Pastry Chef Marisa Lown on Eating Well: "It's Not a One Size Fits All for Everyone"

Categories: Chef and Tell

Evie Carpenter
Lown scoops pieces of dough for chocolate chip cookies
Your favorite local ingredient to bake with and where to get it: Mesquite flour. It's naturally gluten free, flavorful, and adds a unique twist to pie crusts, cookies, and graham crackers. A little goes a long way so I suggest replacing just one to two tablespoons of flour in a recipe with mesquite flour. I've sourced mesquite flour at the Oldtown Scottsdale Farmers Market as well as the gift shop at the Desert Botanical Garden.

Three ingredients everyone should keep in their pantry/fridge: Canned coconut cream (which can be turned into an easy dairy free ganache or mousse, or infused with vanilla and a little maple syrup and whipped into fluffy pillows as a whipped cream replacement); high quality dark chocolate (to be used in said ganache or mousse as well as chopped into chunks for chocolate chip cookies or melted with equal parts coconut oil and poured over ice cream to create a chocolate "shell" topping); and, high quality finishing salts (such as smoked sel gris from Go Ib. Salt; place a small pinch atop any chocolate dessert for a unique flavor, or with caramel sauce over ice cream). At minimum, I recommend switching out your iodized table salt for kosher salt; kosher salt provides texture and eliminates possible residues from the iodized option.

Your favorite local spot for a healthy lunch: Luci's Healthy Marketplace. I can eat there without any flack for ordering a la Meg Ryan in "When Harry Met Sally", and the ingredients are fresh, organic, and healthy. Added bonus? Picking up a few allergy-friendly ingredients for my pantry from their well-stocked larder.

Your favorite local spot for dessert: I love Green's vegan & gluten free "tSoynamis" (they remind me of a version of my favorite childhood treat - a Dairy Queen Blizzard); try the Clunky Monkey. When I'm in the mood to go "all out", I opt for one of Katherine Dwight's delicious updated yet classic creations at the Phoenix Public Market Café. The Café is also exceptional at designating allergens on their menu and mindfully attending to patrons with food allergies or restrictions.

One local chef you admire and why: Charleen Badman of FnB. The flavor profiles of her savory creations are unique and you can't beat the quality of the ingredients, especially since she cultivates their own restaurant garden. Her commitment to sourcing from local purveyors is a lead I believe all chefs should follow.

Check out our past Chef and Tell interviews with:
Brian Konefal -- Coppa Cafe
Kelly Fletcher -- The Revival
Bob Tam -- Bitter and Twisted
BJ Hernandez -- Havana Patio Cafe
Matt Taylor -- Gertrude's at the Desert Botanical Garden
Jennifer Russo-Fitzgerald -- The Market by Jennifer's
Jared Lupin -- Umami
Michael O'Dowd -- Urban Vine
Dennis Delamater -- The Post
Doc Brown -- Doc Brown's Artisan Ice Cream
Josh Bracher -- Second Story Liquor Bar
Chris McKinley -- The Local
Chris Mayo -- Central Bistro
James Fox -- Bootleggers
Jay and Christine Wisniewski -- Caffe Boa
Joe Absolor - Clever Koi
Jason Grossmiller - Arizona Distilling Company
Chris Collins - Grassroots Kitchen and Tap
Perry Rea - Queen Creek Olive Mill
Adam Brown - Noca
Steve Kraus - Press Coffee Roastery
Jason Raducha and Claudio Urciuoli - Noble Bread
Sasha Raj - 24 Carrots
Nick LaRosa - Nook
Joey Maggiore - Cuttlefish
Country Velador - Super Chunk Sweets and Treats
James Porter - Petite Maison
Cullen Campbell - Crudo
Mel Mecinas - Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North
Meagan Micozzi - Scarletta Bakes
Tyson Holzheimer and Joe Strelnik - Snooze, an A.M. Eatery
Paul McCabe - T. Cook's at the Royal Palms
Eugenia Theodosopoulos - Essence Bakery Cafe
Eddie Hantas - Hummus Xpress
Jay Bogsinke - St. Francis
Dustin Christofolo - Quiessence
Blaise and DJ Aki - The Sushi Room
Sacha Levine - Rancho Pinot and FnB
Andrew Nienke - Cafe Monarch
Kevin Lentz - French Grocery
Aurore de Beauduy - Vogue Bistro
Justin Olsen - Bink's Midtown
Marco, Jinette, and Edmundo Meraz - Republica Empanada
Brian Peterson - Cork
Brian Webb - Hey Joe! Filipino Street Food
Lester Gonzalez - Cowboy Ciao
Renetto-Mario Etsitty - Tertio
German Sega - Roka Akor
Marco Bianco - Pizzeria Bianco
Brad and Kat Moore - Short Leash Hot Dogs and Sit...Stay

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