From James Beard Award winners to nationally recognized restaurants, Arizona is a hotbed of high-end dining destinations. And at the helm of each of these amazing eateries are some of the culinary world’s most talented and creative chefs. But who’s at the top? To answer that, Arizona Foothills Magazine turned to dozens of local chefs and asked: Who is your favorite chef in the Valley? Here are the five guys who received the most love—and a few recipes straight from their kitchens.
Top Chef: Kevin Binkley of Binkley’s Restaurant and Café Bink
At the tender age of 14, Chef Binkley honed his culinary chops while working his first job at TCBY. “I learned some very important jobs here: how to be a dishwasher, to sweep and mop, spin frozen yogurt and make crepes,” he says. Since his days of serving fro yo, life has been even sweeter for Chef Binkley; this year, he was named a finalist for the prestigious James Beard Award’s Best Chef – Southwest.
Way to satisfy a sweet tooth: Eating 72 percent Valrhona chocolate, straight.
Midnight snack: Microwaving frozen tamales from Mi Cocina Mi Pais. (This restaurant has a new name now, but is the same place.)
Cereal: Shredded wheat.
Fast-food restaurant: In-N-Out Burger.
Bottle of wine: Egly-Ouriet “Ambonnay Rouge.”
Pizza topping: Pepperoni.
Cut of meat: Rib eye cap.
Kitchen tool: Spoon.
City for dining: San Francisco.
Place to dine in the Valley: Nobuo at Teeter House.
Chef: Patrick O’Connell.