FOODIES WEST.COM         

 
MARTIN NAKATSU
EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF

HYATT REGENCY SCOTTSDALE
Scottsdale, Arizona

  A title doesn't make you a chef. Chef is a state of being.

July 2018 Issue | Vol. 6, No. 19












 





 








 
 

 
Executive Chef
TORO Latin Restaurant
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA

FERNANDO FERNANDEZ

  Owner/Executive Chef
VINCENT'S ON CAMELBACK 
PHOENIX, ARIZONA

Vincent Guerithault

 
Chef de Cuisine

UME at
Casino del Sol
TUCSON, ARIZONA
DAVID SOLÓRZANO

 
STOIC CIDER
with Founders Kanin Routson, PhD and Cody Routson, PhD

Prescott, Arizona


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THE LATIN TABLE
by Chef Isabel Cruz

Isabel's Cantina & Barrio Star

     
Toro Latin Restaurant
& Rum Bar
  
with Executive Chef
Fernando Fernandez
Scottsdale, Arizona

 
Uncommon Spirits from Well-known Brands 

GARY SPADAFORE
Breakthru Beverage AZ


 
Part 2: Uncommon Spirits from Well-known Brands 

GARY SPADAFORE
Breakthru Beverage AZ



View the wines, spirits, and beers chefs and sommeliers have paired with food featured in FOODIES WEST:



            


            


             

           
 
           
Martin Nakatsu | Executive Pastry Chef | Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona Martin Nakatsu always has to “know things”. Things like the meaning of his time in this world. “There must be a purpose beyond what you see everyone else do,” Nakatsu explained. “Going to the post office, going grocery shopping. There has to be more than that.” This quest became more curious when he started working in the kitchen. Not only did he have to figure out the “what” about his life, he had to figure out why he was attracted to something he not only didn’t understand, but that only guaranteed stress and pain rather than fortune and fame. It was the calling of The Craft. “The industry was so difficult at that time,” Nakatsu said, “in the late 70s, early 80s when I was really looking into all this. Kitchens weren’t a really friendly place. Kitchens were like the Wild West. It was a wild frontier. There were things that happened in the kitchen—aside from all the yelling and screaming and throwing things at you—I had chefs that would actually strike you and hit you across the head. “One of the things that I found was,” Nakatsu continued, “some of these chefs that go through these very difficult moments in their lives, there’s something that drives them. There’s something that keeps them in this industry.” This something, Nakatsu figured out, started with discipline. Nakatsu had plenty. His father, a first son and second of 10 children, raised him with the same strict discipline he received growing up as a first American-born generation in a Japanese home. Nakatsu also studied Shotokan Karate for 13 years and could associate the respect and unconditional obedience he had toward his sensei to the executive chef. “So as a cook,” Nakatsu explained, “if the chef tells you to do something, you do it. You don’t say, Welllll, maybe it needs a little color. Why don’t I chop up some tomatoes and put it on your Caesar Salad. You don’t do that.” But the journey to find why the industry drew Nakatsu took a long time. “I understood there was a definite connection,” Nakatsu said. “I don’t believe in mistakes. That if I’m drawn to this, there’s a reason for it. There’s something I can learn from this or there’s something about my nature, my personality, that’s telling me: This is important.”