Nestled into the majestic Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort, you’ll find a modern restaurant with Latin-meets-Asian flare called, Toro. Known for its suviche bar, offering raw sushi and ceviche, it perfectly combines Asian and Latin influences. Guests can try wok dishes, small plates made for sharing, and grilled entrees. They also have the Valley’s largest selection of rums (151 of them to be exact), as well as Latin wines, and innovative cocktails. Patrons often sip them from the patio, which has incredible views of Arizona sunsets over the McDowell Mountains range and the TPC golf course. Behind all of this is a chef you ought to know.
Chef Fidencio Alatriste, Toro's Sous Chef, is a family man, whose interests are pretty simple. He collects watches and caps, and really just wants to spend time with his three kids. But simplicity goes right out the door when he’s in the kitchen. Born in Puebla, Mexico, he’s had a lifelong passion for food. Not only did he grow up around it, but he operated Pastor Taco Cart at the age of 14. (I don’t think I could be trusted in the kitchen at that age…)
Chef Fidencio Alatriste began his restaurant career in 2002 and worked his way up from dishwasher to grill within a year. This set the tone for the rest of his career, which has also been fast-paced. He spent seven years working with Chef Matt Carter at Zinc Bistro and The Mission, building his skills and his reputation, before opening Milagro Grill for the famed Mayaco family. After this, he opened Bootleggers with Chef James Fox, but after a short year, he was offered the position of Head Chef at the Tomasso family’s seafood concept restaurant, Cuttlefish. Ever-sought after, he returned to Bootleggers as Executive Chef, overseeing the Phoenix and Old Town Scottsdale locations, after a year with Cuttlefish.
Opportunity came knocking again with Toro, where he remains. I can say from experience that while Alatriste may be shy, the flavor combinations he creates at Toro are bold. On the day that I went for brunch, I had the Brazilian French toast, topped with berries and fried plantain, and also sampled the Chaufa rice (a Peruvian-inspired dish). The presentation was fabulous, and the dishes themselves were amazing.
It is a very pleasant experience to visit a restaurant that expands on other Latin flavors beyond the well known Mexican cuisine, Fernando Fernandez, Toro's Executive Chef has put together a great menu that his team executes impeccably.
Mark your Calendar
On August 23rd, Chef Fidencio Alatriste will be collaborating with Head Chef Brett Vibber of Cartwright's Modern Cuisine, for a one-of-a-kind dining experience showcasing Latin foods in America. At Cartwright’s, the kitchen staff fuses beef, game, and seafood with locally grown produce and foraged ingredients from the surrounding deserts and forests to create unique dishes. On the night of Alatriste’s visit, he’ll use his philosophies of food and culture to prepare an unforgettable evening for diners. If you’d like to be a part of it, call Cartwright’s to make reservations: 480-488-8031 (The cost is $80 per person for a four-course dinner.)