By Alison Bailin Batz / Photo by Debby Wolvos
Vince Mellody is the chef and owner of the Bri, a globally inspired restaurant that recently opened in the Coronado historic district.
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
I think it was when I was working at a sushi restaurant and started to learn and recognize the difference between cooking and cooking with purpose and nuance.
To you, food is…
Fun. Food brings people together.
When you’re not cooking, where would we find you?
Probably riding my bike around town, snacking here and there or catching up on chores at home.
What food is your guilty pleasure?
Grilled bologna sandwich with Miracle Whip, yellow mustard, and bread and butter pickles.
Favorite food memory:
One of my first was watching my grandpa make barbeque sauce from scratch when he realized he ran out of the bottled stuff. I didn’t know you could do that.
Anything you have been working on?
I’ve been interested in skin lately, trying to make it extra crispy or puffing it. Especially for our roast duck. One recipe I’m still playing with for fun is octopus chicharones.
Do you have a favorite thing to cook?
I love to cook eggs. There are always new ways of cooking eggs I haven’t learned yet.
Tell us about the menu at Bri:
The menu consists of small plates and platters inspired by multiple styles of cuisine. The easiest way to describe it is non-Spanish tapas.
What has surprised you about owning your own restaurant?
I knew from the start I was in a great neighborhood, but I was surprised how instantly welcoming and supportive the community has been.
The most underrated dish on the menu is…
I would say it’s a tie between the Onsen Egg and the Butter and Radish. They are both very simple, but unexpectedly very flavorful.
Bri, 2221 N. 7th St., Phoenix; 602.595.8635; www.brion7th.com.