Sharing the flavor of a unique culinary heritage!
KAET/Phoenix is pleased to bring the popular cuisine of the American Southwest to public television audiences with "Savor the Southwest," a 13-part cooking series. The new series is hosted by Barbara Fenzl, a Phoenix-based Southwest cooking teacher, food writer and cookbook author.
◊ Robert Del Grande ◊
Considered one of the fathers of modern Southwestern cuisine, Del Grande holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry and uses his scientific skills plus the very best products to create his sophisticated version of “New Texas” and “cowboys” cuisine at Café Annie, Rio Ranch Texas and Café Express in Houston.
Update: In 2011, Del Grande has launched the next evolution of Café Annie, RDG + Bar Annie, in Houston Texas.
◊ Vincent Guerithault ◊
One of the first modern Southwestern chefs, Guerithault has put Phoenix on the culinary map with his eponymous restaurant. Author of Vincent’s Cookbook, he has won the 1993 James Beard Award as Best Chef: Southwest and been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Travel and Leisure and on the cover of Money magazine. Classically trained in his native France, he combines his sophisticated kitchen skills with regional ingredients to create unique Southwestern dishes.
Update: Still going strong in 2011, Vincent also has opened Vincent Market Bistro, Vincent’s Van Go, and operates the Camelback Market in Phoenix.
◊ Jay McCarthy ◊
Chef at Cazwellas in Telluride, Colo., McCarthy brings a distinctive style and Caribbean influences to Southwest basics. The author of Traveling Jamaica with Knife, Fork and Spoon, he has become a cactus expert and is working on a new book, Cactus Cuisine and Culture.
Update: In 2011, McCarthy is the Corporate Chef of Beaver Creek Chophouse, Blue Moose Pizza and Foxnut Asian Fusion and Sushi, all in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.
◊ Robert McGrath ◊
Chef/owner of the Roaring Fork in Scottsdale, McGrath was named one of the Ten Best New Chefs in America by Food and Wine magazine in 1988, nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef of the Southwest in 1994, 1995 and 1998, and was the Evian Healthy Menu Awards National Winner in 1994. Before coming to Arizona, he was chef de cuisine at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas and chef/owner of Sierra restaurant in Houston.
Update: In 2001, McGrath won the James Beard Award as Best Chef: Southwest, and in 2011, he is the Founding Chef of Renegade Canteen, in Scottsdale, Arizona.
◊ Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger ◊
Known to television viewers as the “Too Hot Tamales,” they are co-owners of the Border Grill in Santa Monica, California, named one of the best restaurants in America by Gourmet magazine. In 1988 they were the first women to receive the California Restaurant Writers’ “Chef of the Year” award and in 1993 they were two of only 16 chefs worldwide invited to appear with Julia Child in PBS’ Home Cooking with Master Chefs.
Update: In 2011, the pair have expanded their Border Grill locations to Las Vegas, Nevada, and they own and operate Ciudad restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.
◊ Donna Nordin ◊
Chef/owner of Café Terra Cotta in Scottsdale and Tucson, the Tohono Chul Tea Room and Trio in Tucson, Nordin was featured in the PBS’ television series Great Chefs of the West and her recipes appeared in the series companion book and in numerous food magazines. Contemporary Southwest, her first cookbook, details her imaginative, contemporary Southwestern cuisine.
Update: Since closing Terra Cotta in 2009, Donna today continues to teach cooking in Arizona and California, and is active in the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) and Les Dames D’Escoffier.
◊ Loretta Barret Oden ◊
A member of Oklahoma’s Potawatomi tribe, Oden incorporated the culinary traditions of many Native American cultures by incorporating a remarkable variety of traditional ingredients in addition to corn, beans and squash – the “three sisters” – into the innovative fare at her Corn Dance Café in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Update: After 10 years in Sante Fe, Oden closed the Corn Dance Café to devote her time to the Emmy-award winning PBS series, Seasoned with Spirit. She currently lives in Oklahoma City.
◊ Stephan Pyles ◊
Recognized as one of the founding fathers of Southwestern cuisine, Pyles has been involved in the restaurant business from the time he helped out in his family’s Truck-Stop Café in West Texas. In Dallas, he opened Routh Street Café, Baby Routh and Star Canyon. Winner of the 1991 James Beard Best Chef: Southwest Award and a member of Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, Pyles is the author of The New Texas Cuisine.
Update: In 2011, Stephan is chef/owner of Stephan Pyles Concepts, which includes Stephan Pyles Restaurant and Samar by Stephan Pyles, both located in the Dallas Arts District.
◊ Lenard Rubin ◊
Formerly executive chef at Windows on Green at Scottsdale’s Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale and The Boulders in Carefree, Rubin returned to Scottsdale in 1997 as chef de cuisine at The Princess Resort’s La Hacienda, the only Four Diamond Mexican restaurant in North America. He is now at the helm of Marquesa, the hotel’s flagship restaurant.
Update: In 2011, Lenard is chef/owner at The Vig and The Vig Uptown, both located in Phoenix, Arizona.
◊ John Sedlar ◊
John Sedlar began his professional career in his native New Mexico. The first to create contemporary dishes from Southwest ingredients, he opened Saint Estephe in 1980 in Manhattan Beach, where his unique cuisine attracted national attention. His ground-breaking book, Modern Southwest Cuisine, is a classic that has been updated and recently re-released. At his Abiquiu restaurant in Los Angeles, he incorporated ingredients from all over the world into his unique specialties.
Update: In 2009, Sedlar returned to the kitchen when he opened Rivera in downtown Los Angeles. In 2011 he plans to open another restaurant, Playa, also in Los Angeles.
◊ Roxsand Scocos McCreary ◊
Roxsand has been recognized by Gourmet, Esquire and USA Today as one of America’s most talented, unique chefs. She is the chef/owner of Roxsand, one of the most innovative restaurants in Arizona. Her dynamic dishes reflect the diverse elements of her culinary training, and she has recently begun introducing Native American ingredients to her menu selection. Scocos was nominated for a James Beard Foundation Best Chef of the Southwest Award in 1995 and 1998.
Update: Named winner of the James Beard Award as Best Chef: Southwest in 1999, Roxsand Scocos McCreary is now enjoying retirement in Arizona.
◊ Janos Wilder ◊
Wilder is chef/owner of Janos, a trend-setting restaurant set in a historic home in Tucson that dates from 1865, and Wild Johnny’s Wagon, an innovative lunch spot that doubles as a catering kitchen. The author of Janos: Recipes and Tales from a Southwest Restaurant, Wilder was a pioneer in growing his own produce and finding local farmers to grow what he could not. He was nominated for Best Chef of the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation in 1994, 1995 and 1998.
Update: Wilder was named winner of the James Beard Award as Best Chef: Southwest in 2000. In 2011, in addition to Janos at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, he also has opened J BAR and Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, also in Tucson.
◊ Chuck Wiley ◊
Named one of the Best Ten New Chefs in America by Food and Wine magazine in 1994, Charles Wiley is vice president of food and beverage of The Boulders in Carefree, Arizona and The Peaks in Telluride, Colorado. Among his many talents, Wiley is an expert at grilling and smoking meats, fish and vegetables and his innate sense of flavor combinations earns his cuisine national acclaim.
Update: In 2011, Chef Wiley is the Food & Beverage Director and Executive Chef at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona.