Chef News

Chris Curtiss Dishes on His First Phoenix Gig and Why Food Network Sucks

This is part one of my interview with Chris Curtiss, executive chef at NoRTH Arcadia. Come back tomorrow for part two.

Chris Curtiss NoRTH Arcadia 4925 N. 40th Street, Phoenix 602-324-5600 www.foxrc.com

Chris Curtiss looks happy. He's making pasta at a wooden table in NoRTH Arcadia's sparkling exhibition kitchen, and the man is clearly in his element. He admits he probably should've known he was destined to be a chef, given his catholic interest in food at an early age, but he tried the traditional route first, earning a degree in psychology at Arizona State University. As a teen, he'd dabbled in farming and butchering through part-time jobs, and after graduation, the Bay Area native headed back to California for a gig at a Wente family winery. While working in the tasting room, Curtiss met Jim Rio (chef-owner of Jimanelli's), who brought him to his restaurant and taught him about fresh pasta and house-made sausage. Rio gave him books to read and his first chef's knife, later hooking him up with acclaimed French chef Denis Soriano at The Grand Café in Washington DC.

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Nikki Buchanan