You would think co-owning multiple premium restaurants (Stingray, Geisha A Go-Go, Jimmy Woo’s and Spanish Fly), dodging controversy with the “Suzi Stingray” ad campaign while being an executive chef would be too much for one person. But some how Chef Andrew Nam manages to do it all and do it well. It’s been almost exactly a year since we’ve checked in with Chef Nam so time to check back in and check out the new ad campaign that’s got the City of Phoenix in a huff. Again.
Managing four restaurants, he’s a busy guy, so let’s do this…
DLT: Where do you find the most inspiration for your cooking?
Chef Andrew Nam: I love to try traditional ethnic food across all cultures. I find that by tasting the extremes of cultural cooking you can take lighter elements that translate well to the American pallet.
What is your favorite thing about cooking?
Watching someone enjoy one of my creations for the first time. No question.
What’s your favorite meal or snack after a long night of cooking for others?
Sugar, specifically Toffee from Goody Two’s.
How did you get into the culinary arts?
Honestly… I needed a job!
Is there/what is a difference between Arizona food culture and Chicago food culture?
Phoenix is very spread out so there are very few dense cultural centers, Chicago has specific ethnic pockets that create more opportunities to try authentic cooking.
What’s your favorite thing to do not related to cooking?
I love my music, trying to be the first DJ/Sushi Chef. What do you think? We love it.
In terms of music, what are you currently listening to?
Far East Movement…Still.
What’s currently in your glass? (Favorite wine or cocktail)
Crown…Oh and ice.
Your favorite Valley restaurant?
Besides Stingray, Jimmy Woo’s, Geisha A Go-Go, and Spanish Fly? No clue.
In five or less words, any advice for aspiring cooks?
Work hard and stay real.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career?
There is no substitute for hard work.
Culinary city that you have yet to visit?
Paris, I need to get that trip in someday.