28: Clint Spotleson
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.
Photo courtesy of Clint Spotleson
Today: A man who's not afraid to express his love for Cadillac Ranch's bacon wontons. Nice.
Tastemaker 28: Clint Spotleson
A multi-generational Scottsdale native, Clint Spotleson began his love affair with the culinary arts as a youngster in his family's kitchen. He started working professionally in kitchens at 16 before moving toward the bar, working in many spots before finding his passion for creating cocktails at Jade Bar at Sanctuary Resort. Currently, he is trying to impart cocktail culture to the masses at Mabel's on Main.
I arrived in Phoenix with... a doctor's cold hands on me crying loudly -- just to make sure everyone in the room knew I had arrived!
If I was sitting down to dinner with six, my five dream dinner companions would be...
My mother, Debra, would have to be first. She lit the spark on cooking for me and has been a backbone in my life. She's always very supportive in helping me achieve my goals.
Second would be Jerry Thomas, the "Professor", the godfather of cocktails. The first man to put drink recipes in print. He was the epitome of a bon vivant, a true sportsman to the highest degree. Just to pick his mind and understand his process on cocktails would be unbelievable.
Andy Warhol would have to be in the mix. I always had a strong artistic background and have been a fan of his work for years. Also, a dinner party wouldn't be complete without an eccentric artist at the table!
Jacques Cousteau would have to be another guest. When I was young, I had murals of fishtanks painted on my bedroom walls and always had a deep fascination with the underwater world, in all its richness and beauty. I sometimes regret not paying attention in science class because marine biology would have also been a fulfilling career path.
There are so many friends and family members I'd want in the last seat, its almost impossible to choose. I know Jason Asher, my mentor in the cocktail world as well as a longtime friend, would truly appreciate meeting Jerry Thomas, so as a thank you for all he has contributed to my growth I'd have to invite him.