Chef News

Ehren Litzenberger of BLD in Chandler on Mario Batali and Why It's Hard to Be a Three-Squares Chef

Page 2 of 3

Best food memory: A friend of mine, James Saio (last chef of Taggia) recently relocated to Santa Barbara, re-launching a restaurant for Kimpton Hotels. I went to visit and he made the most succulent beef ribs with soy-chile caramel and spicy cabbage. My girlfriend at the time said, "This is the only time you can cheat on me" (with food of course).

If your cooking were a genre of music, what would it be?: Very difficult to put just into one genre. I can be dubstep most of the time, but sometimes, I'm smooth jazz with a story to be told. So if you could put all that together, that would be me. Let me know when you find it.

Your most embarrassing moment in the kitchen: First day on the job at Kuleto's in San Francisco, my sauté pan caught on fire, and as I tried to put it out, I nervously knocked it onto the floor. Now I had a bigger fire! Oops.

What really turns you off when you're dining at a restaurant?: The fact that so many people do not know the proper use of salt. I have had dishes and said, "Really, did you taste this before you sent it out?" because it has no seasoning. Other times, dishes can be so over-seasoned that I have to regretfully send them back.

Name one of your favorite places to dine in Phoenix: Cibo. I love that the food is amazing, they have a beautiful patio, and Guido is just the best!

Local chef you admire and why: Guido Saccone of Cibo and Claudio Urciuoli of Noca. Both are great guys, very simple, and I love both Cibo and Noca. Every time I go, it's a whole new experience for me.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nikki Buchanan