Most chefs start their culinary career in some kitchen capacity- sous chef, line cook, or something along those lines. But Justin Beckett started from the very bottom rung: as a dishwasher in Maui. With his lifelong passion for cooking, Justin has established himself as one of America’s premier chefs and has helped bring fine dining in Arizona to new levels.
Justin’s passion for cooking has also instilled in him an obsession with creating new dishes and evoking new flavors in his meals. As Justin puts it, “The best part of my job is playing with food. Coming up with new dishes is always exciting…I love seeing the guests in the restaurant; it’s like throwing a dinner party every night.” With this attitude towards cooking, it should come as no surprise that the idea for Justin’s restaurant, Beckett’s Table, was born when Justin and his wife Michelle were eating dinner with friends, sommeliers Katie and Scott Stephens. Their love for family-style meals and the fun of bonding over a good meal and good wine led them to open Beckett’s Table in 2010, and since then, Beckett’s Table earned the 2015 “Wine Spectator” award. Not to be outdone, Justin has also been nominated for the “Best New Chef” award by Food & Wine magazine.
Specialties & Resources
The menu at Beckett’s Table attempts to capture the convivial atmosphere that comes when friends share a table, a delicious meal, and a great bottle of wine to go with it. The menu is contemporary American and focuses largely on making the best out of simpler dishes. The starter offerings include creamy grits and sausage with mustard jus; wood oven roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and lemon basil vinaigrette; chilled beets with crispy leek rings, cucumber, garlic potato puree, black pepper honey and micro herbs; feta with grilled lemon, smoked onions, green olives, roasted garlic and toast.
The entrees are equally unadorned and delicious. Some of the items include short ribs with creamy mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables and a red onion demi-glace; cast-iron petite chicken with bacon biscuit stuffing and chicken jus; pan-seared sea scallops with green beans, potatoes, spinach, chorizo, almond, and crème fraiche; pork osso buco confit with roasted poblano pepper spaetzli, onion, corn and chorizo; green chili pork stew with cotija cheese, cilantro and corn tortilla; and pork chop with stone ground polenta cake, bacon-onion-tomato saute, and bourbon peach glaze.