SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen at the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Bungalows has a new Executive Chef at the helm! Chef Dushyant Singh has taken the reigns, with a focus to combine globally-influenced dishes with local Sonoran seasonal ingredients. I stopped by to check out the new vibes and learn what course Singh's got charted for the Weft & Warp ship.
Singh, a native of New Delhi, India, says he started in the hospitality industry right after graduating high school. While learning the hospitality trade, Singh took some culinary classes and discovered a new passion.
"As soon as I took those classes, I fell in love with it, and I have not done anything else since then," Singh said.
Hooked on cooking, Singh moved to the United States when he was 19 and got his first job as a banquet cook at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington, Kentucky. After some time developing his skills, Singh was off to hit the cookbooks at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Singh wrapped up at the Culinary Institute, earning his Culinary Arts degree. Singh then rejoined the Hyatt family and traded in his winter coats for sun and desert, moving to Arizona in 2005.
Singh has had quite the culinary journey and has worked for several hotels and resorts, including Hotel Palomar Phoenix, The Camby Hotel, Westin Chicago River North, and La Quinta Resort & Club. Singh was even most recently a General Manager for Fox Restaurant Concepts. Singh, who's very calm and collected, says some of his favorite aspects about being a chef are the structure in a kitchen and getting through those busy nights.
"I love the structure of the kitchen, I love the kind of like army mentality, like a brigade system. I love the rush of going through a stressful environment and then making it through a shift, making it through a night. I love that, all of those parts of it," Singh explained.
Albeit being IN the moment of those dinner rushes can be overwhelming at times, there's a rush everyone experiences in unison regardless of your position at the restaurant. It's truly a synchronized team effort of passionate people coming together to churn out quality food that allows their guests to leave happy. It's evident that Singh's joy and passion for cooking foster a positive culture and synchronized environment at the Weft & Warp kitchen. While there, I noticed his team was operating like clockwork, each prepping for the night in their respective department. Singh's brigade is a well-oiled machine! With his team operating at peak efficiency, Singh still finds the time to explore new culinary endeavors.
"Eventually, once you start to work more and more and grow in this industry, that's when the creative parts start to come in. Calling something your own, I think, is so special. Very few professions or people can say that, that they achieved that. You create a dish and, literally, it's like, that's mine. Then you can go ahead and can create another one, and you keep going on and on. That's what I fell in love with," Singh explained.
Singh pulls creativity from many avenues of life, but it's his open-mindedness and forward-thinking towards cooking that sparks new creations.
"It's not the first time, and it's a home run. I think recipes evolve over time, and dishes evolve over time. The first time it's a blank canvas, and you put some stuff together, you write your notes down, and sometimes it comes exactly the way you envision, and sometimes it doesn't. But that doesn't mean that you nix the idea," Singh said. "And then you're like, okay, I'm at 7 right now from a 1 to 10 scale, and I know what I need to do to get to 10. Then you move forward a little bit more, move forward a little bit more, and once you're satisfied with it, once it's a 10 for you, then you put it in front of the guest."
When moving those culinary goalposts until that touchdown dish is achieved, Singh's focus is to keep things simple while still maintaining the taste profile and integrity of this dish. Singh says the culinary program and philosophy he wants to build at Weft & Warp is one built around global influences of cooking brought together harmoniously.
"I love vibrant flavors, but not masked over on top of each other. Sometimes as chefs, it's hard for us to pull away. I think if the dish is showcasing two or three ingredients, that's more than enough for a palate to have at that time. That's the kind of approach I want to take," Singh said.
Singh's approach of letting the ingredients speak for themselves is reputable, and it shined in Singh's Hamachi crudo that I sampled a bite of. The course set for Weft & Warp is an exciting one with Singh at the helm. Guests can expect new, fresh Mediterranean flavors and dishes coming to the menu soon.
Even with all of the new happenings at Weft & Warp, Singh still manages a busy life outside of the restaurant too! During the summer of 2020, Singh launched Meatwala PHX, a home delivery-based business focusing on Indian meats and sides. When he's not busy working, Singh's also an avid climber and adventure seeker, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro back in 2018. Singh is one down-to-earth guy, who's experiences and desire to bring together dishes from around the world to the tables at Weft & Warp are truly inspirational.
This is the seventh segment in a breakout series on chefs in the Phoenix metro. Arizona’s Family Foodie is sitting down with chefs around the Valley to tell their stories of triumphs, perseverance, and dedication to their crafts. There is a sizeable amount of work, research, and experimentation that culminates into what gets placed in front of you on a plate or in a drink. These are the stories of the creative minds behind those delicious meals or cocktails, and how their passions for food and beverage bring us joy and closer together.