It was less than a year ago that I reported that James Beard Award winning chef Alex Stratta took over culinary operations at The Herb Box , well that short-lived stint has come to an end. Chef Stratta has taken his culinary talents to MATCH:Restaurant & Cocktails in The Found:Re Hotel in Phoenix.
New menu debut
The first change will take place in September when chef Stratta will debut a new menu for the wood-fired and local focused restaurant. “We are testing new recipes and seeking the perfect balance of flavor and relatable dishes that suit the tastes of our local residents and out-of-town guests,” said Stratta. “The wood fired oven and grill will continue to take center stage as we evolve our menu.”
He and his team will continue to focus on simple, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients that will be presented in an artful style to coincide with the hotels art inspired decor and design.
The Alex Stratta culinary history
The globe-trotting chef has collected awards for his Las Vegas restaurants Stratta & ALEX and his first stint in Phoenix at Mary Elaine’s at The Phoenician Resort. He’s also worked for famed chefs Alain Ducasse in Monaco at Louis XV in The Hotel de Paris and Daniel Boulud in New York at Le Cirque. He’s also made the finals on Top Chef Masters, Italian Iron Chef and Iron Chef America. In addition to his James Beard “Best Southwest Chef” award he’s been named a Food & Wine Best New Chef, several AAA Five Diamond awards and a two star rating from the Michelin Guide for ALEX.
MATCH is at 1100 N. Central Ave. in downtown Phoenix https://www.matchphx.com/
James Beard award winner and Michelin starred chef Alex Stratta brought smiles to the faces of foodies around the Phoenix area earlier this year when he announced he was returning to Phoenix after spending several years strutting his stuff in Las Vegas. The corporate job that brought him back didn’t work out the way he had planned and was short-lived. Fortunately it was culinary gold for The Herb Box who hired Stratta as Director of Culinary.
Stratta will oversee all 3 locations (Southbridge & DC Ranch in Scottsdale and The Colony in central Phoenix) menus as well as their grab and go market and catering operations. His first order of business was to roll out a new Fall dinner menu. The menus will continue to be unique and use seasonal & local ingredients with vegetables playing a major part. The dinner menu rolled out in late October and a Fall lunch menu is planned for an early November roll out.
The Herb Box owner Susan Wilcox wasn’t looking to hire for a new position but she knew of Stratta’s reputation and with the help of mutual friends the 2 were connected, Wilcox says “Alex and I had a meeting of the minds. Our passions and vision for the growth of the company perfectly aligned.”
Stratta will also focus on the kitchen’s business operations which is one of his strengths. This will include developing and training the back of the house, refine procedures, ensure menu consistency in all with all 3 locations and expand catering and the grab and go market which will maximize the long-term growth of the restaurants. While no new restaurants are planned, Wilcox is open to expansion if the right location and opportunity become available around the valley or outside of Arizona. According to Stratta, “I’m bringing the same intensity and same heart from the fine dining arena to The Herb Box.” http://www.theherbbox.com/