Versatility of Sake: Food Pairings with Chef Mark Tarbell | Mar. 18, 2021

Banner Photo of Mark: Joanie Simon

DateGuest SpeakersTimeRegistration
WEDS 03/18w/ Mark Tarbell, Toshio Ueno, Eda Vuong5pm PT | 6pm MST | 8pm ETCLICK Here

Break out of the confines of Japanese food paired with sake. Chef Mark Tarbell has created a three course menu that pairs Western style dishes with Japanese sake, showcasing the versatility and balance of sake with food. It’s not always wine with French and it’s not always sake with Japanese!

Menu & Pairing


1st Course
A trio of Petrossian Osetra Caviar on a chip, Classic Friulian Frico, Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Relish
Paired with: Nanbubijin AWA Sparkling Sake

2nd Course
Day Boat Jumbo Scallop Crudo with Pomegranate, Avocado Mousse, House-made Aioli, Micro Cilantro and Crispy Garlic
Paired with: Gangi Yuunagi Junmai Daiginjo

3rd Course 
Chicken Confit, Parsnip Puree, Demi Glace, locally grown Wood-oven Roasted Mushrooms and Chervil  
Paired with: Noguchi Honjozo Muroka Nama Genshu

Mark Tarbell

Photo: Paula Maturana

Restaurateur, wine expert and chef extraordinaire Mark Tarbell, is an icon who has trailblazed the food and beverage community for over 26 years. Tarbell became fascinated with cooking at a young age. At 14 years old, he was given a Jacques Pepin’s La Technique book as a gift and it piqued his interest in the art of culinary and started his career path. With determination, passion, and eagerness to learn, he entered the industry as a dishwasher at just 15 years old, then became a cook.

At the age of 18, Mark Tarbell completed a culinary apprenticeship at the Sonesta Hotel in Amsterdam, Holland then went on to study in Paris at a cooking school named Ecole du Cuisine La Varenne, earning a Grande Diplome d’Etude Culinaire and studied wine at Steven Spurrer’s Academie du Vin. 

Tarbell did apprenticeships at 3 star Taillevent, 1 star Michel Pasquet and Willy’s Wine Bar in Paris. Tarbell returned to the U.S. as sous chef at the Oracle House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and  followed his earliest dream to work at a wine bar as sous chef then became a chef at Vintage Wine Bar and Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He started teaching at the International Wine School Cambridge and at University of New Hampshire Hospitality School for a course in French Regional Wine. Tarbell also worked as a night baker at Wildflower Bakery in Boston supplying bread to all the top Boston restaurants.

Following his dream to open his own restaurant, Mark Tarbell had no idea what servers and bartenders did and transitioned to the front of the house as assistant manager and wine buyer for Deer Valley Resort’s Café Mariposa in Park City, Utah then moved to Arizona to be the youngest Food and Beverage Director of any Five Diamond property in the world at The Boulders Resort in Carefree, Arizona where he stayed for eight years. 

Mark Tarbell opened Tarbell’s Restaurant in 1994 and since then has gained local and national recognition. He has been nominated as “Best Chef – Southwest” by the James Beard Foundation and in 2017, was nominated for a Rocky Mountain Regional Emmy for hosting “Check Please Arizona” on Arizona PBS. Tarbell won three Emmys as host of AZ PBS’s show named “Plate and Pour” and is a two-time inductee into the Arizona Hall of Culinary Fame as “Outstanding Chef” and “Media Master.”

Tarbell’s has earned more than 50 city best of and industry awards, including “Best Restaurant” by Food & Wine Magazine. He has personally cooked for music and entertainment legends as well as political and sports celebrities. Those that he has cooked for include Muhammad Ali, Shep Gordon, Johnny Depp, Willie Nelson, Sammy Hagar, Woody Harrelson, Cheech Marin, Kris Kristofferson, Toby Keith, BB King, Maynard Keenan, Sheryl Crow, Bob Weir, Clint Eastwood and hundreds more.

Mark competed and won Food Network’s “Iron Chef America,” and was a reappearing chef on 3TV’s “Good Morning Arizona” show for 15 years, as well as national programs like “Good Morning America”, the “Today Show” in New York City. His appearances extend to Fine Living, Lifetime and several Food Network programs. Tarbell appeared and cooked 11 dinners at the James Beard House and contributed to and cooked for hundreds of charities over the years including Share our Strength, St. Mary’s Food Bank, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Ryan House, SAARC, Taste of Tennis and many others.

Mark Tarbell has been a wine judge for 20 years at the Los Angeles International Wine Competition. He serves on many advisory councils and boards including Arizona Department of Education Advisory Counsel, Board member of Phoenix Art Museum, All Saints Day School Board of Trustees, the Phoenix Theatre State Chairman of American Institute of Wine and Food, Officer in the Chaine des Rotisseurs as L’ Order Mondial. He was the weekly wine columnist for Arizona Foothills Magazine from 1999 to 2007 and The Arizona Republic from 2007 through 2015, has been published in numerous local and national magazines including Wine Spectator, Wine & Spirits and more.

Mark Tarbell has been a panelist for several years and chef presenter at Aspen Food and Wine Classic as well as a featured chef at the Maui Wellness Symposium with Deepak Chopra, Kapalua Wine and Food, Telluride Wine and Food, and Hawaiian Food and Wine Festival.

Mark Tarbell’s food and beverage concepts are Tarbell’s, T’s Wine Bar, The Wine Store, Tarbell’s Catering and The Tavern at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 3 in Phoenix.