Executive Chef Devon Sanner
The Carriage House and Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails, Executive Chef
Born: June 15, 1974 Tucson, Arizona
Education: Rincon/University High School, Tucson, AZ, 1992; University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, BA in Political Science and Russian, 1996; Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, MA in Slavic Languages and Literatures, 2003; Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Scottsdale, AZ, AOS in Culinary Arts, 2006
Devon Sanner is a native Tucsonan and a lifelong lover of food. Since early childhood, long before he was drawn to professional cooking, he was enthralled with the Friday evening ritual of making homemade pizza with his father and brother. Encouraged to develop a broad and adventurous palate, Devon loved discovering the warm comfort of menudo, the intense flavors of kimchi stew, and the richness of escargots and terrine of rabbit. A high school prom date trip to Janos Wilder’s eponymous downtown restaurant would prove to be a seminal inspiration that would germinate over a decade later. Devon’s path to becoming a chef was circuitous, but his passion for good food shared with friends and loved ones has remained constant.
After graduating from Rincon/University High School, Devon went on to study at The University of Arizona as a Flinn Scholar and National Merit Scholar. Devon’s studies took him to St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia, where amidst his language and culture studies he briefly interned for an expatriate newspaper, writing reviews of Moscow restaurants, clubs, and nightlife. Devon continued his studies at Indiana University, pursuing graduate work in Slavic languages and in language education while teaching beginning Russian and English composition and hosting parties for fellow graduate students. Returning to Arizona in 2003, Devon taught for a year in south central Phoenix before realizing that he needed to turn his avocation into his vocation. Throwing himself into the professional culinary world as a novice at the advanced age (by industry standards) of 30, Devon enrolled at Scottsdale Culinary Institute.
Upon finishing his coursework at SCI, Devon returned to the scene of his inspiration, joining the crew of Janos as a culinary intern in October, 2005. Chef Janos Wilder fostered Devon’s professional growth, encouraging Devon to learn as a stagiaire in the esteemed kitchens of Tru, Momofuku, and Alinea, as well as working in France as a chef tournant at The American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival. Ascending through the kitchen ranks at Janos, Devon was promoted to Chef de Cuisine of Janos and J BAR in July, 2009. After Janos closed its doors in 2012, Devon joined Janos and Rebecca Wilder’s exciting new venture: DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails, where he was Chef de Cuisine through 2015. Devon is thrilled by the opportunity to serve as Executive Chef of The Carriage House.