Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine 18

A Distinctive Destination Dining Experience

Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine is a farm-to-table restaurant steeped in Arizona history with a flair for unparalleled quality without pretension.

Owner and chef Brett Vibber takes great pride in sharing the legacy of the Cartwright family and keeps with a tradition of utilizing local ingredients, while also bringing many of the world’s food ideals to his home state of Arizona.

“We specialize in tasting menus, and the goal is to have our customers enjoy new flavors and unique local ingredient,” Brett says. “I spend my time finding what is around us here in the Southwest—from saguaro fruits to jojoba seeds. We think outside the box to bring something special to the table.”

The Cartwrights were famous for ranching in Arizona and funded the water system here, earning the right to name the city Phoenix (because it rose from the ashes of unfarmable land to become the robust agricultural center it is today, thanks to the water system). Brett maintains the same appreciation for the land, living on property that he gathers inspiration from.

“I live on 26 acres with gardens, tractors, compost—the whole farm experience,” he says. “Cartwright’s isn’t just my job; it’s my life. I like to say I think of your dinner before you wake up.”

Brett knows each of his fishermen, ranchers and those who harvest his produce by name, so there is an intimate relationship with the dishes his team creates. He shares a special restaurant recipe that showcases these very ideals.

“We use flour from Hayden Mills for our Mesquite and Arizona Flour Gnocchi. The wheat is grown in the Sonoran desert and milled in Queen Creek. The corn is from Mortimer Farms, and we steam it for winter time, Navajo style. The herbs for our restaurant are grown in mine and my sous chef’s gardens, and we mill the mesquite flour ourselves. Our eggs come from The New River Homestead just up the road from Cartwright’s. All the flowers are grown at Mountain Sky Farms and microgreens are grown at Arizona Microgreens,” he says.

Brett’s motto is “trust the chef,” and he promises diners a true “Arizona experience” when they visit Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine.

Mesquite and Arizona Flour Gnocchi

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds potatoes, riced
  • ½ pound flour, plus working flour
  • 1 tablespoon mesquite flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley, rosemary, 
 thyme and sage
  • ¼ cup roasted corn
  • 4.5 ounces egg yolks

Directions

  1. Soak potatoes for 20 minutes, then roast on a bed of salt until soft. Peel and pass through a ricer. Cool potatoes.
  2. Mix potatoes, flours, salt, herbs and corn. Add egg yolks and mix by hand until dough forms that does not stick to your hands. Wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Add working flour to your table and cut dough into four balls. Roll into long cylinders about 1/2-inch thick. With dough knife, cut into ½-by-½-inch dumplings.
  4. Add gnocchi to boiling water and wait for them to rise to the surface. Remove to a pan with melted butter or your favorite sauce and enjoy!