52: Danielle Leoni

Categories: Chow Bella

Danielle Leoni tastemaker.jpg
Photo courtesy of Danielle Leoni
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'd like to sup with Dean Martin.

Tastemaker 52: Danielle Leoni

See also: Chef Chat with Danielle Leoni , Part Two
See also: Rum Bar Launches A-RUM-a-Therapy Social Hour: $5 Rum Punch to Cure All Y'all's Ill

Chef Danielle Leoni kindled her culinary zeal in Illinois pizzerias as a "very young girl," which is pretty crazy considering we know (and love) her for her skill at turning out delicious and vibrant Jamaican cuisine. She credits her intense draw to making food and providing sustenance for eventually leading her to become co-owner and chef of both The Breadfruit and Rum Bar. Her deep roots in Phoenix -- where she's lived since age 13 -- matter deeply to her, and show in her dedication to the downtown community.

I arrived in Phoenix with... my suitcase. I was 13, alone and sent on vacation to visit family in Arizona. Haven't left since ...

If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be...

Dean Martin
Michael Pollen
Eckhart Tolle
Max Planck
Mitch Hedberg

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... St. Francis, they do such an extraordinary job using what our local farmers grow and dish up amazing flavors!

One menu item this city could do without is... hamburgers so large that they trump the size of your head!

My last meal in Phoenix would be... at a Phoenix 'must' that after all of these years for whatever reason cannot seem to get myself there to eat... I would draw straws on Quiessence, Kai, Posh and Binkley's.

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
68: Cindy Gentry
67: Amy Binkley
66: Dave Anderson
65: Mark Tarbell
64: Marianne Belardi
63: Audrey Lasalle
62: Brandon Gauthier
61: Brad and Kat Moore
60: Denise Clayton
59: Nobuo Fukuda
58: Richie Moe
57: Robin Trick
56: Alberto Della Casa and Letizia de Lucia
55: Farah Khalid
54: Dave Andrea
53: Vincent Guerithault

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Location Info


The Rum Bar

108 E. Pierce St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music

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