He's back and grinding with a vengence.

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.

McLinn joins us this week to talk (but not start) beef, Southwest style and a few of his local favorites.

Chef Chat: Matt McLinn of The Grind

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.

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