After selling Methode Bistro, heading up Pointe in Tyme and BLT Steak, and working a few low-profile menu consulting stints, Chef Matt McLinn returned to the spotlight in February with his own burger concept, The Grind.
Call it a jump on the burger bandwagon, but McLinn says he's jumping from fine dining to neighborhood dining -- with a few of the same techniques up his sleeve. "We've all flipped burgers ... but I've been doing a lot of research."
His research might be what's behind the two 1000-degree coal-fired ovens, which The Grind claims are the only ones of their kind in the U.S. Don't believe 'em? You might want to do some research of your own.
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Favorite ingredient: Ground Beef. I'm not all that into bizarre ingredients ... Plus I think there's a lot you can do with ground beef. (Just check out the sweet and spicy, the peppercorn crust and the steakhouse blt options on the menu.)
Overrated in the food scene: I'm tired of food fads and I don't like when one rich guy drops a bunch of concepts just because he can. I think everyone should be passionate about the restaurants they open.
The Arizona Foodscape needs more ... real southwestern food. I think we've lost our Southwest feel in the food scene. Chefs like Vincent Guerithault take southwest ingredients and incorporate them into their dishes. We need more of that... Right now, I think a majority of chefs are doing the same things.
Best advice for a chef hopeful: I know a lot of young shots looking to open their own place. You just have to do it. I sold all the equity on my house, I took out a loan. You just have to get out there and take a chance.