Riley Chandler – Executive Chef/Co-founder, Stancato’s Italiano Sonoran
Chef Riley’s passion for food began at a young age when being taught to cook by his Sicilian Grandma Stancato. At 17, he got his first professional kitchen job, learning techniques and flavors of Tucson’s food culture.
He’s the co-founder and executive chef of Stancato’s Italiano Sonoran, honoring her legacy. Stancato’s expresses a story of the Old Pueblo expressed through Italian gastronomy and presented with a refined Sonoran heart. It’s a delivery-only food concept, cooking from “ghost kitchens”, focusing on scratch sauces and hand-made pastas, unique selections of appetizers, salads, desserts and beverages. In early 2022, Stancato’s will reopen in a new location.
He recently worked in a cannabis edible manufacturing facility producing various products. In November 2020, the YouTube cannabis channel, “Growers Network,” released a pilot episode of the show “Infused Chef” featuring him cooking and plating a five-course cannabis-infused meal.
Chef Riley spent a year in the Tacos Apson kitchen, perfecting his Sonoran techniques while also executing the day-to-day operations of a busy taqueria.
For six years, he worked under Tucson’s only James Beard award-winning Chef Janos Wilder at Janos, JBAR, Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails and The Carriage House.
In addition to his kitchen experience, he’s taught cooking classes at the University of Arizona’s Tucson Village Farm, where he was also a board member.
Chef Riley is adamant about supporting the local agricultural community and living up to Tucson’s UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation by using farm fresh ingredients from local ranches and poultry farms, produce exclusive to Arizona, heritage seeds and his own garden.