The Mission Scottsdale- Chef Spotlight The Mission in downtown Scottsdale is both classy and cozy. The ambiance is at once modern and traditional, so it makes sense that the food would follow suit. The sleek and elegant atmosphere is perfect for either a date night or a ladies’ night out. If the glow of the Himalayan salt block wall doesn’t take your breath away, the flavors of the Latin cuisine definitely will. I should know, as this is one of my favorite restaurants! Meet George Alatriste, chef at The Mission in Old Town Scottsdale.
Alatriste began his career at the age of 16 at Zinc Bistro under his mentor, renowned Chef Matt Carter. After Zinc, Carter opened The Mission and Alatriste followed him, learning the ropes for two years before venturing out on his own. He worked for a Spanish tapas restaurant before working at Bootleggers with his brother, Chef Fidencio Alatriste. He later worked at El Chorro and the Mint night club, before returning to The Mission as a Sous Chef. So imagine my surprise when Chef George Alatriste invited me to meet with him and sample tacos from the menu (of which the carne asada and, surprisingly, the cauliflower come in tied for first place). The man is a Scottsdale chef you ought to know. He’s got plenty of experience, dating all the way back to high school.
After all of this, you’d think Alatriste wouldn’t want to cook a single meal in his off-time, but in fact, one of his favorite things to do is to grill for his family and friends. (Adopt me, please?!) He loves to cook tapas and modern Latin cuisine, and The Mission has provided him with the opportunity to be creative. While Alatriste really enjoyed working with his brother, working side-by-side with his mentor has been career changing.
Carter blends influences from Spain, Mexico, Central America, and South America in the Latin cuisine he creates. Restaurant patrons can expect homemade tortillas, arepas, and salsas made fresh daily. All of the meats served at The Mission are prepared on a plancha, or grill using pecan or mesquite wood, which contributes strongly to the unique flavor. It’s easy to understand why Alatriste loves being a part of what’s happening at The Mission.
Other than the tacos, my personal favorite dishes are the street corn and the pumpkin bread pudding (made with scotch, pepitas, and pomegranate). The tableside-made guacamole is fabulous, too. But The Mission serves more than just dinner. Their chicken and waffles weekend brunch items are unlike any you’ve had elsewhere. Imagine oregano, lemon, soy, black pepper, and aji rocoto-flavored chicken atop a pecan waffle with bacon maple syrup. Talk about sugar and spice! Their cocktail list is long, with inventive tonics like the aguacate margarita. Even their non-alcoholic beverages are interesting, with Pellegrino Pompelmo, Gosling’s Ginger Beer, and Mexican Coca-Cola on the list.
Whether you visit The Mission for the incredible flavors, the rich ambiance, or the talented chefs who quite literally slave over hot stoves for their customers, there’s simply no reason to miss out!
On September 16th, brothers George and Fidencio Alatriste will be competing at Rock The Guac, an annual guacamole making contest among the best chefs in the Valley for the most scrumptious guacamole.