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Michael Babcock was at the top of an influential AZ food career. Then he left it all

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, July 20, 2023 - 11:33am

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Chef Michael Babcock
Tim Agne/KJZZ
Chef Michael Babcock in the KJZZ studio in 2023.

Chef Michael Babcock was at what could arguably be called the height of his career.

He is one of the co-founders of Instrumental Hospitality, and Welcome Hospitality before that. He has opened some of the Valley’s most beloved restaurants — from Welcome Diner to Belly, and, more recently, Sin Muerte in downtown Phoenix. He’s had a big impact on the food scene here for more than a decade. 

But, then he decided to leave.

 He announced last week he left his role as culinary director at Instrumental.

“12 years of this kind of lifestyle wears on you," Babcock said.

He joined The Show to talk more about his decision. 

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