78: Eugenia Theodosopolous

Categories: Chow Bella

Eugenia Theodosopoulos tastemaker.jpg
Jonathan McNamara

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: The pastry chef who was way ahead of the macaron curve.

Tastemaker 78: Eugenia Theodosopolous

Recently inducted into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame as "Pastry Chef Extraordinaire," Eugenia Theodosopolous traces her culinary roots to her time studying and working at the Ecole Lenotre in Paris. At Essence Bakery Café in Tempe, Chef/owner Eugenia offers high-quality organic local food and Parisian pastries. We blame her perfectly buttery croissants and delicate French macarons for a few of the extra inches on our waists.

I arrived in Phoenix... 19 years ago with the best copper pot to cook sugar, and I still use it, even though the handle is half-broken!

If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... Gilles Combes (the love of my life), Jean Louis Clement (my incredible mentor), Pierre Herme (the most talented pastry chef), Joel Robuchon (unbelievably talented chef with a palate you cannot imagine), Jacques Pepin (he brought us so much from France). What can I say? I love French men!

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... at the Biltmore Hotel just for the ambience -- it's gorgeous.

One menu item this city could do without is... big, dry scones. Real scones are delicious.

My last meal in Phoenix would be... a huge party with my family and friends, just like I had for my 40th birthday -- food stations galore, with loads of Greek and French food, Bordeaux wine, and Bombe Alaska for Gilles!

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

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Location Info

Essence Bakery Cafe

825 W. University Drive, Tempe, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa

2400 E. Missouri Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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