If you asked ten locals what the best restaurant in Sedona is, it’s more than likely ten of them would tell you Elote. Chef Jeff Smedstad has maintained a clear vision to serve the finest food inspired by his 15 years of travel through Mexico, where he cultivated the taste he would later bring to Sedona. His cuisine leads with organic when possible, locally sourced sustainable ingredients, creating clean dishes full of flavor and intention behind each bite. The restaurant was decorated by the Chef himself, a collection of his own findings and givings from friends, each item containing a story in itself. Open only for dinner, we suggest you arrive early to put your name in, with a request to sit on the patio which hosts one of the best views in town.
How did Elote come to be?
Elote came about after I left a restaurant in Scottsdale and went to Atlanta, a friend called me up and said he had found my new home, I flew out the next day fell in love with the place and the rest is history.
Favorite dish on the menu?
I dont cook food I dont love to eat so I like it all, but the Lamb Adobo and the Tomato Salad will always have a special place they would be my greatist hits, if you will, and the pork cheeks have so many memories wrapped up in that plate from my grandmother to my ex mother in law to the children of my staff that that is pretty special as well.
Why do you think Elote is so successful?
I think we are special because of the people that work here , it is a team sport....
What is your history with food?
I started cooking in the coast guard then I went on to scottsdale culinary after that then after that to Oaxaca to study with Susanna Trilling and many years of travel and tasting in Mexico as well as other places.
If you could give one piece of advice to pass on to the next generation, what would it be?
Remember your food as well as your culture it will always mean so much to those that follow.
What is one thing you know for sure?
That you are only as good as you make today.
What inspires you?
How do you stay balanced under high stress in the kitchen?
I keep it in perspective what we do is pretty simple as long as we choose not to over complicate it.