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Persepshen Brings Real Food to the Table

Photos by Sterling Godwin

Phoenix restaurant Persepshen thrives on sustainability and seasonality.

When husband and wife Jason and Katherine Dwight opened Persepshen in central Phoenix in 2019 they had a clear vision for the restaurant.

“We wanted to help change people’s perception of how to eat sustainably and organically utilizing local ingredients and making everything from scratch,” Jason says. 

A fifth-generation Arizona native, Jason started cooking at a very young age. 

“I lived most of my life in the desert,” he says. “With farms across the state, Arizona has one of the longest growing seasons in the country and so much to offer.”

Jason met his wife while studying the culinary arts. Katherine is a baker and pastry chef, and the couple shares a strong passion for sustainability, local ingredients and the power of what Jason calls “real food.”

“We recognize the health benefits of eating real food, and are aware of how food affects you,” Jason says, a father of three young children. “As we became parents, our passion grew stronger as we want our kids to have the best possible food and the best possible start in life.”

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WHAT’S ON THE MENU

The menu at Persepshen changes weekly based on the availability of animals and produce. 

Persepshen’s menu features a wide range of dishes and cuisines. 

“We highlight flavors from all over the world, from Korean to Mexican,” Jason says. “If we don’t make it with local organic ingredients then we don’t serve it, all the way down to ketchup and mustard.”  

While the menu changes often, there are some staples including the charcuterie board which features five cured meats, three pickled vegetables, jam, mostarda and lavosh. Like the rest of the menu, the items on the board are determined by what meats and produce are available. 

Popular entrees include duck a l’orange, crispy roasted half duck with caramelized orange reduction and fingerling potatoes; the O.G. burger made with 90-day dry-aged, Arizona grass-fed, pasture-raised beef; and steam buns.

Persepshen’s desserts also change regularly based on availability of seasonal ingredients but there are a few staples including the overloaded chocolate chip cookie which is described as “more chocolate than dough.” Another favorite is chocolate cream pie made with fair trade dark chocolate and salted caramel, providing a perfect contrast of flavors.     

WELCOME TO OUR HOME

“When people come to the restaurant, we treat them as if they are coming to our house to a dinner party,” Jason says. “When guests come to the restaurant, we welcome them into our home for a dining experience.” 

Some guests dine at Persepshen specifically for the focus on sustainability and local ingredients while others simply appreciate good food. 

“People are super thankful and appreciative of what we do, and some are excited to go to a restaurant where they know everything they are going to consume is the cleanest possible food,” Jason says. “Other people just enjoy the food, and we have the opportunity to enlighten them and change their perception on what real food is which is rewarding for us.” 

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In addition to making everything from scratch with local ingredients, the Dwights incorporate sustainability in all parts of their business from cleaning products to takeout boxes to composting. “Minimizing our footprint as much as possible is vital to the longevity of people and the planet. All these details can make a big difference.”

Jason and Katherine are excited to continue to share their passion through food. “We are only scratching the surface,” Jason says. “We’d like to push further and continue to raise the bar on how people should be eating.”

The Dwights are true partners in life and in business, “We have the same core values at home and in our business,” Jason says. “We are driven by excellent quality and providing local, organic, real food. With three kids, we can be tired and stretched thin sometimes, but it’s not work when you love what you do.”

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