Chef Joey Maggiore creates diverse culinary experiences in the valley; carries on his family legacy
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – It’s hard to find someone with more enthusiasm and excitement than Joey Maggiore when it comes to being a chef and restaurateur. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise since Joey is the son of Valley Chief icon Tomaso Maggiore.
Like father, like son
For years, Joey grew up in the kitchen learning from his Sicilian-born father, who was part of the Valley’s culinary scene for over four decades. As the son of a master chef, it makes sense that Maggiore would follow in his father’s footsteps.
“As a little boy, normal kids played with cars, I ended up playing with knives and tomatoes, so I had no choice but to be a chef. But as I got older, being in the kitchen, I fell in love with his passion, which makes people excited about what you produce,” Maggiore said.
Maggiore explained that growing up, his father, Tomaso, was his idol. Maggiore says, in a way, that becoming a chef was like being like your idol. And while what it means to be a chef has evolved throughout his career, Maggiore says his current stage takes him back to his roots.
“It really brings me back to how I was raised, my Italian roots. When I cook a dish and I taste or smell something, it reminds me of my grandmother or my father, and it brings me back really where I wish I was,” Maggiore explained. “So I think being a chef is really about taking your memories, putting them on a plate, and sharing your memories with a guest.”
The Maggiore family
The Maggiore family opened their first restaurant, Tomaso’s, at 32nd Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix in 1977. Since then, Joey and his family have expanded the Maggiore legacy by developing various restaurant concepts in the Valley. Their restaurants’ family umbrella, The Maggiore Group, is home to Joey’s creative and popular brunch chain, Hash Kitchen, a meatball and butcher-inspired eatery at Sicilian Butcher, a cannoli concept to be created at Sicilian Bakery, and his latest attempt, a Mexican food-focused experience at Mexicano. Joey’s sister, Melissa, also runs The Italian Daughter in North Scottsdale. Cooking and opening memorable restaurants is part of this family!
From offering brunchers a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar at Hash Kitchen, to innovative drinks and meals at Mexicano (which also features a build-your-own Michelada bar), to fine Italian cuisine, Maggiore has spared no expense in finding unique ways to provide its guests with exceptional culinary experiences and options.
“I always try to keep it fresh, new, exciting. You know, a stagnant business becomes a stagnant leader, it gets old and tiring. I like to be fresh and Instagram worthy, very social media focused like the Everyone’s gone now. So whatever I do, instead of a plate, put it on a Ferris wheel! Why not? The meatballs are great, have a little nostalgia with that! Said Major.
Maggiore’s passion as a chef and restaurateur makes him a culinary wizard, constantly evolving ideas and food tropes to create a lively atmosphere with delicious and captivating dishes. Maggiore takes presentation to a whole new level with several menu items at most of its restaurants, from the Ferris wheel with meatballs (see above) to the flambé Italian Saganaki table, Sicilian family platters served on planks 5 feet and even a dessert board!
Aside from the mouth-watering food itself, the presentation and enjoyment of these items enhance and enhance the dining experience for everyone. Maggiore often has DJs playing the Hash Kitchen, and sometimes the Mexicano to take those culinary vibes to the next level. Whether you’re on a date, dining with friends, or celebrating a special occasion with a group, lots of laughs and fun will be shared with the feeling of friendliness that emanates from Maggiore’s restaurants. This atmosphere that Maggiore strives to maintain in his restaurants comes from his love for what he does every day.
“I love coming to work. People call it work, I call it home. I walk into the restaurant every morning, have an espresso, walk in and kind of create the day, create a new concept, a new dish. For me, there’s an excitement to get up every day and come and do this,” Maggiore said. And the fun doesn’t stop there. Maggiore hinted at two new upcoming concepts, one of which he says will be a step up from the Mexicano!
If you haven’t been to a Maggiore restaurant, you have several concepts to consider. The Maggiore family has become a staple of the Valley culinary scene, and it’s clear that Joey’s passion for creating and producing great food and concepts for customers continues to drive the Maggiore Group to new heights. peaks. Whichever restaurant you visit, the Maggiore family sense pervades the entire restaurant and welcomes you with warmth, sensational homemade recipes and pride.
This is the eleventh segment in a breakout series on the leaders of the Phoenix Metro. Arizona’s Family Foodie sits down with chefs from across the valley to tell their stories of triumphs, perseverance and dedication to their craft. There is a tremendous amount of work, research and experimentation that results in what is placed in front of you on a plate or in a drink. These are the stories of the creative minds behind those delicious meals or cocktails, and how their passions for food and drink bring us joy and connection.
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