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Meet the Chef: Daniel Scordato, Vivace and Pizzeria Vivace

Daniel Scordato is a Tucson restaurant icon.

Daniel Scordato is a Tucson restaurant icon.

Address and phone: 4310 N. Campbell Ave., 795-7221

Meet Daniel Scordato owner of Vivace and the soon-to-open Pizzeria Vivace, and one of Tucson’s most respected and revered restaurateurs.

The 51-year-old Scordato has spent most of his life in the restaurant business, cooking at his father’s venerable namesake restaurant at the age of 14.

A graduate of Canyon Del Oro High School, Scordato struck out on his own in 1986 with Daniel’s. He sold that eatery in 1992 and opened up Vivace a year later. Scordato also opened Intermezzo in 2003 in Williams Centre, but sold that a year later to refocus on Vivace, which chefs, foodies and reviewers far and wide consistently put on their short lists of Tucson’s best restaurants.

The opportunity to open a second eatery right next to Vivace prompted Scordato to embark on the pizzeria, which will serve artisan-grade, thin-crust pizza with first-rate toppings.

“My goal was to do something more casual, and since I’m literally next door at Vivace, I can go back and forth from each to make sure things are going well,” he said.

The pizzeria, which is slated to open late next month will focus all its attention on pie, with nothing else on the menu, Scordato said.

“The pizzas we’re going to do take 100 percent concentration to do right, and we don’t want to take anything away from that,” he said.

Question: What’s your favorite restaurant in Tucson?

Answer: I could never pick one, because I love so many of them here. I get tired of any one food, so I’m always trying different things. About the only thing I can say I don’t like is bad food.

What’s your favorite dish to prepare and why?

For family, I really love to prepare a good roast.

What’s your favorite dish to eat?

What I really like to do when I’m at home is just get any pasta and add some chopped tomatoes, capers, onion and fresh mozzarella with a drizzle of olive oil and a big chunk of bread.

What’s unique about the Tucson restaurant scene compared to other cities?

What I love about it here is that almost everyone here is really interested in doing their best for their customers. They have more than just a profit motivation, because they really seem to enjoy taking care of their customers and doing the best they can for them. You don’t find that in a lot of other cities.

What’s your favorite or most used gadget or kitchen utensil?

The food mill. It crushes without changing the texture, which is what happens with those blending sticks or a food processor. If you want to get just the right texture with your tomato sauce, you really need to use a food mill.

What do you always have in your refrigerator?

I love having turkey breast to just kind of pick on with some broccoli and cauliflower. I’m trying to go low-carb these days.

Why are you a chef?

I really do enjoy taking care of people. It’s something my father and family instilled in me. That’s why I worry so much, because I really want to make people happy, because when you’re able to do that, it just makes you feel really good.


tstauffer@tucsoncitizen.com (tstauffer@tucsoncitizen.com)

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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