Tinderbox Kitchen Archives


I went to Flagstaff for a few days and, as always, loved everything about it — the weather, the NAU campus, the little shops and most of all, the fantastic restaurants. Here’s what I ate and loved. Tinderbox Kitchen 34 S. San Francisco St., 928-226-8400, tinderboxkitchen.com Owner Kevin Heinonen took advantage of the downtime during the pandemic to kick things up a notch at Tinderbox, refurbishing his cozy space and upgrading the menu. I had...


Once known for its lumberjack college kids, good skiing and decent drinkin' scene, Flagstaff is quickly making a name for itself as a foodie town (and we're not just talking about the phenomenal pizza). To explore the burgeoning culinary scene up north, we're running a series of Q&As with the personalities behind the chef hats behind the town's restaurant renaissance we're calling the "Flag Food Boom."

Today we're chatting with:

Chef Derek Christensen
Tinderbox Kitchen
34 S. San Francisco St., Flagstaff
928-226-8400, tinderboxkitchen.com

When Tinderbox Kitchen opened almost eight years ago on South San Francisco Street, the surrounding businesses included a strip club, a tattoo parlor and a dance club. At the time, Flagstaff didn’t have much in the way of fine dining restaurants, according to Tinderbox’s head chef Derek Christensen. The cuisine was centered on upscale comfort food – meat loaf, macaroni and cheese and Salisbury steak – but Christensen says the focus is now on a seasonally changing menu. He also oversees the kitchens of the adjacent Annex Cocktail Lounge and Tourist Home, a breakfast and lunch restaurant that also features to-go specialty items.


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