Cartwright's Sonaran Ranchhouse

6710 E. Cave Creek Road , Cave Creek, AZ 85331
480-488-8031

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Chef Seth “Montez” Crane

Chef Seth “Montez” Crane, a member of the Seneca tribe out of western New York, credits his maternal grandmother, Norma, for his love of cooking. They practiced locavore principles long before there was a word for it. He and the other kids would pick fresh food from the garden for Norma to cook, and she would can food for the family to eat all winter. His uncle butchered cattle next door.

Crane started working in restaurants in 1988 while attending college at Brigham Young University. He worked for Phantom Canyon Brewing Co. based out of Colorado Springs, Colo., as a sous chef and corporate trainer from January 1996 to January 1999. He traveled around opening brewpubs in cities including Buffalo, N.Y., Cincinnati, Ohio, and Des Moines, Iowa. From February 1999 to September 2001, he worked at Primitivo, a AAA four-diamond restaurant in Colorado Springs.

From September 2001 to October 2008, Crane worked at Lon’s at the Hermosa in Paradise Valley, Ariz. For most of that time, he learned under Chef Fernando Divina (author of Foods of the Americas), who was a great mentor. Meanwhile, Crane enrolled Scottsdale Culinary Institute in October 2001 and graduated in November 2002, working 50 hours a week in the kitchen while completing his schooling. After Lon’s, he worked for Chef Christopher Gross at Christopher’s in Phoenix in 2009, becoming an expert at French techniques and sauce-making. In October of 2009, he joined Cartwright’s, where he found a fit with the rustic but upscale New American cuisine featuring mesquite wood-grilled all-natural meats and seafood.

Crane studied American history at Brigham Young University, which impressed Cartwright’s owner Eric Flatt. Cartwright’s and its sister restaurant, Tonto Bar & Grill in Cave Creek, Ariz., are founded on the history of the American West. In fact, Crane’s nickname, Montez, stems from a junior high history lesson about Montezuma; some of his friends began calling him that, and it stuck.

Chef Seth “Montez” Crane

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