68: Cindy Gentry

Categories: Chow Bella

Cindy Gentry tastemaker.jpg
From now 'til we publish the 2012 edition of Best of Phoenix, New Times and Chow Bella present 100 Tastemakers -- Valley residents who make the cut in our culinary scene. Some you'll know; for others, it'll be a first introduction (but likely not the last). While you're here, check out our 100 Creatives on Jackalope Ranch.

Today: a woman who eats her veggies.

Tastemaker 68: Cindy Gentry

Cindy Gentry has more than 25 years' experience in hunger prevention and healthy food systems development. She has worked throughout Arizona, regionally and nationally to nurture local food production, distribution and access, and to support farmers markets.

I arrived in Phoenix with... an old school bus, my then-husband, and our dog, getting ready to start a family. It was 35 years ago, April, already too hot, but we had an apricot tree and a fig tree in the yard of our rental house -- the fruit of which I soon learned could be traded with the neighbors for fresh food from their garden.

I was sitting down to dinner for six my five dream dining companions would be... Eric Glomski, Bono, Wendell Berry, Anna Lappé, and Mario Etsitty.

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... Gallo Blanco.

One menu item this city could do without is... scary salads that use unripe shipped-in tomatoes, lifeless greens, and flavorless veggies. Really, it's not that hard to get and use fresh, local and in-season produce!

My last meal in Phoenix would be... at Maya's Farm, wherever she is growing, with a couple hundred close friends and family, plenty of kids and pets; sun ovens blazing, pot luck, wild flowers on the tables, local wine and beer flowing, bring your own musical instruments, start early, stay late or go home the next morning. Maybe set in mid-May so we could have a medley of peaches, corn, early melons, tomatoes, eggplant, greens, green garlic... I'd roast some veggies in the sun oven, bake some gluten-free mesquite bread and cobbler, make a last connection with all those I cherish, in a land I have come to love.

The Tastemakers so far:
100: Tracy Dempsey
99: Craig DeMarco
98: Lara Mulchay
97: M.J. Coe
96: Betty Alatorre de Hong
95: Eric Schaefer
94: Hanna Gabrielsson
93: Shinji Kurita
92: Silvana Salcido Esparza
91: Mike Pitt
90: Christina Barrueta
89: Christopher Gross
88: Jan Wichayanuparp and Helen Yung
87: DJ Fernandes
86: Cullen Campbell
85: Chris Lee
84. Gwen Ashley Walters
83: Tony Morales
82: Lylah Ledner
81: Andrea White
80: Lori Hashimoto
79. Mrs. White
78: Eugenia Theodosopolous
77: Lou & Lovey Borenstein
76: Anthony Patafio
75: Carl Seacat
74: Sacha Levine
73: Sharon Salomon
72: Johnny Chu
71: Susie Timm
70: Jason Silberschlag
69: Gina Miller

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Location Info

Gallo Blanco Cafe

401 W. Clarendon Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Maya's Farm

6106 S. 32nd St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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