Tucson, AZ--- Tucson culinary fixtures Mat Cable and Devon Sanner are pleased to announce their collaboration on a new restaurant currently in development. Zio Peppe, as their new venture will be called, will feature Italian and Italian-American cuisine bearing distinct influences of Tucson, the first UNESCO-designated World City of Gastronomy in the United States. The two are renovating the space at 6502 E. Tanque Verde Road on Tucson’s long-standing near-East side restaurant row with a new facade, a new patio, and a new look inside. The biggest change though will be a gourmet casual menu of serious food that is simultaneously innovative and playful.
The centerpiece of the new restaurant is a unique wood-fired oven with a rotating stone hearth, from which the pair will be firing pizzas with an emphasis on house-made and locally-sourced top quality ingredients. Similarly, Cable and Sanner’s in-house pasta program will showcase a nod to tradition, a mind for inventiveness, and a passion for Tucson terroir. Guests can expect to find some old-school classics like Margherita pizza and tagliatelle bolognese alongside next-school hits like Lasagne Sonorense with chorizo and red chile sauce and an Umami Tsunami pizza with soy pickled shiitake mushrooms and goat horn peppers.
Cable, a Tucson native, has been the owner/operator of Fresco Pizzeria & Pastaria since 2008, and First We Eat Catering and Confections since 2019. Mat is also a partner in Dante’s Fire, the house caterer for Z Mansion, and a two-term President of Tucson Originals, a collective of independent, locally-owned restaurants. A veteran of the pizza business for over two decades, Cable says that he is “...excited for a new challenge and doing a new style of pizza.”
Sanner, also a Tucson native, has spent the past 15 years cooking with Tucson culinary legend Janos Wilder, serving as chef at Janos and JBAR as well as Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails and The Carriage House. He says that he views Zio Peppe (which means “Uncle Joe” in Italian) as, “A culinary ‘funcle’ - a fun uncle that is warm, hospitable, and entertaining, and just a little bit cheeky, too.”
Sanner and Cable joined forces in 2016 as two of the founding members of the Gastronomic Union of Tucson (GUT), an affiliation of several dozen chefs and culinary artisans that seeks to honor our food heritage and to foster culinary innovation and creative exchange. Having collaborated on menus for multi-course dinners and beer- and music festivals, the duo is eager to bring their synergy to the new restaurant. They anticipate an opening in early April this year.