Robert McGrath Joins Spotted Donkey Cantina as Executive Chef

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After leaving Renegade Canteen earlier this month, it looks like ​James Beard award-winning chef and former owner of Roaring Fork Robert McGrath has already landed a new gig: as executive chef of the Spotted Donkey Cantina, the upscale restaurant of Southwestern and Mexican cuisine at Hayden Village in Scottsdale. The restaurant is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month.

"I plan to make simple changes as the Spotted Donkey Cantina concept has already been embraced by the local dining community," says McGrath. "This is a great opportunity to work with professional restaurateurs that keenly understand and appreciate food concepts and restaurant operations."

Ouch -- was that last statement a hit to Renegade Canteen owners John Rosso and Steven Goodhue? (According to The Republic, McGrath's leaving resulted as a dispute with the two owners.)

At the Spotted Donkey, McGrath's new bosses will be restaurateurs Cliff Skoglund and Robert Hall.

"Robert's philosophy and approach to food as well as the dining experience is a perfect match," says Skoglund. "We look forward to this cohesive collaboration."

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