We had the good fortune of connecting with Joseph Lerner and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joseph, how do you think about risk?
Risk is a double edged sword being extremely sharp on both sides. As the saying goes, “No risk, no reward.” stands very accurate and true. Risk can either spring-board you into a better future or risking to not risk will keep you stagnant. This will also lead you to regretting many things in life.

Throughout my Chef career, I have moved, lived and worked in 8 different states in the nation. This wasn’t only for my progression but also doing Marriott Hotels & Resorts justice in having someone flexible as me that could pick up and go.

In summation, the moving and getting out of my comfort zone has molded me into the Chef and person I am today. I’ve rubbed shoulders with some of the who’s who in the industry, picked up technical acumen and fostered some life long relationships along the way.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The best part of being a Chef is the ability to create and develop dishes/food/presentations at your own leisure. For me, I research, read and focus on current food trends that allows me to stay relevant in this vast food world. With that being said, one would find me using smoke in some form or fashion within my menus as it pays homage to my North Carolina roots. Not a lot of smoke but just enough to have you ask, “what is that flavor profile in the corn puree?”…it would probably be the essence of hickory smoke from smoking the fresh ears of corn.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If one has not been to the Phoenix area before I would say taking hikes and enjoying the outdoors (not in the summer). Camel Back , Pinnacle Peak , Lookout Mountain just to name a few. You can’t go wrong with day trips up north to Sedona and Flagstaff for some cooler weather. For all my golfing buddies, they would be floored of the vast courses seeing as Phoenix is one of the golfing meccas of the Nation.

As far as food goes:

– Original Breakfast House
– Perk Eatery

– Lupitas (best Sonoran dog, hands down)
– Euro Bakery (Balkan)

– Glai Baan (Thai)
– Fuego (Latin)

The Little Woody
Bitter & Twisted

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My father, Jack was a huge supporter and advocate of mine. He always wanted me to succeed in my career and life as well. As much as he got on my nerves time to time, he was always there when tough opportunity came my way and was an ear to genuinely listen. There are many times when he said, “You won’t understand things until you are older.” , this was oh so true. As I’ve gotten older, I can relate to him giving me tough advice and sometimes no advice at all for me to figure it out. Something I never told him was how much I appreciated the tough love which helped me be who I am today. I will be able to tell him just that, some day.

Website: www.curatecuisine.com

Instagram: chef_joseph_lerner

Linkedin: Joseph Lerner

Facebook: Curate Cuisine

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.