FOODIES WEST.COM         
 OWNER/CHEF MICHAEL O'DOWD,
Forbes Five-Star/AAA Five-Diamond 

October 2014 Issue / Vol. 2, No. 19                         Life, really, for me, dictates how I cook.














 










     
Executive Chef
David Schmidt

      
October 2014
Chef's Larder

     
       
Executive Chef
John Wooters

      
Daylight Farms
Half Moon Bay, CA

       
Che-Ah-Chi: Sedona, AZ

          
Licorice Root:
The Chef's New Trend


     
A Midwinter Night's Dram
by High West Distillery

     
Moonshine Nation
by Mark Spivak


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Synopsis: Owner/Chef Michael O'Dowd, Forbes five-star/AAA five-star - Urban Vine, Phoenix, Arizona

Michael O’Dowd opened the acclaimed KAI restaurant in 2002 with sommelier John Rothstein. Five years later it received its first AAA five-star rating. In 2009 it added five Forbes stars. A dozen years later, O’Dowd and Rothstein have come full circle and partnered again to open Urban Vine in downtown Phoenix. Two different restaurants, two different worlds, but the mindset the same. For O’Dowd, it’s all in the journey. This journey started back in the 1970s when he was nine years old. His father worked for The Seagram Co., which gave O’Dowd a chance to practically “live with the grapes” and experience the oenophile’s lifestyle. O’Dowd called on Chef John Coletta and asked him for a job. Coletta was part of the culinary Olympic team U.S.A., which won the gold medal for the Western Division of Team U.S.A. in Frankfort. “He told me I had a lot of balls to just walk into his office and ask for a job. But he hired me on the spot. He called me a California Smoothie.” If KAI was Disneyland, what is Urban Vine? “Urban Vine is like a racecourse. I’ve raced BMWs. In a racecourse, there are so many different bends that you have to literally learn how to downshift and heel-toe-shift and really understand the throttle and clutch. We’re in the straightaway of life now where the foot is on the throttle a hundred percent, and there’s no letting up.”