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Who’s your daddy?

Posted on: June 10th, 2012 by Taryn Jeffries No Comments

Father’s Day is just around the corner (Sunday, June 17th in case you forgot!) – seems like only yesterday we were paying homage to all the moms out there. But here we are, down to the wire, and without a gift card or tie already picked out, we’re looking for the best restaurant spots to take our dads.

We checked in with a few Valley chefs to learn about their most memorable Father’s Day and the special memories they’ve been given because of the holiday. Check out their answers below along with Father’s Day specials their restaurants are running:

In the comments below, feel free to share with us your most memorable Father’s Day… you might give us some ideas!

Local Chefs Share Their Most Memorable Father’s Day


Chef Ken Arneson shares his most memorable father's day

Chef Kenneth Arneson at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort

At my house, events like Father’s Day are very much focused around the table. My most memorable Father’s Day was about four years ago when my darling kids decided to make me breakfast in bed.They got up very early (5am) and made me one of my favorite dishes “Top Ramen,” otherwise known in my house as “Papa Noodles.” (Not quite a breakfast dish but it’s the thought that counts.) It tasted horrible… not enough water in the broth so it was very salty and the few noodles that did make it into the broth were overcooked, while the rest were raw and still hard. They scrambled some eggs that were more brown than yellow and added huge chunks of green onion. To top it off, they garnished it with chunks of sliced sandwich meat because sometimes I will add Asian sausage in my ramen. Needless to say, after being very thankful they did not burn the house down, we all got up and made a huge spread of pancakes with chocolate chips, eggs with chorizo, fresh squeezed orange juice from our trees and fresh baked blueberry muffins. Everyone chipped in and we had a great time. We even put the bowl of top ramen on the table as the centerpiece for our feast.

Hole-in-the-Wall will be featuring a grill master class and lunch on Father’s Day from noon to 1pm on 6/17. Chef Ken and Chef Nate will be sharing tips on how to smoke meats; use mops, sauces and rubs; and how to make your own signature dry rub. After the class, families can enjoy a great BBQ lunch with corn on the cob, ribs, chicken, baked beans, cornbread and signature Hole-in-the-Wall margaritas. It will run you $20 per adult and $10 per child. *Reservations required*

Chef Justin Beckett of Beckett’s Table

My last Father’s Day was pretty special. I woke to my two boys, Greyson (4) and Tobin (2) jumping on the bed and waking me up. They were excited to show me the book that they wrote, illustrated and bound together. There were stories of me playing legos with them and about our dog, and other stories. My wife attempted to make pancakes and then I went to work to feed A LOT of hungry dads and their families. This year, I plan on doing something similar. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.

Beckett’s Table will be featuring ‘Manly Specials’ such as Beckett’s Meatloaf, Smoked Ribs, or the Ultimate Burger all served with equally macho sides!

Chef Dennis Christenson of Pointe In Tyme-Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort

My favorite Father’s Day memory was the year my wife instituted holiday re-dos. This means we celebrate the next day or next weekend since I’m always working on the actual “holiday.”

Peter DeRuvo, Chef

I think the best Father’s Day memories are just, collectively, having the opportunity to be with everyone. With busy schedules that everyone has, it’s really hard to make time for each other. The first time my daughter drew me a picture and helped to cook me breakfast, THAT was the first time that I had the realization that ‘yeah, I’m a dad!’ It made me really think – the responsibility of being a father should not be taken lightly.

Chef Jose Garces, Iron Chef America, Distrito, and Old Town Whiskey

Most of my Father’s Day is spent with my mom and my wife Beatrice who cook a delicious meal for me (my choice). Usually, it will mean my mom’s empanadas or B’s famous Bolognese, but mostly it’s about spending the day together as a family with my kids.

During the week of Father’s Day, Chef Garces is treating other dads to a Bourbon & Burger special all week long at Old Town Whiskey.The burger will be paired with Chef Garces’ signature Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon for only $20. Enjoy this special from 6/17 through 6/24 11am-10pm.

Mario Gebran, Chef at U.S. Egg

My most memorable memory of Father’s Day was being stuck due to a snow-in, in a cabin with my dad in the dead of winter.There was not a whole lot of food to choose from, but we were able to make a fantastic stew with limited items. We enjoyed it so much considering the situation we were in. We sat back, laughed, talked, and ate our hot stew with the freezing cold wind whistling outside. It was the only Father’s Day we spent alone.

U.S. Egg is serving up a special omelet just for dad on the 17th.The Longhorn Omelet is filled with Jack cheese, fresh jalapeno, and roast beef. Fit for the king of your castle!

Chef Matt Janicec, R&D Chef at Z’Tejas

It’s not so much about being a memorable day for me; it’s more about reminding me about how lucky I am to have two beautiful daughters that fill my life with great moments and joy all of the time.

From now until Father’s Day, Z’Tejas is celebrating fathers and giving anyone the opportunity to win Z’Tejas for a year – how’s that for a gift? Visit their Facebook page and upload a 30 second or less video saying why your dad is the greatest. Winners will be chosen on 6/20 and will receive a $50 gift card each month for a full year. *You must live in Arizona to participate*

Chef Ernesto Lopez, Head Chef at SOL Mexican Cocina

About four years ago, my daughters (who were 7 and 8 at the time) woke up super early to make me breakfast in bed. They figured since they were daughters of a chef that it would be easy. Well, by the time I woke up, the breakfast was ready, but the eggs were runny, the toast was burnt, and the pancakes were rock hard. Regardless, I ate it all! That surprise breakfast remains one of the best breakfasts ever because it came from the heart.

SOL is far from your run-of-the-mill Mexican restaurants. Spice up dad’s day with a super sized serving of their Filet & Shrimp El Jefe along with the tasty Grande Casa Noble Reposado Margarita.

Chef Mel Mecinas at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale

Spending quality time with my family is very important to me. Some of my favorite times have been in the kitchen teaching my boys how to cook some of our family’s favorite meals. I cook breakfast for my sons every day. Time goes by fast and they are growing up before my eyes, so any chance I get to connect with them is a gift.

Four Seasons at Troon North will be holding a Barbeque Basics Class from 11am-2pm on 6/16. What a great way to not only celebrate Dad, but also to spend some great grilling time together! For $75 per person, Chef Mel Mecinas and Executive Sous Chef Jesse Hansen will provide demonstrations and tips on creating outstanding sauces, rubs and techniques. Best part, after the instruction you will get to taste all their creations along with some homemade ice cream and whiskey floats. Each guest will receive a takeaway recipe book, sample sauces and rubs as well as a cigar. *Reservations are required.*

Chef Thomas Nasworthy, Executive Chef at Carefree Station

About seven years ago, four generations of Nasworthy’s (Thomas, his son, dad, and grandpa) got to spend the holiday together at a riverside home in rural Georgia that has been in the family for generations. The family spent the day together fishing on the Ogeechee River and then brought their catch back to the house to clean it and have a fish fry. Thomas’ grandpa has since passed away, so this memory of the whole family being together holds a very special meaning.

Bring dad in to enjoy Carefree Station’s Sunday Brunch from 9am-3pm. Aside from the draw of bottomless champagne, you can nosh on their Crab Benedict and Sonoran Stack among other things. Want to let dad sleep in? Come in for dinner and treat him to the Steak Tampiquena.

Chef Tai Obata, Executive Chef of RA Sushi Bar Restaurant

Since moving to the United States from Japan in 1982, Tai gets to go back to his native country only once a year. Every Father’s Day, Tai travels to Japan with his wife and two daughters to spend the holiday with his dad (who is now 86). He enjoys spending this quality time with his father since he only gets the opportunity to do this once a year.

Have an adventurous dad? Bring him into RA and try a little bit of everything. I recommend the Scallop Dynamite Roll and a Saki Flight…or two!

Chef Jeremy Pacheco, Executive Chef at Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn

Last year, my son was only two weeks old, so it has been my most memorable Father’s Day to date! Lon’s ran a special BBQ menu last year – Saturday and Sunday evening- in honor of Father’s Day.That Saturday night, my father, mother, brother, sister-in-law, wife, and son all came in for dinner to enjoy the BBQ since I had to work. It was great to have my whole family together; we were able to put them in one of our private rooms.The next day I just relaxed with my son on my belly all day.

Lon’s will be featuring a $45 Sunday Brunch as well as a special BBQ menu for dinner. Off the brunch menu, choose from nine entrees ranging from Huevos Rancheros to Grilled Scottish Salmon. On the dinner menu, you can choose from Smoked Berkshire Ham, Smoked Prime Rib, House Made Knockwurst, or Harrison Farms Chicken. A delicious way to spend the day! *Reservations recommended*

Chef David Schmidt, Executive Chef at Enchantment Resort in Sedona

My favorite Dad’s Day starts out in bed, then my three beautiful girls come into my room, kiss and hug me and express their love for their daddy. Then, we will typically go out to brunch (this year at Enchantment). Seeing my pops on that day is always a plus. We’ll spend the afternoon swimming, then grill out for dinner and watch a movie at night – a very simple day being able to spend quality time with all of my girls and wife.

This year, Enchantment is celebrating by having a Dad-geared Sunday Brunch that has all of his favorites. Also, they are holding Donuts for Dads for all of the employees at Enchantment. As Chef David says, “We love to recognize our staff and keep a family atmosphere at work.”

Chef Mark Vojtek of Mark’s Cafe

Favorite Father’s Day memory: 2006. Karen took an awesome picture of the three kids and bought a decorate-it-yourself picture frame at the craft store. Our kids decorated it with little ‘kitchen’ stuff: mini salt and pepper shakers, chef apron, etc.They delivered it to me at the cafe and it still sits on the front counter.

Happy Father’s Day!

About the Author - Taryn Jeffries

Editor and Chief Eating Officer of PhoenixBites, 2017 Food Writer of the Year (Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame) Taryn grew up in a small town in Illinois with a doting Grandmother who taught her the way around a kitchen and that food is representative of love. Her current quest is to find the love in local dishes and the chefs behind them. In addition to running all things PhoenixBites, Taryn is also a freelance writer, sharing her insight on the best dishes and where to get them each and every month.

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