Some also know him as “Jungleman,” “T Wayne,” “Pappa Sutton,” “Boss Man” or “Big T,” but Tony Sutton is the president and owner of Est Est Interior Design, and has been for more than 25 years. Originally from Delavan, Ill., he earned his Bachelor of Science in interior design from the University of Illinois before kicking off his career in Springfield. In 1979, Sutton moved to Arizona to join Est Est, Inc, and since then has built a comprehensive portfolio of both commercial and residential design work, ranging in style from traditional to contemporary, which makes him unique and highly sought-after. Sutton is an Allied Member of the American Society of Interior Designers, is a continuing member of the Interior Design Advisory Board and has previously served on the Board of Directors for Scottsdale Community College, and is an active member of the Board of Directors for the Perimeter Center. He and his work have been featured in “Architectural Digest,” “Western Interiors” and “Who’s Who in Interior Design International.”
Where were you born ?
Peoria, Illinois. I grew up in the small town of Delavan, went to college at University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, and worked in Springfield before moving to Arizona after two record-breaking winters in a row.
How long in Phoenix:
I had done a summer class at Arcosanti in 1976, and moved here, U-Haul in tow, in 1979.
Owner of Est Est Interior Design
SO MANY! Connie Goetz-Kirchner’s Love’n the Kitchen cooking classes. She gets the Valley’s top chefs as guest chefs! (i.e Beau MacMillan, Lee Hillson, Eddie Matney, Vincent Guerithault, etc.) You get to visit personally, eat great food and get the recipes to boot!
Sushi Roku at the W Scottsdale, Sushi Brokers in Scottsdale
Best Ethnic Food:
Malee’s Thai Bistro
Best place for late night dining:
IHOP. If it’s late, that’s the place.
Fred’s at Barneys is a great restaurant with special wine tasting events. They do a great crème brûlée.
Best place for a romantic date:
The Melting Pot
Best Sunday brunch:
T Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort
Shade at the W Scottsdale, Jade Bar at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort
Best place for a power business meeting:
The Capital Grille in Scottsdale, and The Grill at the TPC Scottsdale.
All-around favorite spot in Phoenix:
All-around favorite locale in Phoenix, whether a neighborhood, restaurant, venue, or other: North Scottsdale area; we used to drive a Jeep on trails in 1979 that are now prime residential areas because of the views and natural beauty of the desert.
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend?
W Scottsdale, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort at Gainey Ranch, Royal Palms Resort, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.
Favorite shopping venue/boutique:
I shop seldom, but power shop when I do, and go to Scottsdale Fashion Square.
Best place to buy Jewelry/Watches:
Watches: Zee’s International — great prices on great designs. Jewelry: Molina Fine Jewelers for design, Shane Co. for value.
Joya InterContinental Montelucia in Paradise Valley.
Favorite Charity Event:
Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding for his Solid Rock foundation
Favorite Cultural Event:
Scottsdale Culinary Festival. I was instrumental in the beginning years, developing it from one dinner to 14 events spread across 10 days. I was chairman one year, and enjoyed spending time with people like Vincent Price and former mayor Herb Drinkwater.
Favorite Cultural Institution:
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Phoenix Zoo and Desert Botanical Garden.
Best Aspect of Phoenix:
“You don’t have to shovel sunshine,” and “It’s a dry heat.” Arizona is a magnet not only for people across the country, but around the world. With many people typically being from somewhere else, and it creates a nice melting pot of people who are diverse, outgoing and friendly.
Mastro’s and Ruth’s Chris are always great. My 17-year-old eating-machine son and the rest of the family have discovered Fogo De Chao when more is better.
Chicago-style at Pizzafarro’s
TPC (Tournament Player’s Club at the Princess)
Best Gym/Athletic Facility:
Lifetime Fitness at Highway 101 and Scottsdale Road.
Therapeutic Massage at Scottsdale and Pinnacle Peak roads.
Best Limousine/Driving Service:
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore:
Montezuma’s Castle, Second Mesa, and Canyon de Chelly are awe-inspiring Native American ruins, with Second Mesa being the longest continually inhabited location in North America. Sedona is unique, and the Grand Canyon.
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