Arizona Restaurant Week gives foodies 10 days to try it all


Ted Simons : UP NEXT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON," A STUDY ON SELF-CONTROL HELPS EXPLAIN WHILE SHOPPING WHILE YOU'RE HUNGRY IS NOT SUCH A GOOD IDEA.

Ted Simons : A NEW STUDY INVOLVING NEUROIMAGING SHOWS OUR ABILITY TO MAKE A DECISION BASED ON HOW IMPORTANT THAT DECISION AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME. SO, FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN YOU'RE HUNGRY, YOU MIGHT REALLY WANT A DOUGHNUT, EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW YOU SHOULDN'T EAT THE DOUGHNUT. HERE NOW TO TALK ABOUT THE STUDY IS SAMUEL McCLURE, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF PSYCHOLOGY AT ASU. WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON."

Samuel McClure: THANKS FOR HAVING ME HERE.

Ted Simons: THIS STUDY WAS DONE BY WAY OF NEUROIMIMAGING. WHAT IS THAT?

Samuel McClure: IT'S A WAY OF USING MRI, USUALLY USE MRI TO TAKE PICTURES OF YOUR KNEE BUT YOU CAN ALSO USE IT TO TAKE PICTURES OF BLOOD FLOW AND IT TURNS OUT WHEN NEURONS IN A PARTICULAR PART OF YOUR BRAIN ARE ACTIVE THAT THE -- YOUR ARTERIALS DILATE AND YOU GET MORE BLOOD GOING TO THAT REGION. BRINGS BACK THE ENERGY LEVELS. YOU CAN TRACK THAT WITH MRI. IT'S CALLED FUNCTIONAL MRI. IT'S A WAY OF TRACKING IN PEOPLE NON-INVASIVELY.

Ted Simons: HOW CAN YOU TRACK SOMETHING LIKE SELF-CONTROL.

Samuel McClure: AS PEOPLE ARE HAVING THEIR BRAIN SCANNED YOU CAN TAKE A PICTURE EVERY TWO SECONDS OR SO AND GIVE PEOPLE SELF-CONTROL TESTS. SO TASKS THAT CHALLENGE THEM WITH A TEMPTATION AND THEN SEE WHETHER THEY'RE ABLE TO OVERCOME THAT TEMPTATION OR NOT. WHEN THEY OVERCOME IT WE CALL THAT SELF-CONTROL.

Ted Simons: SO THIS STUDY SHOWED WHAT REGARDING OUR BRAINS AND SELF-CONTROL?

Samuel McClure: SO I HAVE BEEN STUDYING THIS ISSUE FOR ABOUT -- WELL, TOO LONG, 10 YEARS OR SO, MAYBE MORE THAN 10 YEARS, AND WE'VE IDENTIFIED THE CIRCUITS SHALL THE BRAIN CIRCUITS INVOLVED IN SELF-CONTROL. WE KNOW THERE IS ONE BRAIN CIRCUIT IMPORTANT FOR TEMPTATION. THE BASIC MOTIVATIONAL DRIVE 7 MAKES YOU WANT TO GET SOMETHING. THERE IS ANOTHER BRAIN CIRCUIT SORT OF FOCUSED IN YOUR FRONTAL LOBE THAT REGULATES YOUR TEMPTATIONS, IT CAN SUPPRESS IT AND HELP YOU STRUCTURE YOUR BEHAVIOR OR GUIDE YOUR CHOICES TO OVERCOME THAT TEMPTATION OR GO WITH IT.

Ted Simons: NOW WE'RE TALKING NEUROIMAGING AND THE BRAIN HERE. WE CAN OVERRIDE THAT TEMPTATION. WE CAN OVERRIDE SOME OF THESE THINGS. BUT IT'S HARD WORK. IT'S MORE DIFFICULT TO DO. THE BRAIN WANTS TO GO ONE WAY AND YOU'RE TRYING TO GET IT TO GO THE OTHER WAY.

Samuel McClure: NOBODY KNOWS COMPACTEDLY WHY IT'S HARD WORK IN TERMS OF NEUROSCIENCE, BUT IT IS HARD. AND WE KNOW THAT SELF-CONTROL VARIES AS WELL. SO WE KNOW IT VARIES ACROSS DIFFERENT SITUATIONS. WHAT WE DID IN THE STUDY IS WE STUDIED DIFFERENT SITUATIONS AND WE WERE ABLE TO TRACK THE FUNCTION OF YOUR FRONTAL LOBE AND ITS ABILITY TO SUPPRESS TEMPTATION RELATED ACTIVITY AND WE SHOW IT VARIES ACROSS DIFFERENT SITUATIONS. IT.

Ted Simons: VARIES TO HOW IMPORTANT THE DECISION IS, CORRECT?

Samuel McClure: THAT WAS THE BIG ONE WE DID. SO ECONOMISTS HAVE KNOWN FOR A LONG TIME PEOPLE ARE MORE PATIENT WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGHER, WHEN YOU'RE DEALING WITH BIGGER DECISIONS, MORE MONEY, OR MORE WHATEVER, IMPORTANCE, BUT NOBODY REALLY KNEW WHY, BUT WITH NEUROIMAGING WE'RE ABLE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE BRAIN AND LOOK AT THE UNDERLYING MECHANICS OF THE MACHINERY THAT GUIDE THE DECISION AND WE FOUND THERE IS MORE PREFRONTAL CORTEX ACTIVITY AND THIS IS CONSISTENT WITH GREATER SELF-CONTROL.

Ted Simons: SO THE DOUGHNUT, BUYING A HOUSE, I MEAN, WHAT DIFFERENT IMAGES DO YOU --

Samuel McClure: IT'S MORE LIKE IF YOU COULD HAVE A DOUGHNUT, SO THAT WOULD BE LIKE A SMALL STAKES -- IT'S NOT GOING TO -- IT'S NOT GOING TO KILL YOU AT LEAST NOT IN THE SHORT TERM BUT BUYING A HOUSE IS A BIG DEAL. RIGHT? SO ECONOMISTS HAVE KNOWN FOR A LONG TIME PEOPLE ARE MUCH MORE PATIENT AND SELF-CONTROLLED WHEN THEY'RE DEALING WITH BIG CHOICES LIKE BUYING A HOUSE. NOT SO MUCH WITH THE DOUGHNUT. THE QUESTION IS WHY. AND THE ANSWER, ACCORDING TO US, IS THAT BECAUSE IT'S MORE IMPORTANT YOU'RE MORE WILLING TO EXERT THE EFFORT TO CONTROL YOUR BEHAVIOR AND YOU SEE EVIDENCE OF THAT IN THE BRAIN ACTIVITY.

Ted Simons: SO IS THERE THE SAME AMOUNT OF BRAIN ACTIVITY FOR THE DOUGHNUT AND THE HOUSE? OR --

Samuel McClure: MORE FOR THE HOUSE.

Ted Simons: SO THERE'S ACTUALLY MORE FOR THE HOUSE WITHOUT HAVING TO THINK ABOUT IT.

Samuel McClure: ABSOLUTELY. THE MORE THERE IS, THE MORE PATIENT PEOPLE TEND TO BE.

Ted Simons: THIS IS DIFFERENT THAN BEHAVIORAL EXPERIMENTS, ISN'T IT?

Samuel McClure: YEAH, THE BEST -- THE NICEST THING ABOUT NEUROIMAGING IS ONCE YOU KNOW THE BRAIN CIRCUITS INVOLVED YOU CAN BYPASS ALL THE BEHAVIORS. SO YOU CAN GET AROUND THE LIMITATIONS AND GET AT THE UNDERLYING MECHANISMS.

Ted Simons: THINGS LIKE OBESITY, THINGS LIKE ADDICTION, CAN THIS BE USED TO HELP ADDRESS THOSE?

Samuel McClure: THAT'S LIKE THE NEXT STEP IN OUR WORK. SO WE'RE WORKING VERY ACTIVELY ON IT. I HAVE ACTIVE RESEARCH GOING ON LOOKING AT ADHD, WHICH IS UM PULL SIEVE TEA PROBLEMS AS WELL AS DICTION, AND THE QUESTION IS HOW DUTY DISORDERS SHOW UP, VARIATIONS IN THE BRAIN CONNECTIVITY AND STRUCTURE, AND CAN WE USE OUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE WAY THE BRAIN FUNCTIONS TO COME UP WITH BETTER TREATMENTS OR INTERVENTIONS.

Ted Simons: INTERVENTIONS LIKE EVEN A BETTER ENVIRONMENT. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE DRUGS OR ANYTHING -- SOME SORT OF TUBE SICK STICKING IN YOUR BRAIN. JUST A BETTER ENVIRONMENT.

Samuel McClure: BETTER ENVIRONMENT IS A HUGE DEAL. PEOPLE HAVE KNOWN THAT A LONG TIME. YOU CAN CHANGE THE WAY PEOPLE PERCEIVE THE CHOICE AND PERCEIVE THE DECISION, THE WAY THEY INTERPRET IT AND CHANGE THE DYNAMICS OF BRAIN ACTIVITY THAT GOVERNOR THE WAY DECISIONS ARE MADE.

Ted Simons: I HAVE TO ASK YOU, DOING THIS RESEARCH FOR 10 YEARS, YOU FIND YOURSELF QUESTIONING YOUR OWN DECISIONS AND WONDERING WHAT'S GOING ON UP THERE.

Samuel McClure: I HAVE ALWAYS KNOWN I HAVE SOME PROBLEMS. PEANUT BUTTER CUPS --

Ted Simons: BUT NOW YOU KNOW WHY.

Samuel McClure: THAT'S TRUE.

Ted Simons: ALL RIGHT. WELL, IT'S GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE, AND CONGRATULATIONS ON THE RESEARCH. WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.

Samuel McClure: APPRECIATE IT.

Ted Simons : ARIZONA RESTAURANT WEEK KICKS OFF TOMORROW NIGHT. THE 10-DAY EVENT ALLOWS CURIOUS FOODIES A CHECK OUT A VARIETY OF RESTAURANTS FOR A SET PRICE. HERE NOW TO TALK MORE ABOUT ARIZONA RESTAURANT WEEK IS STEVE, PRESIDENT OF THE ARIZONA RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION. CHEF BERNIE OF THE GLADLY IN PHOENIX. ACTUALLY THAT'S A CHEF OF OSO IN SCOTTSDALE. AND THERE HE IS FROM THE GLADLY IN PHOENIX. GOOD TO HAVE YOU ALL HERE. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. STEVE, WE'LL START WITH YOU. ARIZONA RESTAURANT WEEK. TWICE A YEAR. WHAT IS THE GOAL.

Steve Chucri: THIS IS A BIG YEAR, OUR 10th ANNIVERSARY. IT HAS AN EXTRA MEANING THIS YEAR. BUT WE EXPECT TO HAVE 170 RESTAURANTS NOW SIGNED UP, AND IT ROLLS OUT TOMORROW FOR 10 DAYS, AND AS YOU MIGHT REMEMBER, WE'VE GOT TWO PRICE POINTS, $44, $33, AND IT'S BASICALLY A THREE-COURSE MEAL FOR A GREAT, GREAT FARE.

Ted Simons: THAT'S EVEN AT A PLACE LIKE VIRTUE, WHICH IS FINE DINING. I HAVE EATEN AT YOUR PLACE A COUPLE TIMES. THESE ARE NICE PRICES. DO YOU CHANGE THE MENU?

Gio Osso: WE CHANGE THE MENU TWO TO THREE TIMES A WEEK ANYWAY. THIS IS GOING TO BE A LOT OF FUN FOR US. WE CHANGED IT FOR THE WHOLE 10 DAYS. IT'S A SPECTACULAR THREE-COURSE MENU.

Ted Simons: FEW FIND YOU GET PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN OR GET PEOPLE WHO SAY --

Gio Osso: WE GET A MIX OF BOTH. I THINK WHAT'S GREAT IS WE DO HAVE THAT. WE HAVE A LOT OF THE GUESTS THAT COME IN THAT HAVE NEVER BEEN TO YOUR RESTAURANT, WANT TO EXPERIENCE SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER, SOMETHING GREAT.

Ted Simons: AND CITIZENS PUBLIC HOUSE IN SCOTTSDALE, CORRECT?

Bernie Kantak: YES.

Ted Simons : WHEN YOU SEE ARIZONA RESTAURANT WEEK COMING, WHAT DO YOU DO?

Bernie Kantak: TRY TO REST UP FOR THE DAYS BEFORE, AND KIND OF BEAR DOWN AND --

Ted Simons : DO YOU GET DIFFERENT CLIENTELE DURING THAT WEEK?

Bernie Kantak: MOST DEFINITELY. I DO THE $33 MENU. I KIND OF USE IT AS SAMPLING FOR NEW PEOPLE TO COME IN. I PUT ALL THE FAVORITES ON THE MENU. AND I THINK THAT'S ONE OF THE COOL THINGS. YOU CAN GO TO VIRTUE AND GET ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE WHERE YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO SEE SOME OF THOSE ITEMS AGAIN. THAT'S WHERE I'M GOING TO GO IF I HAVE A DAY OFF. OR COME TO ME AND CHOPPED SALAD, SCALLOPS.

Ted Simons : STEVE, WHAT DO YOU FIND MOST RESTAURANTS DOING, PROFILING WHAT THEY DO OR KIND OF TAKING A CHANCE WITH SOMETHING DIFFERENT?

Steve Chucri: I THINK IT'S A SHOWCASE. IT'S A SHOWCASE OF ARIZONA'S $12 BILLION ECONOMY THIS YEAR ALONE, AND WHAT THESE TWO CHEFS AREN'T GOING TO SAY, IS THEY'RE TOO HUMBLE BUT THEY ARE'S MASTERS AT THEIR CRAFT AND THE CULINARY DIVERSITY OF ARIZONA HAS NEVER BEEN WHAT IT IS TODAY. WE HAD TWO KINDS OF FOOD GROWING UP, MEXICAN FOOD AND A DIFFERENT KIND OF MEXICAN FOOD. WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THEIR RESTAURANTS, NOT ONLY DURING RESTAURANT WEEK, BUT ALL THE TIME, IS FABULOUS. THE PUBLIC LOVES THIS.

Ted Simons: THE PRICE POINTS ARE FANTASTIC AS WELL. THE ARIZONA -- WE'VE GOT -- HE'S NOT GOING TO SAY TOO MUCH NEGATIVE. WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU SEE THE RESTAURANT SCENE IN RESTAURANT AND ARIZONA?

Gio Osso: IT'S BOOMING. IT'S GREAT. IT'S A GREAT TIME TO BE A CHEF IN TOWN, A RESTAURANT OWNER. THE MARKET IS SEEING JUST A BOOMING TIME FOR NEW, EXCITING FOOD. WE'RE REALLY PUSHING THE BAR WITH THE FARMERS, LOCAL FARMERS, AND WE'RE REALLY BRINGING THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS TO NEW HEIGHTS. IT'S REALLY NICE.

Ted Simons: WE HAVE SOME -- SOMETIMES WE HAVE PEOPLE FROM THE FINE ARTS ON AND SOMETIMES IT'S DIFFICULT TO GET PEOPLE IF IT'S CLASSICAL, THEY WANT TO HEAR BEETHOVEN. WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD, IT SEEMS LIKE ARIZONANS ARE A LITTLE MORE DARING. AM I OKAY WITH THAT? OR MAYBE NOT? MAYBE NOT.

Bernie Kantak: I THINK WE ARE GROWING, BUT I THINK WE'RE STILL -- I DON'T WANT TO SAY INFANCY. MAYBE WE'RE TEENAGERS. THERE ARE SOME THINGS I CAN'T NECESSARILY DO THAT I WANT TO DO. I'LL SAVE THAT STUFF FOR WHISKEY DINNERS, SCOTCH DINNERS, COCKTAIL DINNERS. AND REALLY HAVE FUN WITH THAT STUFF. AND, YOU KNOW, INVITE THESE GUYS OVER AND THEY'LL COOK WITH ME, ACTUALLY ON THE 28th ME AND HIM ARE GOING TO BE BEHIND MY RAW BAR SLINGING OYSTERS.

Ted Simons: WHAT DO YOU SEE AS FAR AS THAT'S CONCERNED? THIS MAY NOT BE SAN FRANCISCO OR NEW YORK, BUT THERE IS -- I MEAN, THESE ARE GOOD RESTAURANTS WE'RE TALKING HERE. THIS IS GOOD STUFF.

Steve Chucri: WE'VE COME A LONG WAY. AND ARE WE THERE YET? OF COURSE NOT. BUT I WILL TELL YOU THAT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE CULINARY DIVERSITY, NOT ONLY JUST IN THE RESTAURANTS THEMSELVES, WHAT I MIGHT ADD TO THAT IS, YOU SEE MORE AND MORE, LET'S SAY, ASIAN RESTAURANTS OR INDIAN RESTAURANTS POPPING UP AROUND THE VALLEY, MORE NUANCED, BUT WHAT YOU SEE MORE AND MORE OF IS THE CULINARY DIVERSITY ON THE MENU. SO WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT IS JUST THAT. ARE WE THERE YET? NO. BUT PEOPLE ARE STILL WARMING UP TO THE IDEA OF TRYING SOMETHING DIFFERENT.

Ted Simons: YOU MENTIONED LOCAL, LOCAL FARMS, PRODUCE, THESE SORTS OF THINGS. TALK TO US ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU USE AND HOW THAT HAS CHANGED.

Gio Osso: WE DEFINITELY TRY TO USE AS MUCH LOCAL AS POSSIBLE. I KNOW BERNIE DOES. WE ALL DO, ACTUALLY. WE HAVE A GROUP CALLED SEVEN CHEFS AND WE SUPPORT THE LOCAL FARMS AS BEST WE CAN. WE'RE PUSHING THE BAR, MEANING WE'RE TRYING TO GET THEM TO GROW MORE AND MORE, YOU KNOW. IT USED TO BE JUST LETTUCES, MAYBE SOME CARROTS. BUT IT'S REALLY -- IT'S REALLY COMING INTO ITS OWN WHERE WE CAN USE THE LOCAL FARMS YEAR-ROUND NOW, WHICH IS REALLY NICE TO SEE, TOO. WE'RE TRYING. WE'RE TRYING TO DO THE BEST WE CAN.

Ted Simons: CAN YOU TELL WHEAT OR VEGETABLES THAT WERE GROWN IN QUEEN CREEK AS OPPOSED TO SOMETHING YOU GET FROM OUT OF STATE?

Bernie Kantak: MOST DEFINITELY. IT REALLY DEPENDS A LOT ON THE ACTUAL FARMER AND WHAT THEY'RE DOING WITH THE SOIL, BUT, I MEAN, THERE'S DEFINITELY A DIFFERENCE IF I'M GETTING SOMETHING FROM TUASH, IT'S COMING TO ME LIKE LITERALLY OUT OF THE GROUND. THERE'S ALSO A LOCAL SEAFOOD PLACE NOW THAT BRINGS STUFF IN FROM SAN DIEGO, CHULA SEAFOOD, WHICH IS AMAZING.

Ted Simons: IS IT SOMETHING IN THE DIRT, OR SIT JUST THE FACT THAT IT'S FRESHER?

Gio Osso: A LITTLE BIT OF A COMBINATION. THE WAY THEY'RE TREATING THE SOIL, THEY'RE NOT JUST PLANTING, GROW, PICK, PLANT GROW. THEY'RE TAKING CARE OF THE SOIL. THEY'RE MOVING -- THEY'RE TAKING CARE OF IT. THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. YOU CAN DEFINITELY TELL THE DIFFERENCE OF WHAT JUST CAME OUT OF THE GROUND FROM STORE BOUGHT, ABSOLUTELY.

Ted Simons: ALL RIGHT. ARIZONA RESTAURANT WEEK BEGINS --

Steve Chucri: TOMORROW FOR 10 DAYS. ARIZONA RESTAURANT WEEK.COM CAN ANSWER ANY OF YOUR WATCHERS' QUESTIONS.

Ted Simons: DO -- DRINKS INVOLVED IN THIS OR JUST --

Steve Chucri: IN SOME CASES THEY INCLUDE DRINKS.

Ted Simons: RESERVATIONS NEEDED?

Steve Chucri: I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND RESERVATIONS.

Ted Simons: NO TICKETS --

Steve Chucri: NO, IT'S NOT A COUPON LIKE EVENT. IT'S ALL RESERVATIONS AND ONLINE.

Ted Simons: WE HAVE A MINUTE LEFT. 30 SECONDS FROM EACH OF YOU. DESCRIBE YOUR RESTAURANT.

Gio Osso: VIRTU IS A EUROPEAN FEEL. WHEN YOU STEP ON TO THE GROUND YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE IN THE SOUTH OF THE FRANCE OR ITALY SOMEWHERE. NIKO, HEIRLOOM KITCHEN IN GILBERT, MY OTHER RESTAURANT, IS MORE IN YOUR OWN HOME.

Ted Simons: OKAY. AND YOU HAVE PEOPLE LIKE ME WHO HAVE BEEN TO YOUR RESTAURANT AND WE CALL IT VIRTUE.

Gio Osso: THAT'S OKAY.

Ted Simons: AND DESCRIBE THE GLADLY. AND THE PUBLIC HOUSE.

Bernie Kantak: CITIZEN PUBLIC HOUSE, IT'S A PUB WITH GREAT FOOD. IT FEELS LIKE IT'S BEEN THERE FOR A LONG, LONG TIME, AND MY PARTNER IS A BIT YOUNGER THAN ME. I'M CITIZEN. I'M A LITTLE OLDER, MORE EXPERIENCED. GLADLY IS A LITTLE BIT MORE OF THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK AND A LITTLE CLEANER CUT. AND CUTE. [LAUGHTER]

Ted Simons: CUTE. I HADN'T HEARD THAT IN A RESTAURANT IN A WHILE. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU. CONTINUED SUCCESS. AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. GOOD LUCK WITH ARIZONA RESTAURANT WEEK.

Steve Chucri: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Ted Simons: THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING. "ARIZONA HORIZON" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION.

More than 100 restaurants are participating in this year’s Arizona Restaurant Week, which runs from Sept., 15. to Sept. 24.

All restaurants participating in the 10-day event provide special deals on their best dishes, which has proven to be a perfect recipe for bringing in new customers.

Chef Bernie Kantak of The Gladly, Steve Chucri the President of the Arizona Restaurant Association, and Gio Osso chef at the Virtú spoke with Arizona Horizon about the delicious opportunities available during this year’s event.

Sponsor message:

In this segment:

Steve Chucri, President, Arizona Restaurant Association
Chef Gio Osso: Owner, Virtú
Chef Bernie Kantak: Owner, The Gladly

Sponsor message:

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