When notable farm-to-table chef Greg LaPrad left Quiessence at the Farm at South Mountain to open his own restaurant, Overland Trout in Sonoita, owner Pat Christofolo (who also owns Morning Glory Cafe and The House at Secret Garden) filled the high-profile position with her chef-son, 32-year-old Dustin Christofolo of The House at Secret Garden in South Phoenix.
But while chef Christofolo is working on keeping the 15-year-old Quiessence, which he also co-owns, a farm-to-table destination (think locally sourced ingredients, homemade pasta, and produce from the Farm's garden), albeit one with a more affordable menu, the move leaves The House at Secret Garden without someone to helm the kitchen.
A representative for the restaurant tells me Chris Barch recently was named the The House at Secret Garden's new chef. Previously at St. Francis in Phoenix, Barch, who started cooking as a boy in rural Arkansas, has lived in the Valley since 2010. Prior to Phoenix, he was a sous chef at Coobah in Chicago.
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Although Christofolo's menu of housemade pastas and dishes utilizing locally sourced products will, for the most part, stay in place, Barch, who will assume the kitchen's daily operations, will add a few creations of his own such as a parsnip soup and a fresh catch dish. The two chefs are said to have similar cooking styles.
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