Your event venue and location are crucial to the attendee experience. Not only do attendees love to travel to exciting destinations, but they like to experience the local sights, culture, and, of course, cuisine.
With the launch of our new guide, "The Top 100 Meeting and Event Venues in the United States," we're going to share our interviews with premiere chefs and restaurant teams from the country's most popular meeting and event cities. They'll share what makes their restaurant stand out, how their city influences their flavors, and how they can accommodate events.
2320 E Osborn Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Chef Kevin Binkley
This chic restaurant showcases inventive New American meals made with carefully sourced ingredients. A guest's dining experience at Binkley’s Restaurant is typically 3.5 hours long and will take them through different sections of the restaurant—starting on the terrace adjacent to the garden, followed by moving to the intimate bar area, and ending at their table in the attractive dining room. Here, chef Kevin Binkley shares more about the unique dining experience at his restaurant.
Q: What do you like most about Binkley's? What makes you the proudest?
Binkley’s offers a unique, immersive dining experience, unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. We serve only 24 people a night, and are open Wednesday through Saturday (doing special events Sunday-Tuesday). Our goal is to create a delightful dining experience for adults. There's no question our environment is passion-driven, and that's what makes me the proudest. We're doing this because we love food. It's the proudest I've ever been of a restaurant that we've created and undoubtedly the most enjoyable restaurant I've ever worked in.
Q: How would you describe Binkley’s ambiance? What makes it welcoming?
Binkley’s was a residence from 1928 until 1990 before it was converted into a commercial property. And we tried to keep that feeling, structurally, of the home, so while you're here, it has that soul and that feeling you get from going back to your grandmother's house. Immediately upon entering, you feel that warmth and graciousness that you get when you go home.
So if you were to come to our home, we would start on the patio for small bites and cocktails. From there, we transition into the bar area of the home where we do our unique take our bar food. It's against every bone in our body to do anything normal, so we do fun takes on classic appetizers or things that we think we would be great for bar experiences. From there, we transition to the main dining room. The entire experience totals 19-28 courses.
In the main kitchen, we do a majority of our execution wide open. So, just like at our home, truly nothing is off limits; you can go anywhere you want. We invite our guests to join us in the kitchen if they're interested; they can even help us plate and cook. We even had a guest go in the back and wash dishes before just so they can say they did it.
Q: What’s your secret to keeping diners coming back?
With the combination of our ambiance, constantly changing menu, and immersive dining experience, we have our guests leaving feeling like it's one of, if not the best dining experiences they've ever had.
Q: What makes your cooking style unique?
We aren’t limited to one style cuisine; we take influences from all over the place, from Japanese ingredients to French flavors, and Mexico. It's a melting pot of different cultures and combinations.
Q: Where do you get inspiration for your food? For your restaurant as a whole?
Inspiration can come from anywhere, and it's not just from cooks. It can be from a dishwasher up to great chefs. But our inspiration comes from working with what's in season right now, our local farmers, as well as the people that are importing ingredients for us.
Q: What do you love most about being a chef?
I love food - The more you learn about food and wine, or beverage in general, the more you realize you don't know. I love working in an environment where I'm not learning.
Q: What’s the most important personal quality for becoming a great chef?
Q: How is Binkley’s unique compared to other restaurants in Phoenix?
My favorite part about the neighborhood is how eclectic and diverse it is. We're very close to the downtown core of Phoenix, and Phoenix is a huge city. There's anything from great dive bars to incredible fine dining restaurants.
Q: How do you accommodate groups?
We are very accommodating when it comes to groups. We're happy to work with people in just about any capacity. So what we'll do is we'll cater to their needs. We can tweak our experience to really make it something for them, and we've had numerous since we serve such a few amounts of guests each evening that come in.
Read more about what to do in Phoenix and what the top venues are for meetings and events in the city by downloading our free guide below!