Chef News

Robert Nixon of Geordie's Steak at The Wrigley Mansion on The Restaurant's New Name

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See also: Can the Wrigley Bring Fine Dining Back to Phoenix?

In an effort to change that the restaurant is going in a new direction, even going so far as to change the restaurant's name from simply "Geordie's" to "Geordie's Steak." Both names draw inspiration from the late Geordie Hormel, the heir to the Spam fortune who purchased the mansion in 1992.

The new name is supposed to indicate the restaurant's new persona as an Italian steakhouse. While traditionally the menu has shown French influence, the restaurant now offers Italian-inspired dishes such as a build-your-own frutti di mare platter and handmade pappardelle tossed with roasted vegetables.

But executive chef Robert Nixon says the changes he's most excited about have less to do with an overhaul of the restaurant's identity, and more to do with a new focus on using local ingredients.

"Because this is an Arizona landmark, we're getting as much of our ingredients from Arizona [as possible]," Nixon says.

In the case of the restaurant's steaks that means sourcing only all-natural, prime beef from Arizona farms through Cedar River Farms, according to Nixon. The chef, who grew up in the shadow of Kansas City's National Beef Packing Company, says the Arizona-raised beef is "even better" than the product from well-known national brands.

Other local products Geordie's uses now include produce from Ducan Family Farms, olive oil from Queen Creek Olive Mill, and flour from Hayden Flour Mills.

Nixon, who has helmed the restaurant for the last two years, brings plenty of experience with steaks to the restaurant, making him a sensible fit considering Geordie's new direction. Prior to moving to the restaurant, Nixon spent eight years working at the Biltmore chophouse, Donavan's. And before that the chef honed his skills for eight years under chef Christopher Gross at the now defunct Christopher's Bistro. Gross also consults for the restaurant, and dates Jamie Hormel, owner of the Wrigley and widow of Geordie Hormel.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria