Chris Mayo Executive chef Central Bistro 3160 E. Camelback Road www.centralbistroaz.com
Chris Mayo didn't grow up with a dream of becoming a chef. He didn't learn the basics of the craft as a child, at his mother's hip. In fact, he thought he was going to be a firefighter -- even signed up for fire school and served as a reserve fire fighter in Scottsdale -- until he was a young adult.
But once he realized his high school kitchen job had grown into a passion, Mayo went all in: He enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, packed his bags, and left. He landed an internship at the Michelin three-starred Daniel restaurant and later went on to work under chef Peter Hoffman at the now-defunct Savoy.