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Is the culinary scene of Phoenix lacking?

While you couldn’t tell it from the size and variety of great options to choose from in the Phoenix restaurant scene, its recent disappointing showing at the Beard Awards have many considering local food in a negative light.

Is the city of Phoenix really lacking definitive flair in its culinary scene?

While it may have plenty of personality, a harsh reality is that the Phoenix area is notably lacking in top level talented chefs.

Magazine awards aren’t exactly the most important gauges of success, but the lack of a Phoenix based or even Arizona-wide presence in many top chef lists of popular magazines is a definite sign things aren’t as good as they may seem. With plenty of top 10 or 50 lists existing for chef’s nationwide, it’s long overdue Arizona had consistent representation.

As Arizona-based business grows and expands, the lack of equal growth in its chef talent is a troubling trend leaving many wondering if Phoenix will ever truly stand out when it comes to food.

What is causing this talent divide?

While Phoenix may have a diverse range of food options, the market is clogged with chain restaurants putting together the same old ABC’s years after year.

Where there’s stagnation, there’s lack of growth. This can go a long way in explaining the restaurant scene in Phoenix.

As Arizona becomes more and more a new hotbed for business and travel, we can only hope Phoenix starts attracting the chef talent to match. A great way to help?

Start supporting local non-chain restaurants. Plenty of great chef’s start in their own kitchens, and only supporting your local chain locations significantly harms these businesses. 


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