Having Cooked for Royalty, Chef Tony Hamati Knows How to Treat Scottsdale Diners

Jessica Dunham | June 20, 2019 | Food & Drink

Schmooze elevates the term “cafe” with newly appointed chef Tony Hamati at the helm. This isn’t your average bistro food and drink program. But, then again, Hamati isn’t your average chef.


Sorbonne-trained Tony Hamati cooked for King Hussein of Jordan, impressing his majesty so much that he gifted Hamati with an engraved Patek Philippe watch from Switzerland upon Hamati’s departure from the Royal Palace. “He was the most compassionate person I ever met,” Hamati says of the king. “He encouraged me to follow my passion.”

Hamati did so with zeal. He cooked dinners for heads of state, opened The Westin Maui Resort & Spa in Hawaii, worked at the Arizona Biltmore, and owned and operated Bravo Bistro in Scottsdale for more than 20 years.

Now he brings his world-class culinary talents to Schmooze, a modern workspace and bistro in Old Town Scottsdale co-owned by Hamati, John Vatistas, Steve Simonelli and Sophia Zori. Vatistas, owner of luxury real estate brand Launch, opened Schmooze as a stylish spot for Scottsdale’s professional crowd to work, meet and mingle, with five-star fare and craft coffee to keep things buzzing.

At Schmooze, Hamati sources locally and seasonally. For those ingredients he can’t find in Arizona, he ships the best—think croissants from Paris and bagels from New York City. Single-origin coffee beans are brewed on an Alpha Dominche Steampunk machine, and all dishes get artistic plating from Zori. “Where there is good food, there are happy people,” Hamati says. 4222 N. Marshall Way, 480.999.2822


Photography by: Fully Alive Photography | shot on location at schmooze