A new year is almost here, and like most everyone, chefs have their very own holiday wish lists. From more national recognition to more independent restaurants serving simple food, here's what Phoenix chefs wish for the food scene in 2017.
What's on your wish list for the Phoenix food scene in 2017?
Anthony DeMuro, chef of Different Pointe of View
I would love to see more restaurants use sustainable products.
Allan Inocencio, chef of Adobo Dragon at DeSoto Central Market
More diversity and an increase in the less well-known ethnic cuisine options.
Rick Phillips, owner/menu development at Bootlegger's
More small gems: chef-driven, simple food done right.
Javi Perez, chef of Pomelo located at the Orchard PHX
I would love to see a bigger range of Sonoran-style cuisine, more like Mexican fine dining.
Tamara Stanger, chef of Helio Basin Brewing
I would like to see more people drawn to flavors indigenous to Arizona. We have amazing farms here that have revived ingredients that have been sleeping for generations. Let’s celebrate people like Ramona
Button of Ramona Farms, who have brought back a culture of food that makes us unique to the rest of the world.
Allison DeVane, owner of Teaspressa and Tea & Toast Co.
More international fusion food selections!
Cruz Robles, chef of Bevvy
I would love to see a cooking expo with celebrity chef demos and cooking competitions, I think competition is a good way to build rapport with fellow chefs. I also think most chefs are competitive naturally. Chefs love to show off!
Mike Goldsmith, chef of Joe’s Midnight Run
I’d love to see some more Mediterranean and Indian restaurants. Those cultures have such rich history and such a wide variety of flavor profiles.
Jared Porter, chef of The Clever Koi
My 2017 wish for the Phoenix food scene is that restaurateurs and chefs continue to open places that are inspiring for the diehard dining culture, but also make those places accessible and affordable for the masses so people will continue to venture out of their comfort zones to try new things.
Robert Nixon, chef of Geordie’s Steak at the Wrigley Mansion
I love the law passed in France that makes it illegal for supermarkets to dispose of unsold food. It would be great if restaurants and supermarkets in Phoenix could do the same.
Gio Osso, chef of Virtu
Recognition. The Phoenix metro area has a lot of talent, yet we keep getting overlooked on the big stage. It's time that the rest of the country took notice of our continuous growth and the level of excellence we've achieved.
Christopher Gross, chef of Christopher's and The Crush Lounge
I would love for us to return to the basics: simple dishes made from fresh ingredients that are elegant and interesting, but not too fussy.
Rachel Ellrich Miller, pastry chef and owner of Pistol Whipped Pastry
Sandwiches and the small neighborhood joints. I love Worth Takeaway and I would love to see more like them, in the sense of a small neighborhood joint that’s doing a few things and doing them well.
Virginia Senior, chef of Urban Beans
Better overall quality, better presentation, more awareness of composting and local sourcing for food and beverages. There are a growing number of local distilleries producing some amazing gins, vodkas, tequilas, really reaching beyond the traditional and creating a uniqueness for Phoenix.
Donny Fawcett, chef of Phoenix Ale Brewery Central Kitchen
I want to see more places like DeSoto Central Market where there is an eclectic scene and community. The Valley has struggled to bring the communities together for food and entertainment. Farmers markets have rooted (thankfully), and the chefs have been taking full advantage. As a member of the community, not just a diner, we all need to support our local farmers, chefs, artists, and so forth. Common areas where we have small venues serving very well-thought-out, intimate food is what I want to see. Oh, and more charcuterie!
Chris Nicosia, executive chef of SASSI
I'd like to see a few more places open up here on the far north side of Scottsdale. Mostly for the convenience, but also to remind people how wonderfully different it is from other parts of town.
Garrison Whiting, chef of Counter Intuitive
Some things I wish to see in the Phoenix food scene in 2017: humility in restaurants. We’re just making food for people to eat. Yes, I like to wow guests with dramatic plating and creative combinations, but, at the end of the day, it's still just food.
A little more thought: Over the last 10 years working in this city, I’ve seen so many restaurants open and close in the span of months. I feel bad for all of the people who have lost jobs and investments due to poor planning. Take the time to make something great. “Hard work ain't easy, but easy usually ain't worth it.”
Jose Farias, chef of Vintage 95 Wine Lounge
More focus on fruits and vegetables. I don't necessarily mean vegan or vegetarian, either. Filling up on fruits and veggies isn't just healthier, it's much more economical, too. Don't get me wrong, I like steak and potatoes as much as anyone, but recently I've been much more interested in vegetable preparations since they are usually the most neglected part of the plate.
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Chris Neff, executive chef at Lincoln at the J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn
I’d love to see more big-city transplants out here like Scott Conant. I think it will help boost our national food presence and benefit everyone.
Sean Currid, executive chef of Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
More ramen spots. I mean, really good ramen!