Chef Gregory Wiener

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | April 2nd, 2012 | Chef Interviews

Our journey through the US moves us in a nicely themed manner from the Golden State to the Copper State.  We will be staying in this new destination for two interviews, starting first in the city of Tempe.  Here we were treated to the culinary delights of Chef Gregory Wiener, Executive Chef at Top of the Rock.  This dinner-only restaurant offers fabulous views of the Valley of the Sun (aka Phoenix metropolitan area) to enhance your dining experience.

Chef Wiener graciously answered all of our questions in our mission to learn more about their spring menu.

TT:  How many new dishes have you added to your menu?

CW:  Our entire spring menu is basically brand new.  We wanted to start from scratch this spring. The only signature staple that was on the menu previous is the Scottish Salmon with quinoa, dilled yogurt and grapefruit. However, we made a few seasonal changes to the garnishes.  We really enjoy menu planning in the spring; this year we lightened it up and brought in some new inspirations.

TT:  Out of these dishes which is your favorite spring menu item?

CW:  This is a hard one for me; it depends what kind of mood I’m in.  We have delicious scallops at Top of the Rock restaurant that we caramelize, serve with spring peas, and garnish with a spicy popcorn that is playful and fun.  My other favorite is the turkey meatballs with soy truffle cream.

TT:  Are any of the ingredients in this dish locally sourced?

CW:  We utilize local farmers as much as possible at Top of the Rock.  Some of the farms we source from include Fossil Creek Creamery, Crow’s Dairy, One Wind Mill Farm, Wiser Farm, St. Anthony’s Greek Monastery, Queen Creek Olive Mill, Urban Survival, Wilson Family Farm, Rogers Farm, Sphinx Date Ranch, and Iacopi Farms.  Quantities and quality change daily so we have to be flexible with our menu and menu writing. We typically have our local items featured as a daily item unless we get it sourced exclusively for us.

TT:  For how long will these spring items be available?

CW:  We are looking at changing the menu again in early June. The weather changes drastically during the summer in Arizona and so do our guests’ eating habits. We try to change the entire menu about four times a year with small changes made weekly or even monthly.

TT:  What makes your spring menu unique?

CW:  It’s a unique blend of local flavors sourced from our favorite farms tied with some of my personal favorite things to eat. Every dish has a little bit of me in it regarding my past, present and future.

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