiro.
Akos Szabo, executive chef of MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails at the FOUND:RE Hotel 

Grace in Chicago; Noma in Denmark; and La Mar Cebichería in Lima, Peru.

Virginia Senior, owner and executive chef of Urban Beans

Millennial in Oakland, California; Shojin for vegan sushi in LA

Silvana Salcido Esparaza, chef of Barrio Cafe

I am dying to get to Los Angeles to eat at Broken Spanish — Esquire Magazine’s chef of the year and Best New Restaurant in America. What I love is that the chef is creating an awareness of the lack of proper tortillas and driving the movement to going back to Nixtamal [a process for the preparation of maize or other grain]. Bravo for that!

Marlene Portillo, executive chef of Half Moon Windy City Sports Grill

Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s restaurant Morimoto Asia in Lake Buena Vista, near Orlando, Florida.

Garrison Whiting, executive chef of Counter Intuitive and sous chef of Cowboy Ciao

After watching “Chef’s Table” on Netflix, I put all six of the profiled restaurants/chefs on my list. Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy; Blue Hill restaurant in New York; El Restaurante Patagonia Sur in Argentina; N/Naka in Los Angeles; Attica in Melbourne; and Faviken in Jarpen, Sweden, seem to really have it going on in the traditional sense. Also, another restaurant I have Netflix to thank for teaching me about is Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo. After seeing “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” my brother and I started a Tokyo fund which was just a Mason jar full of change. Unfortunately, we ended up using it to pay our cable bill.

Kevin Binkley, chef of Bink's 

Narisawa in Tokyo; Azurmendi and Etxebarri outside of Bilbao; and Saison in San Fransisco.

Jake Stucky, chef of Topgolf Gilbert

Noma by Rene Redzepi in Copenhagen because of their focus on their local ingredients and traditional foods, as well as Alinea in Chicago because Grant Achatz treats dinner like a Cirque du Soleil show for your senses.

Dushyant Singh, director of culinary experiences at The Camby Hotel

The French Laundry. Can’t believe it is still on my list, but hopefully this year I will check it off.

Allison DeVane, owner of Teaespressa and Tea & Toast Co. 

If I ever have an opportunity to dine at Rao's [in New York City], I'll drop whatever and take it in a heartbeat. The history of it is fascinating. Rumor has it, dinner reservations are difficult without an intimate connection [the restaurant allegedly has mafia ties], and that the food as well as experience is unforgettable. In fact, if you call now, they say reservations for 2016 are completely booked — must mean something!

Michael Rusconi, owner/chef of Rusconi’s American Kitchen

I haven’t had the time to go to Napa and try The French Laundry. Thomas has had a long run there of outstanding food. 

Pauline Martinez, co-owner of Perk Eatery

Noma, Copenhagen; El Celler de Can Roca, Girona, Spain; Per Se, NYC; and Alinea, Chicago.