Tamara Stanger, executive chef at Tempe's Cotton & Copper, rides along with friends to her favorite local taproom, fishmonger and one hidden speakeasy.
Tamara Stanger isn't new to the farm-to-table scene. As a child, she learned to forage for local food in the surrounding wilds. As an adult, she's put that skill to use daily as executive chef at Cotton & Copper in Tempe. Desert ingredients such as cactus pads, capers and wild amaranth all make appearances on the restaurant's menu as seasonings that add a "natural sense of place" to every meal.
"I want my customers to understand 'this is what Arizona tastes like'," Stanger says. "It's our culture."
Fresh ingredients, inventive, well-crafted cocktails, and a seasonally inspired menu have earned Cotton & Copper a well-deserved reputation and honors such as the 2019 Foodist Awards' "Emerging Restaurant of the Year" and "Best Signature Dish" awards.
In this episode of "This Is the Place I Was Telling You About," Stanger takes friends to some of her favorite spots in Phoenix and Scottsdale, where they learn to shuck razor clams, sip cocktails with fish sauce, and dine on fresh seafood and authentic Thai cuisine. As the night comes to a close, Stanger unveils the way to a hidden speakeasy where all end the night with a final toast "To the best company. To the best places. To Arizona."
Expedition Foodie AZ interviews chefs, servers, bartenders, brewmasters and winemakers to uncover Arizona's best-kept dining secrets. Have a tip? Visit us on Facebook or Instagram to say: "This is the place I was telling you about..."