Local chef takes over My Wine Cellar - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Arts & Life

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Local chef takes over My Wine Cellar

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Posted: Thursday, August 12, 2010 8:00 am

When the opportunity of a lifetime knocked on David Laser's door, there was no other option but to answer.

Laser took over the reins at My Wine Cellar in Ahwatukee Foothills, becoming executive chef of the wine bar and restaurant, whose owners are looking to take the establishment to the next level.

Scott McMurray and Irene Menting, who took over My Wine Cellar in April, believe Laser will be the first building block.

Changes are coming to the menu as David and his mother, Mary Ann Laser, work together, with the help of family recipes from past generations, to put together new and unique dishes on the menu.

"Our family was all about cooking," David said. "Holiday dinners would be a six- to eight-hour marathon. Everyone from the family would come over and we would just eat."

The Laser name is not all that new to the Ahwatukee Foothills community. David's father, Richie, has had a real estate office for years as well as co-owned two different restaurants with Mary Ann.

Their daughter, Jamie Santoro, became the head chef of Café Boa in Ahwatukee Foothills a few months back.

David is the most recent Laser to make a name for himself in the Ahwatukee Foothills community. Previously he worked at Cork Restaurant in Chandler as a line cook. After learning the intricacies of a busy kitchen, his mother came to him with the opportunity to call the one at My Wine Cellar his own.

"It is a big leap to go from a line cook to running your own kitchen," he said. "The first few days, you know, those are the toughest because you have to find your groove. But I am really happy that I am here and that I have my mom helping out."

His age did not scare the owners either. With Mary Ann's approval and after meeting David, Scott and Irene knew that he would be a great fit.

"He came highly recommended," Irene said. "We have a good feeling that he has a vision for (My Wine Cellar) and what he wants to do with the menu."

To try out new dishes, the restaurant featured daily specials during David's first week that are the product of his and his mother's invention, including a bacon-wrapped meat loaf.

My Wine Cellar, 5030 E. Warner Road, is open from 3 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 2 to 11 p.m. Friday; and 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

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