Sicily meets Sonora at Chef Riley Chandler’s “Stancato’s Italiano Sonoran”

The delivery-focused, ghost-kitchen-based restaurant features scratch sauces and hand-made pastas daily.

Chef Riley Chandler is not your traditional chef.

While he’s plenty knowledgable and skilled with traditional techniques and methods, Chandler has charted his own unique path that has allowed him the freedom to explore all things culinary his own way. It’s this path that has led to Stancato’s Italiano Sonoran, a delivery focused restaurant operating out of a “ghost-kitchen.”

If you’re not familiar with the term ghost-kitchen, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a cooking space that you’ll never visit but can still order food from for delivery.

stancato's italiano sonoran ravioli

Photo by Jackie Tran

This move makes sense for Chandler who has forged a unique culinary path. Over the years he’s trained under Chef Janos Wilder, created and operated the successful Pop-Up Tucson, and even was featured in a Cannacribs spin-off pilot in which he developed and prepared a multi-course cannabis dinner.

According to Chef Chandler, Stancato’s represents a “naturally developed” cooking style.

“It is a chef’s take on blending real Sicilian heritage with the culinary experiences from growing up in Tucson,” said Chandler. “Its not an attempt at fusion cuisine, but an authentic expression of blending two cultures together.”

The delivery-only restaurant’s namesake, Grandma Stancato, and her Sicilian recipes is what inspired Chandler down the chef path. To Riley, Stancato’s is a story of the Old Pueblo expressed through Italian gastronomy.

Stancato’s will focus on making scratch sauces and hand-made pastas daily and will offer a unique selection of appetizers, salads, desserts, and beverages.

Meals are made fresh to order and available via online delivery platforms including DoorDash, GrubHub and UberEats. Stancato’s will launch its kitchen to the public for digital orders on delivery platforms beginning September 15.


Stancato’s menu is simple, allowing the scratch-made sauces and fresh pasta to take center stage. While there’s a small handful of appetizers and salads, like the Elote Springs Salad (spring mix, roasted elote, pepino, red onion, radish, cilantro, queso fresco, lime citronette), the menu allows “guests” to order pasta to their liking. Simply pick a pasta: double ravioli, linguine, fettucine, penne, or conchiglie. Then, select a sauce: signature red, garden basil, alfredo, Oaxacan cheese, or truffle butter. Lastly, choose an add-on. Options include Sicilian sausage from The Sausage Shop, Braised A5 Wagyu Shortrib, sustainable seafood, Top Knot Farms pollo de ajo, and edible 24 karat gold (yes, you read that right.)

Photo by Jackie Tran

Stancato’s is also offering two desserts: a Sonoran cannoli and grandma’s biscotti. And there’s a number of Italian and Mexican beverages, including Italian sodas, Pellegrino, Topo Chico, and Aguas Frescas.

Private Culinary Experiences

One thing that Stancato’s will offer that isn’t typical of a ghost-kitchen is chef table-inspired culinary experiences.

Each experience will features a three-course suppers with wine pairings. The experiences promise to highlight “…from-scratch, live cooking you can watch from your seat. See the making of traditional pasta and tortillas, and become immersed in Stancato’s Pasta and Sauces. Evocative, authentic aromas transport the spirit and welcome you to our Italian & Sonoran kitchen, hosted in a private location in downtown Tucson.”

Stancato’s Italiano Sonoran opens to the public for ordering September 15 on Grubhub, DoorDash, and UberEats.

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Adam Lehrman started Tucson Foodie in late 2008 as a way to track his search for the best food Tucson had to offer.