The Trail

Aaron Chamberlin of St. Francis Makes Moroccan Meatballs (VIDEO)

We're going behind the scenes and getting up close and personal with some of the Valley's favorite chefs, learning what it takes to make one of their best-known dishes. Welcome to The Trail.

"All I ever wanted to do was to open a restaurant where I was the chef," Aaron Chamberlin says.

But sitting in the loft space above the main dining at his Phoenix restaurant St. Francis last month, the chef goes on to describe himself as a "reluctant restaurateur."

When he opened the restaurant in 2009, Chamberlin says all he wanted to do was show up and cook. But it only took a few days for him to realize that the day-to-day operations of a restaurant required almost all his attention. He stepped away from the stove to take over more managerial tasks and these days, he's rarely in the kitchen.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Evie Carpenter and Lauren Saria