FOODIES WEST.COM         
   JAMES BEARD BEST CHEF SOUTHWEST
RESTAURATEUR JANOS WILDER
December 2015 Issue / Volume 3; No. 22               The story behind Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails























 
 
 
 

      
Pastry Chef David Couch
Bakery Manager
Colorado State University


      
5-Star/5-Diamond
Executive Sous Chef
Joshua Johnson

     
Michael Robb
Certified Sommelier

      
Leaf Organic Vodka
Water makes the difference


Find out:
 
About Chef Janos Wilder's next venue, Carriage House, on our

Facebook page!


       
Spruce up your food.

     
Santé - 2015
Sonoma, California

      
Pie Shy?
Ken Haedrich can help!

       
Michael Robb
on Arizona Wines


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James Beard Best Chef Southwest/Restaurateur Janos Wilder, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, Tucson Arizona
Phoenix artist, Marco Albarrán, said he believed “that all people can reach a sense of social and cultural balance through the arts.” It’s through the arts that a people learn about themselves. As Janos Wilder went through the planning process of his current restaurant, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, in 2010, he found himself reaching for balance during a particularly unsettling time. He ended up making a statement through his form of art, food. With his hyper-kudosed restaurant, Janos, still racking up culinary awards, Wilder had to decide on a voice for his new venue. (Wilder held a celebratory closing of Janos two-and-a-half-years later). Wilder’s decision might have looked like a bolt out of the blue, but he made it very purposefully. “I wanted a different expression,” Wilder explained, “and I didn’t want to compete with myself. In a place in the size of Tucson, two Janoses would not succeed. So this was meant to be a completely different expression of what we were all about.” Wilder ultimately decided the new venue would serve world comfort food. Though he had his eye on market trends, Wilder said they weren’t the deciders. “Uh-uh,” Wilder said with a slow shake of his head. “The price point of it is. In a sense, the immediacy of the food and the flavors all were. But that we have this sort of global menu was not in response to the market, but a completely different expression. A very personal expression. It came from outrage over how we viewed ourselves as Americans and how exclusionary our view of America was becoming and how xenophobic we were becoming and how that insulted every grain in my body.” Those thoughts remained in the background as he made the final decisions about DKC.