Chef Chat: Sid Campbell, Local Breeze

Sid Campbell runs a restaurant a lot like people plan for a party. He takes special care to make Local Breeze an enjoyable atmosphere, because he says his restaurant is as much about the ambiance as it is about the tasty food.

"It's more about the feeling I'm trying to create," he said. "When I go out to eat, I want it to be relaxing."

Local Breeze opened up in May in a converted home off of 4th Avenue and Fillmore. Campbell quickly snatched up the location after it's previous tenant, Palatte, closed. He loved the location for its massive outdoor patio, perfect for lounging and relaxing.

Campbell's love of running the show was evident from the beginning of his work in the food industry. One of his first jobs was managing the deli at Rick's Café Americana, a Casablanca-themed restaurant in McCormick Ranch. However, he said he's always had a love
for cooking.

"I used to pull a chair up to the stove and cook," he says.

After Rick's Café Americana, Campbell went to Scottsdale Community College for culinary school, and then to Old Town Scottsdale's Pischke's. He worked there with owner Chris Pischke for twelve years, six as a chef and six as a manager. Campbell says Pischke's was a "perfect training ground" because he gained experience in every aspect of the restaurant.

Campbell stayed good friends with Pischke, even after leaving the restaurant. After Pischke passed away, Campbell decided he would make a special section in his menu for dishes directly inspired by Pischke's recipes.

Those dishes, along with several of Campbell's own creations, comprise the menu at Local Breeze. The funky, southeastern-style cuisine matches the laid-back atmosphere of the restaurant.

Campbell believes the owner of the restaurant should be the first face patrons see when they come in to eat. That's why it's no surprise to see him out of the kitchen and on the floor on any given night, right next to the sign by the doorway that says, "You're among friends."

"It's what I know," Campbell said. "I love being the host of a party."

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