Vincent's love for cooking began in his youth in France, where he worked at L'Oustau de Baumaniere in Les Baux de Provence, and Maxim's and Fauchon in Paris. He came to the U.S. in 1976 to be a sous-chef at Chicago's Le Français, and within 10 years opened his own restaurant that helped to put Phoenix on the culinary map.
Vincent was the first chef ever to receive a Citation of Excellence from the International Food & Wine Society and has enjoyed countless commendations, including the James Beard award as "America's Best Chef: Southwest" and the prestigious Chevalier de L'Ordre du Merite Agricole on behalf of the Republic of France. For more than a decade, Zagat has ranked his restaurant "most popular" and "best in area", and Mobil Travel Guide has awarded it four stars. Gourmet magazine, Conde Nast Traveler and Travel Holiday all have lauded Vincent and his restaurant for his tempting food and attentive service, and in 2003, Vincent's on Camelback was placed 24th on the World's Top 50 Restaurants by British-based Restaurant Magazine.
In 1995, Vincent teamed with Esquire's food and wine critic, John Mariani, to write Vincent's Cookbook, cited as "user friendly" by the New York Times and "packed with easy-to-create recipes" according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Meanwhile, Vincent and his culinary expertise have received rave reviews from critics across the country like the New York Times, L.A. Times, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Travel & Leisure, G.Q., Family Circle and The Arizona Republic. He has been featured on the cover of Money Magazine and appeared on the Today Show and Regis & Kathy Lee.
Vincent's talents go well beyond his restaurant doors - he has created a very successful full-service catering business that can handle groups from 5 to 1,000. For the past 13 years, he has hosted the popular Camelback Market every Saturday from mid-October through April in his parking lot, featuring the freshest produce, cooked-to-order crepes and pastas, breads, cheeses, pizzas and much more. In the fall of 2003 he opened Vincent Market Bistro, adjacent to Vincent's Restaurant.
But Vincent's restaurant is his focus and it shows - while many restaurants in Phoenix have opened and closed or changed locations over the last decade and a half, Vincent's on Camelback has consistently set the standard for great food in Phoenix, if not the entire Desert Southwest. His wine list has become one of the region's best. His food is extraordinary. Service is some of the finest in Phoenix, and his restaurant has a timeless charm that goes well into the new century. Hot Air Expeditions is proud to partner with Vincent’s on Camelback to provide the best the valley has to offer to its passengers.