Here's what Phoenix chefs say is the best thing about this city's food scene.
What does Phoenix do food-wise better than any other city?
Garrison Whiting, executive chef of Counter Intuitive and sous chef of Cowboy Ciao
If you want a carne asada burrito and horchata at three in the morning, you better hope you’re in Phoenix. Mexican food, whether fast or slow, I think is the absolute best in Phoenix. Maybe even better than Mexico. Don’t tell them I said that.
Kelly Fletcher, Zen Culinary
Pizza. Pizza. I'm not lying, Pizza. We have Chris Bianco, who set the standard, and so everybody has to try to meet the standards of a [James] Beard-winning pizza maker. The pizza game in Arizona is beyond belief!!! This is something I don't think people understand.
Chris Lenza, executive chef of Café Allegro at the Musical Instrument Museum
Phoenix has an incredibly strong culture of support, whether it’s between chefs or even farmers and chefs. There are so many examples I could give here; it’s impossible to highlight just one. But an upcoming one is with the family farm On The Vine, who I’ve worked closely with for years. They told me they’ll soon be rehabilitating their greenhouse structure, so I offered to head out to Casa Grande to lend a hand. They are the only ones I know who grow cardoons, which are my personal favorite to cook with and nearly impossible to find. So it seems like the least I can do!
Virginia Senior, chef of Urban Beans
We are defining the casual food scene, and we have a lot of entrepreneurial restaurant owners willing to try new things.
Jake Stucky, chef of Top Golf Gilbert
I think Phoenix does a great job of taking the best of Southwestern and Latin influences, and applying them to classic dishes to make some really great fusion food. While Phoenix isn’t necessarily a foodie town, I think there are a ton of amazing chefs doing some really excellent food here. And we are slowly but surely putting ourselves on the map.
Kevin Binkley, chef of Cafe Bink's
Support steakhouses … can't believe how many are here.
Cruz Robles, chef of Bevvy
Mexican food, without a doubt. Growing up here, you’re exposed to so much good Mexican food, you almost take it for granted. It’s only when you leave and go to other states you realize how special the
Mexican food is in Arizona.
Jacques Qualin, chef of J&G Steakhouse
Food trucks. Maybe because like LA; we are such a car-based culture.
Jason Alford, chef of Roka Akor
Phoenix challenges chefs. Most big culinary cities have been established, and it's easy to plug into. However, Phoenix is still building itself. A lot of talented chefs are being recognized as part of the groundwork.