Stacy Phipps is ready for a challenge.
No, really. He wants to challenge every barbecue master in the Valley to a cook off. "I want Don and Charlie (they won our Best Of Ribs in 2009). I want the guys from Honey Bears. I'll even take Bobby Flay."
Anyone up for it?
Phipps opened the original Stacy's Smokehouse on Jefferson Street because he says he tried almost all of the barbecue around town and he knew he could make something better.
He relocated to Indian School Road in 2008. If you can't spot the bright purple smokehouse just off State Route 51, you're bound to smell his outdoor BBQ pit from a mile away.
He joins us this week to dish on his community involvement, his three simple kitchen rules and his crush on Rachel Ray.
What does the Phoenix foodscape need more of?
Barbecue. And I'm not just saying that because I love it. I want somewhere other than my own kitchen to eat well. I try to figure out every single day what other places are doing wrong. I guess it's like being in a relationship. Some people are good at it and some people suck.
What are your kitchen rules?
Wash your hands. Keep the kitchen clean. Don't send out something that you won't eat.
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Who's your favorite celebrity chef?
Oh there are a few. I love Emeril; I love his swagger. I like Paula Deen because she does some really good southern cooking. More than anyone, though, I like Rachael Ray because I want to hook up with her. She's sexy ... and her 30-minute meals is a great show.
Who makes you want to change the channel?
I don't like that fat italian dude. Mario Batali. All he cooks is Italian food. I like Italian food, but Mario's just Italian, Italian, Italian. I need some diversity. I hate that guy.
What's going on with the purple building?
I had some problems with graffiti in the beginning. So I figured I'd have the kids who were tagging the building anyway spray it with what I wanted on the outside. I went into the neighborhood and found the kid who was behind the graffiti and I hired him. I've only had one person tag the building since. It's cool to have my place stand out. I definitely didn't want Stacy's to look like everything else around here ...
(Check back tomorrow for part two of our Chef Chat with Stacy Phipps...)