Charlie the Bagel Man

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and moved to Phoenix, AZ when I was six. My mother packed us up leaving the sights, smells, and sounds of Brooklyn for Phoenix filled with family and a brighter future. I still return home to NY a few times a year to consume Brooklyn and gather inspiration. These trips always trigger one of my earliest memories as a child living in Brooklyn when my father would sit me on top of the cigarette machine of Dunkin Donuts where I watched the donuts being made. I was fascinated with the way they rolled and shaped the dough so fast and uniform and it has stuck with me my whole life. 

When I was a kid and lived in Phoenix I took up cooking and realized that I had a love for it. I started working in restaurant kitchens in my late teens, eventually working my way up to an executive sous chef position with a well known caterer in the valley. I spent summers doing odd jobs out of town, such as an Alaskan fishing boat cooking for the fishermen, The Bohemian club at the Grove in San Diego, and the food and wine festival in Aspen. I met my wife in 2013 while working at the Phoenician resort. Our daughter Annabella came along in February 2015. Now I am father and husband and I couldn’t be happier.

While I was working at the Phoenician Resort as a server and picking up work as a Personal Chef in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, and Arcadia I decided to branched out on my own in the fall of 2018. I started Blonkenfeld Creative and provide personalized catering and private chef services to parties from 1-1000. I am known throughout the valley for my broad knowledge of traditional cuisine, proficiency in the kitchen, and providing a world class dining experience.

When the pandemic hit and catering came to a halt, I began working out of my commercial kitchen where I rented space to provide non-contact delivered meals to my clients. For the month of April I also provided meals to nurses working graveyard on the front line of covid. Over the summer delivery slowed down because most of my clients spend their summers away in climates not as dry and hot as Phoenix.  So I sit and think and drive my wife crazy with all my ideas of ways to expand my business. I started playing with bagels just for a fun challenge, thinking back to those days in Dunkin Donuts as a kid sitting on the cigarette machine. Playing got serious pretty quick, I researched and read books about the best bagels in the world. Drawing from their menus and ideas I would practice rolling the dough for hours at a time, testing cooking methods and refining my flavors. I finally, after all kinds if outcomes, let someone else besides myself taste a bagel and after that tasting Bagelfelds was born I had to learn to roll bagels at unhuman speeds.

The idea of making and selling bagels answered the question of what do I do with the kitchen I rent, the permits I hold, and insurance fees that are due at the end of the year.  I didn’t see catering coming back so I knew I couldn’t rely on that income so Bagels it is and as it turns out the bagels are pretty darn good and that’s not just my opinion. 

I’m so excited to bring New York style bagels to the valley. My favorite part of being a chef is making my customers and clients happy, and seeing that cream cheese smile after taking a big bite. 

Look for Bagelfeld’s bagels at Nelson’s Meat and Fish and the downtown farmers market. Online pre-orders are always available from our site.