Chef Mark Tarbell

At 14, Mark Tarbell become fascinated with cooking when he was given his first cookbook, Jacques Pepin’s La Technique, and his culinary journey began.

At 18, Mark Tarbell completed a culinary apprenticeship at the Sonnesta Hotel in Amsterdam, Holland. On his days off, he’d use his hard earned money to buy French Bordeaux. His first impressions of wine were that it tasted awful, and all the words used to describe it were completely lost on him.

But, never a quitter, Mark kept on drinking, swirling and spitting.

Following the apprenticeship, he went to culinary school in Paris, Ecole du Cuisine La Varenne, earning a Grande Diplôme d'Etude Culinaire. Looking for a distraction from sweaty kitchens, he attended Steven Spurrier’s l'Academie du Vin. After this, for seven summers he lived with and traveled with his wine instructor Peter Vezan, then one of France’s top three wine palates.

The curtain was lifted. Mark had a back stage pass to wine: the good, the bad and the funky. He traveled the world hangin’, working and tasting with the best wine makers and Somms over the years and millions of dollars consumed on wine.

Following his work as a culinarian in Michelin starred restaurants in France, stints in fancy resorts and a few "spicy" kitchens, Mark followed his dream to open his own restaurant.

In 1994, Mark opened Tarbell’s Restaurant, home to celebrities and notables. Chef Tarbell has cooked for Queens, Presidents, Dictators, Rock Stars, Actors and criminals (some being all of these).

Tarbell’s has earned more than 50 “Best Of” awards including Food & Wine Best Restaurant and has been nominated for James Beard  “Best Chef – Southwest”, won on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and has appeared on many national and regional programs, including Ready Set Cook, Good Morning America, Today Show, and The View.

Mark has won five Emmy Awards as the host of AZ PBS’s “Plate and Pour” and “Check Please Arizona”. He is a two-time inductee into The Arizona Hall of Culinary Fame as Outstanding Chef and Media Master. Mark served on the Board of Phoenix Theater, Phoenix Art Museum and ASEDS School and is currently a National Board Member for C-CAP. 

Basically he has enough medals and awards to conquer a small ant hill. Most proudly, he is an Honorary Commodore of the United States Coast Guard.

Along with his passion project Cha Cha Mouche Winery which started in 2017, Mark Tarbell’s restaurants and retail wine and spirit shop include Tarbell’s Restaurant, T’s Tavern & Wine Bar, The Wine Store, T’s Catering n’ Special Events and The Tavern at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Terminal 3, T’s Goods in Terminal 4,  NG Hospitality, Cultivate Wine Bar and The Vault Speakeasy Fall '24.

Ready to join the Cha Cha Mouche wine club?