Tag Archives: Tempe

i8tonite: Patrick O’Malley, North America’s Coffee Man & Holiday Espresso Martini

Patrick O'Malley: Photo by Joanie Simon.
Patrick O’Malley: Photo by Joanie Simon.

Where do you think North America’s leading authority on coffee is located? Seattle? Portland? Boston? New York? San Francisco? If you guessed Tempe, Arizona, you could win Jeopardy. On a small street, not far from Arizona State University and the nationally known brewery Four Peaks, is Patrick O’Malley’s Espresso Italia, a roastery creating some of the country’s most sublime caffeine brews. In a warehouse full of beans and leaves, O’Malley, the leading national authority on coffee and possibly tea works, lives and breathes caffeinated beverages.

O’Malley is unique as he is the only trained individual in the United States and 43rd in the world, allowed to teach Specialty Coffee

Ground Coffee: Photo by Joanie Simon.
Ground Coffee: Photo by Joanie Simon.

Association of Europe’s certification. Matter of fact, mostly Europeans train – with a smattering of Americans — at his International Barista Coffee Academy where they learn every facet of making the perfect cup and cupping. He educates students on a specially created espresso machine that he – along with five of the world’s leading coffee authorities — and Sanremo, the Italian high-end coffee manufacturer produced. O’Malley’s students are much like him, fans of the brew and owners of cafes throughout the world such as Belgium, France, Italy, Turkey, although some do come from the States to attend.

According to O’Malley, his hardest test was passing the Q certification – the system by which all coffee is graded. He ranks number 1043rd in the world out of a little over 3500. “It was harder than a sommelier’s test,” he notes.

Coffee bags: Photo by Joanie Smith
Coffee bags: Photo by Joanie Smith

The good thing for global coffee lovers is O’Malley opened a European-like café in April called Infusion Coffee and Tea. They just have to travel to Tempe.

In i8tonite’s Food People Questionnaire O’Malley talks about his love of soup, dislike for tofu, why he loves butchers and how to create a caffeinated martini, a new tradition for the holidays – sort of like egg nog except with caffeine. Heh.

What is your favorite food to cook at home? Wow. Good one. I would have to say my potato and leek soup because that’s what brings the biggest smile to Bugs. (Devin, my daughter.)

What do you always have in your fridge at home? Butter, white wine for cooking and garlic. My go to base for sauces.

O'Malley grades coffee beans. Photo by Joanie Simon.
O’Malley grades coffee beans. Photo by Joanie Simon.

What marked characteristic do you love in a person with whom you are sharing a meal? Adventurous people who will gladly try anything once.

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a person with whom you are sharing a meal? If they won’t even try something; how do you know if you don’t try it?

Beer, wine or cocktail? Guinness, Hendriks tonic and fresh cracked pepper. Its stupid good.

Your favorite cookbook author? Anthony Bourdian.

Your favorite kitchen tool? My knives.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook? Anything where I need to make a sauce. I love making a sauce.

Beef, chicken, pork, seafood or tofu? NO TOFU. I love meat. All meat. Even entrails sometimes. They are the best bits.

Favorite vegetable? Beets.

Chef you most admire? Locally?? No way I can answer that we have so many in this town (meaning Phoenix and the surrounding communities) that deserve to be named. I have to go with my Mom. She was a baker but could cook very well. She raised 6 of us (5 boys, 1 girl and Dad) on not a lot but we ate like kings. Her liver and onions was the best you will ever have.

Food you like the most to eat? Just about anything placed in front of me, but I am a soup guy for sure. So soup.

Food you dislike the most? Tofu.

What is your favorite non-food thing to do? Travel, because I get to try new food.

Who do you most admire in food? Butchers. I love to watch them break down an animal that people can take home and eat, it’s cool to watch a good one work.

Where is your favorite place to eat? Every one of our customers’ restaurants. I rarely dine at a place unless they are an Espresso Italia customer, our accounts are our family.

Treviso Street: Photo by Marta Z.
Treviso Street: Photo by Marta Z.

What is your favorite restaurant? In Treviso, every time I arrive, Carlo, the owner of Sanremo espresso machine factory takes me directly to L’incontro. They have an appetizer bar that opens like a clam’s shell, once open its full of some of the best seafood and pure goodness ever.

Do you have any tattoos? And if so, how many are of food? Nope not one, I don’t follow trends. It’s just not who I am. I have never had a desire to have one, and if I did I don’t think tripe or liver would look good on my arm. LOL.

Patrick O’Malley’s Espresso Martini 

Martini: Photo by Edsel Little
Martini: Photo by Edsel Little

Espresso made with Infusion Push blend (blueberry, lime and chocolate profile) or if you can’t find it any espresso will do.

Vanilla Vodka 1oz

Chambord .25oz (or any good quality raspberry liquor)


Shake over ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Look out! It’s yummy.


The End. Go Eat.


i8tonite: with Phoenix’s “Best Chef” 2015 Peter Deruvo and Pollo Arrosto (Roasted Chicken)

Chef Peter Deruvo: Courtesy of Awe Collective

Phoenix-based Chef Peter Deruvo has been called “the crazy cook”, partly because he cheffed at a defunct restaurant called “Cuoco Pazzo”, meaning crazy cook. Names like that stick to a person. But his food isn’t crazy, it’s well-crafted, rustic Italian starting with housemade pasta and sauces. This year with the opening of Citrine, a Tempe, Arizona-based restaurant, Deruvo is at the top of his game. In 2015, he’s even been named as “Best Chef” by Phoenix New Times, an accolade that’s been attributed to three Valley of the Sun nationally recognized names Chris Bianco (Pizzeria Bianco), Nobua Fukuda (Nobua at Teeter House) and Christopher Gross (Christopher Crush), all of whom have been recognized as a James Beard award-winning chef.

Interior of Citrine: Courtesy of Awe Collective
Interior of Citrine: Courtesy of Awe Collective

While living in San Francisco, he apprenticed with famed Bay Area Chez Panisse chef Paul Bertolli, San Francisco’s Mike Tusk, owner of the Michelin-starred Quince and Paul Canales at Oakland’s Oliveto where he refined his cooking, learning much about the restaurant world including a kitchen is not just about the chef but the hard-working support team surrounding him.

The City by the Bay afforded an introduction to award-winning olive oil producer Albert Katz, who sent him to Tuscany to learn everything he could about olives and olive oil. It was in Tuscany where Deruvo spent time tending the olive groves and farm at Montecastelli, a well-known Italian producer of gourmet wines, oils and vinegars. He also learned everything there was about the art of Italian cookery from neighboring trattorias, chefs and nonnas. All of this – including a stint working in Chicago — eventually lead him to Phoenix, with soaring tastes of his epicurean travels.

ChefPeterDeRuvo_CitrineOver the past three years, Deruvo has opened three restaurants including the much-lauded EVO, one in the past six months and had three kids with his wife, Christine. He’s not a crazy cook, just a busy chef with a family.


Chef’s Questionnaire

How long have you been cooking? I’ve always been cooking! From a young age to spending my twenties in Italy to now, I just can’t stop.

Lasagna: Courtesy of Awe Collective
Lasagna: Courtesy of Awe Collective

What is your favorite food to cook? Pasta is the game. It’s a staple in my life in both kitchens that I run and develop, at Citrine and EVO.

What do you always have in your fridge at home?    Lots of fruits, vegetables and cheeses. With three children, I’m a stickler for balanced meals!

What do you cook at home?  I like to visit fresh farmers markets with my family to get inspiration. Whether it’s Asian, Italian or what have you, it’s never the same and always guaranteed fun!

What marked characteristic do you love in a customer? I love eaters who grow with the restaurant. As our dishes change, they try, adapt and change too, that’s my favorite.

Farmers Salad: Courtesy of Awe Collective
Farmers Salad: Courtesy of Awe Collective

What marked characteristic do you find unappealing in a customer? Eaters who are afraid to challenge their palate. I promise it’s worth it!

Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or Pyrex? Pyrex.

Beer, wine or cocktail?  Amaro.

Your favorite cookbook author?  Madeleine Kamman.

Your favorite kitchen tool? Olive oil.

Your favorite ingredient?   Also olive oil.

Your least favorite ingredient?  Hmmm… I’m stumped!

Charcuterie Board: Courtesy of Awe Collective

Least favorite thing to do in a kitchen?  Develop new pasta with old techniques.

Favorite types of cuisine to cook?  Asian, Italian, Polish, Spanish.

Beef, chicken, pork or tofu? Pork.

Favorite vegetable?    Any and all types of greens.

Chef you most admire? The chefs who are still behind the stove, developing, mentoring and creating.

Food you like the most to eat?  Pho.

White Aspargi with Egg: Courtesy of Awe Collective
White Aspargi with Egg: Courtesy of Awe Collective

Food you dislike the most?    Liver. It brings back bad childhood memories!

How many tattoos? And if so, how many are of food?  One but none of food, food should be on the plate in front of you!

Pollo Arrosto, Fall Pan
Pollo Arrosto, Fall Panzanella Salad

Momma’s Pollo Arrosto + fall panzanella salad + natural jus      Yield   Serves 3


  • 2 lb whole roasted chicken
  •  ¼ cup of butter
  • 2 lemons quartered

Magic Rub for the Chicken

  • 1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of ground chili flake
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • Combine all ingredients and set aside for the chicken rub down

Brine Solution for Chicken

  • 1 gallon of tepid water
  • ¼ salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns crushed
  • ¼ cup of white vinegar


Combine all dry ingredients and spices with tepid water and submerge the chicken in liquid keeping it in the solution for over 24 hours.

Remove, dry, and season with salt, pepper. Under the skin of the chicken tuck all the butter.

Combine all chili, garlic and herbs and rub chicken down generously.

Truss chicken and set aside for roasting in an oven at 350 for 55 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Fall Panzanella Salad ingredients:  

  • ¼ cup roasted butternut squash
  • 1/8 cup of roasted cauliflower
  • 1/8 cup of rinsed and cleaned kale
  • ¼ blanched and sauteed green beans, sauteed in garlic, lemon and olive oil
  • ¼ cup quartered tomatoes
  • ¼ cup of toasted croutons
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure:   Combine all ingredients, toss lightly with olive oil and vinegar and season to taste; After the  chicken is fully cooked and rested, the salad will go underneath roasted chicken and garnish with quartered lemons.

Note: Chicken is also great served cold as a chicken salad.

The End. Go Eat.