Cory Oppold | Photo by Ian Cahill/Precision Photography AZ
Former Food Network Chopped champion Cory Oppold has worked everywhere, it seems. His resume is impressive. After graduating from Scottsdale Culinary Institute, he started his career at Different Pointe of View, later working as sous chef at Binkley’s, chef de cuisine at L’Auberge and executive chef both at Tarbell’s and Atlas Bistro. Now, at last, he’s opening his own Modern American restaurant in Scottsdale, and he’s calling it Course.
It’s the name he also uses for the in-home dining business he’s operated since the pandemic. For that enterprise, he prepares six to seven courses, getting prep work done in a community kitchen at 7th Street and Deer Valley before showing up at the client’s home to finish the meal in grand style.
“Course” seemed a fitting choice, then, for a restaurant with a prix fixe menu, which seems to be the (ahem) course many restaurants are taking these days. Oppold says customers may choose from an eight-or nine-course Chef’s Tasting Menu or a smaller five-course menu in which customers choose between two items.
He plans to change the seasonal, vegetable-driven menu every two months to keep things fresh and to lure back customers he hopes will come in for a casual mid-week dinner rather than saving the experience for a special occasion. Naturally, there will be plenty of animal proteins as well because we’re not all vegetarians or vegans yet.
He’s taking over a space (formerly the Baked Bear) in the Restaurant District at East Village at Shea (7366 E. Shea in the strip mall that also houses Harkin’s Shea 14 and Butterfield’s Pancake House), which requires a complete buildout, given the previous tenant had no real kitchen. He says the décor will be modern, minimalistic and comfortable, the vibe relaxed and un-stuffy. And he promises a beautiful patio just in time for a fall opening (if all goes well). If you’ve eaten Oppold’s sophisticated, artfully presented food at Atlas, then you already know the entire experience is going to be gorgeous.