Chef News

Jonathan Vallo of The Duce, Part Two

Yesterday we heard from Jonathan Vallo of The Duce. Today the conversation continues.

One important thing to know about Jonathan Vallo- he's a bit of a mystery. After hearing him say many times that he's gone by different names and really likes to "lay low", I started to wonder if he might be on the lam. When I asked, I think he mumbled something about student loans, but I'm not quite sure. 

But all of that changes when we get to talking about The Duce and its menu. It's apparent that Jonathan is happy to be head cook at The Duce -- specializing in "endangered recipes." He also loves the idea of a restaurant that is all organic, yet completely committed to American comfort food.

Part two of our interview with Jonathan Vallo continues after the jump.

When did you know you were a foodie?- I've always had an inquisitive nature and I've always love food. But right after High School I worked at the training camp for the Cleveland Browns and it was a cool vibe. They taught me everything and really took me under their wing. I've always been a big fan of trying new things. But I still don't think of myself as a foodie.

Thoughts on the Phoenix food scene- It's good. I would love to see more ethnically-inspired fare. Or perhaps a homegrown food style. I would like to see more international ecclectic fare. I think when people come to Phoenix they're used to seeing Southwestern food, but I would love to see us create a food scene that is on par with L.A. or New York. More creative concepts would be awesome.

In the fridge as we speak Tuna Steak, milk chocolate, condiments. A pretty full fridge. I'm sure I've got a beer or two in there, too.

Favorite local Spot The Lost Leaf. It's got a really good vibe. The place is just a great down-to-earth place. I'll usually go on Sunday nights when they have a jazz band.

Next Food Stop Green in Tempe or maybe, The Parlour.

Plans for a Sock Hop Maybe in the Fall. That would actually be pretty cool.

The best food thing ever Our S'mores cheescake. It's chocolately and light, rich, but not too rich. It's difficult to enjoy cheesecake in three digit weather, but somehow I still do.

Check back in tomorrow for The Duce's own S'mores Cheescake.

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.
Spring Eselgroth