18: Sam Fox

sam fox tatsemaker.jpg
Photo by: Ditte Isager
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 Ubiquitous Mr. Fox.

Tastemaker 18: Sam Fox

See also: Sam Fox's New Culinary Dropout Will Feature an Outdoor Park, Oyster Bar and More
See also: Silvana Salcido Esparza, Kevin Binkley, Sam Fox, Vincent on Camelback, and ShinBay Announced as Semifinalists for 2012 James Beard Awards

There are local restaurants and there are corporate restaurants, and then there are Fox restaurants. Tucson native Sam Fox has come a long way since 1998; his eating empire now spans more than a half dozen states and covers a diversity of cuisines from upscale Italian to tacos and tequila. Hate them or love them, chances are you've eaten at one of his twelve "concepts" - and no matter what you think about his arsenal of eateries, we have to give credit to a company that's not only survived the recession, but thrived straight through it. We tip our hats to Fox, a 2012 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurateur Semi-Finalist and his Scottsdale-based company.

I arrived in Phoenix with... the punk-attitude of a 30-year-old "know-it-all."

If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be...
John Goodman as "Walter Sobchak" from The Big Lebowski.
Bono, enough said.
Every food critic in Phoenix, so we can chat about how great food should taste.
My wife, Emily, because no dream of mine is complete without her.
And my dad, who I lost earlier this year, to laugh with me all night.

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... True Food Kitchen. This restaurant takes popular trends in cuisine and pairs them with healthy living. Eating and drinking even one thing on the menu will make you live exponentially longer.

One menu item this city could do without is... hot dogs on the roller from Circle K.

My last meal in Phoenix would be... half-a-day long as I toured several restaurants each serving a part of my last Phoenix meal including,
Appetizer: Pretzel bites and cheese fondue from Culinary Dropout
Salad: Seasonal Vegetable salad from NORTH Fattoria Italiana
Entrée: Rib Eye Cap at Modern Steakhouse
Dessert: Cookies and Cream Milkshake from Zinburger

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
52: Danielle Leoni
51: Stan Zawatski
50: Maya Dailey
target="_blank">49: Duc Liao
48: Lisa Reinhardt
47: Isam Saed
46: Greg Peterson
45: Marco Bianco
44: Mark Fratu
43: Wendell Crow
42. Barb Harris
41: Michael Perry
40: Jeff Kraus
39: Ryan Avery
38: Charleen Badman
37: Damon Brasch
36: Dwayne Allen
35: Jason Asher
34: Pamela Hamilton
33: Victoria Chavez
32: Giovanni Scorzo
31: Tim Wilson
30: Travis Nass
29: Jason Alford
28: Clint Spotleson
27: Daniel Wayne
26: Korina Adkins
25: Carla Wade Logan
24: Jeff Zimmerman
23: Gabriele Bertaccini
22: Claudio Urciuoli
21: Peter DeRuvo
20: Natalie Morris
19: Eliot Wexler

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Location Info

True Food Kitchen

2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Culinary Dropout

7135 E. Camelback Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

NoRTH

15024 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Modern Steak - CLOSED

7014 E. Camleback Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Zinburger

2502 E. Camelback Road, Phoenix, AZ

Category: Restaurant

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