Chef Tony Hamati
Chef Tony is the owner of Schmooze in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale. He was the former owner/operator of such Valley staples as Bravo! Bistro, Bravo! Pizzeria, and Naya Mediterranean Cuisine. Additionally, Tony has consulted for numerous restaurants in the Valley to help keep Phoenix a top culinary destination.
After studying food, beverage, and hotel management at the Culinary School of Jordan he continued his education at the Culinary of the Sorbonne, Paris. He began his career in 1980 as sous-chef for King Hussein at the Royal Palace of Jordan. He prepared many styles of cuisine for state dinners, where guests included dignitaries and leaders from around the world. In 1985, he moved to the United States and became an American citizen. He was the banquet chef at the Arizona Biltmore Resort in the mid to late '80s, then moved temporarily to Hawaii to open the Westin Maui Resort. Tony then served as General Manager of Tomaso's restaurant, opening Tomaso's concepts in Del Coronado and Phoenix, Arizona. In 1996 he opened Bravo! Bistro and has been a chef-owner since that time. His belief is that fresh, slow food prepared properly appeals to people who know and enjoy quality cuisine.
Schmooze is unlike any concept he has been a part of before. Schmooze opened in 2018 by Launch Real Estate Founder and CEO John Vatistas. John wanted a co-working space that he could enjoy every day. Schmooze was to be a place where his agents could come to collaborate and “schmooze” clients to seal the deal, hence where the restaurant got its name. Tony was originally brought on to consult for the restaurant and was quickly brought on as a partner. With such a strong passion for the restaurant, Tony took over full ownership at the end of 2021.
Say hello to Chef Tony aka the "King Schmoozer" next time you stop in!