The executive chef title is a goal for students working their way through culinary school.

It is the culmination of years of study and creative experimenting and one Desert Vista High School graduate has had his hard work recently pay off.

Adam Allison is working as executive chef at the newly opened Rock Taco Cantina in the Chandler Fashion Center.

He is helping to design the menu, which he calls "eclectic" and "across the board," but the unique thing about the restaurant are, of course, the tacos which customers can pick from an a la carte menu.

"It's like a sushi menu in that you get to mix and match different types," Allison said. "We will be expanding it, and adding new ideas along the way. I love working with Southwestern food and I am getting a lot of freedom in what we put out to the customers."

Allison graduated from Desert Vista in 2000 and went on to attend the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, where he focused on French technique. He previously worked at Bongo's Bar and Grill.

He has his work cut out for him at the new venue.

With places like Kona Grill, BJ's and the Old Spaghetti Factory only a few feet away, he knows they have to do something special to be successful, especially after the two previous restaurants in that location, 5 & Diner and Ruby's, closed down.

"We will be open until 2 a.m. and we won't be serving just a limited menu," Allison said. "We have a unique rock ‘n' roll bar atmosphere at night and I think that sets us apart."

Rock Taco Cantina, 3111 W. Chandler Blvd., opened its doors two weeks ago and Allison said they are still tweaking the menu.

They are open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

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