Trendsetter to Know: Schuyler Estes, General Manager of Recreo Cantina

Name: Schuyler Estes


Age: 43

Title: General Manager

Married/Single: Single (In a relationship) 

Kids: 4-year-old son (Izaak) 

City you live in: Phoenix

A typical day in my life includes: Not getting enough sleep

I was born… A loner, a rebel.  Well, definitely a heathen. 

My favorite thing about Arizona… The day trips, for sure!  We have just about every landscape, terrain and climate, all in one state. Not to mention the small towns, lakes, hikes, off-roading.  I can be sitting on the beach in Rocky Pointe, drinking a beer in 4 hours.  

I’m listening to… Joy Division

My family… Are my people.  We’re all different. We’re all a bit weird.  And we’re all pretty rad. 

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be… Tossup between Bill Murray or George Carlin 

One thing I cannot live without… Ice cream… duh!

When I was younger, I wanted to be… an Architect

I’m inspired by… The people around me (usually)

The one person who motivates me is… Izaak Estes, my son, motivates me in so many ways.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be… Nothing. That would only fuel my God complex, and no one wants to see that.

The perfect day would be… “April 27th.  Not too hot, not too cold.  All you need is a light jacket.”  

My first job was… Golf Course – Driving Range Picker and Golf Cart Washer 

My favorite escape… Early morning, solo round of golf. Me vs. Me.  -or-  Houdini’s Metamorphosis, circa 1895  

My life… Is rather chaotic, at times.

I’m currently working on… My relationship, house projects, ’62 pickup truck and myself  

Always… Eat your vegetables

Never… Take yourself too seriously.  If you can laugh at yourself for making a mistake, you can also learn from that mistake. 

Favorite Quote…. “Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything.  Maybe it’s about unbecoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place.” 

Biggest Dream… TBD

Bio on yourself/company: As General Manager, Schuyler Estes brings his years of culinary expertise to Recreo Cantina. A classically trained Chef, Schuyler was asked to take the reins of the concept. His menu and food knowledge coupled with his Operations experience compliments the restaurant’s selfless service, modern design, and upbeat spirit. Knowing from a young age that he wanted to be a chef when he grew up, Schuyler began culinary school as soon as he graduated high school. Schuyler trenched his way up the ladder of the local restaurant scene, at restaurants such as Christopher’s Fermier and Cowboy Ciao to name a few, then traveled to Boston and was able to work with Chef Ming Tsai at his restaurant Blue Ginger. Schuyler set a personal goal of opening his own restaurant by age 30. Just two weeks shy of the deadline, he met that goal and opened the doors to his first restaurant, Squid Ink Sushi | Peoria, growing his concept and brand to 3 locations (Peoria, CityScape DTPHX and Scottsdale). Having spent nearly a decade honing his skills as a successful operator, Schuyler wanted to uphold and adopt the philosophies and values of mentors that he has had along the way…the mentality that “no job is too small”. Schuyler is dedicated to creating an environment that embraces learning, teaching, leading by example, and creating a strong ‘Family’ culture while maintaining a high bar of excellence. Intent on increasing his skill and evolving into a stronger chef and leader, Schuyler traveled north in search of a different, more challenging experience and to leave his comfort zone. He was honored to serve as Executive/Wilderness Chef at Intricate Bay Lodge in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where he learned about what Mother Nature really had to offer, was taught how to fly fish, had run-in(s) with Bears, and even field-dressed a moose! Attracted by the warm and inviting style of Recreo Cantina’s culture, Schuyler is excited to be part of a group of professionals whose personal values are reflected closely to his own. Dedicated to the evolution of this and future concepts, he is committed to sourcing authentic yet modern ingredients, served by knowledgeable and outgoing people, while weaving influences from around the world into a concept that is worthy of the “melting pot” that is The Valley of the Sun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts