Project Phoenix: Pulling Mozzarella with Robbie Tutlewski of Pane Bianco

Categories: Chow Bella

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Happy New Year, Phoenix! What, you've already broken all your resolutions? Yeah, us too. But we're bouncing back with some inspiration. Whether you've been considering a new hair style or a new kitchen project, we're here to help with Project PHX, our annual "how to" guide. Step into Pane Bianco's kitchen to learn how to pull mozzarella. Or brew beer, crochet dread locks, learn how to build an electric guitar and make a screen print. Five local experts are here to guide you. Today: Pulling mozzarella with Robbie Tutlewski.

See also: Project Phoenix: Brewing Beer with Dennis Mitchell of the Arizona Society of Homebrewers

It's pretty much a rite of passage in Phoenix to get a mozzarella, tomato, and basil sandwich from Pane Bianco. Chris Bianco's little sandwich shop on Central Avenue between Indian School and Camelback roads offers only three sandwiches every day, after all, and that's one of them. While the aromatic basil and juicy local tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper certainly play a role in its popularity, the fresh slab of mozzarella is definitely the star of the show in this sandwich.

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You already might have known that the crew at Pane Bianco makes its own mozzarella, but you might not know that the restaurant's sizable back of house operates as both a commissary and a test kitchen for Bianco's other restaurants in town. At the helm, chef Robbie Tutlewski is free to experiment. Lately, that means making and curing his own salami, pancetta, breasola, and mortadella in house, but since the beginning of Pizzeria Bianco, which celebrated its 20th year in operation in November 2014, Bianco has been making mozzarella in-house.

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Project Phoenix: Brewing Beer with Dennis Mitchell of the Arizona Society of Homebrewers

Categories: Chow Bella

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Photos by Heather Hoch
Happy New Year, Phoenix! What, you've already broken all your resolutions? Yeah, us too. But we're bouncing back with some inspiration. Whether you've been considering a new hair style or a new kitchen project, we're here to help with Project PHX, our annual "how to" guide. Step into Pane Bianco's kitchen to learn how to pull mozzarella. Or brew beer, crochet dread locks, learn how to build an electric guitar and make a screen print. Five local experts are here to guide you. Today: brewing beer with Dennis Mitchell.

Dennis Mitchell might not work at a commercial brewing facility, but as the only certified master-level beer judge in Arizona (one of 130 in the country) and the vice president of the Arizona Society of Homebrewers, Mitchell knows his beer.

That wasn't always the case. He admits that before he began brewing about five years ago, he really wasn't that into beer. A free class at Gilbert's Brew Your Own Brew changed all that.

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4 Favorite Breakfast Spots Near Your Favorite Metro Phoenix Trails

Categories: Chow Bella

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Edward Blake / Flickr
The view from the top is so much more satisfying when you know that delicious food is waiting for you at the bottom.

There is no greater pleasure in life than waking up early on a cool Phoenix morning, walking around on a mountain for a few hours, eating your weight in breakfast food, and then taking a long, delicious nap. Here are a few awesome breakfast spots, near some of our favorite hiking trails. You'll have to supply the nap yourself.

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8 Mexican Restaurants in Metro Phoenix You've Probably Never Tried -- But Should

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Natalie Miranda
The pollo, fish and gobernador tacos from Gorda's Baja Taco.
If "try something new" is on your To Do list, you're in luck. We know you have your favorite Mexican spot, but leave your comfort zone and you just might discover a gem. Here are 10 places we urge you to try.

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What's Fresh Right Now at the Gilbert Farmer's Market

Categories: Chow Bella

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Zaida Dedolph
Crooked Sky Farms offers a great deal on loose-leaf lettuce at the Gilbert Farmer's Market.

If you find yourself in the East Valley on a Saturday morning, the Gilbert Farmer's Market is a delicious place to get lost for a few hours. If you're strictly on the hunt for local produce, this might not be your best Metro Phoenix option; while the market did feature a handful of fruit and veggie peddlers, a majority of the vendors were selling prepared foods, cooking accessories, or artwork.

Though the Gilbert market is decidedly more "Market" than it is "Farmers," we sampled plenty of praise-worthy local products.


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Brussels Sprouts Three Ways at St. Francis in Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

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John Sullivan / Flickr
They've had a bad rap, but St. Francis' Winter Menu proves that brussels sprouts can be so much more than the bitter mush your mom made.

We've all been there. It's barely January, and you've already exhausted every butternut squash, kale, and root veggie recipe in your arsenal. Throughout the first few weeks of fall, you tried in earnest to keep the spirit of winter vegetables alive; you roasted them, mashed them, stewed, and sautéed -- but now it's still cold out, and coming up with innovative recipes seems like a pretty arduous task.

Before you resign yourself to another night of boring roasted brussels sprouts (let's be real, that's soooo2013,) take some inspiration from St. Francis's Winter Menu. They're currently featuring three delicious brussels sprout dishes that could take your seasonal vegetable game to the next level.

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Vegetable Hot Pot at Mother Bunch Brewing: Healthy Comfort Food

Categories: Chow Bella

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Zaida Dedolph
Add this dish to your list of healthy-yet-hearty local food options.

Mother Bunch Brewing has quickly worked their way into the Downtown Phoenix Food and Drink scene by way of their massive burgers, well-crafted cocktails, and impressive local tap list. But their menu also manages to challenge the notion that food served in a brewery must necessarily be the greasy, creamy stuff that heart attacks are made of. Their Vegetarian Hot Pot is an excellent - and healthy - alternative to the breaded-and-fried bar food we've all become accustomed to.

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What's Great Right Now at Singh Farms?

Categories: Chow Bella

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Zaida Dedolph
Fennel Bulbs, Christmas Bulbs ... it's prime season for both.

The answer is, in a word, everything. If you haven't had the pleasure of making Singh Farms' acquaintance, there's no better time than the present. Despite the chilly weather, they've still got plenty of fresh-grown winter produce and some amazing vegetarian-friendly prepared foods.

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5 Holiday Coffee Drinks in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella, Grind

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Heather Hoch
Rollover Doughnuts is stepping up their Dairy game with Danzeisen eggnog and flavored milks.

Candy canes. Gingerbread. Nogs of all ilks. It's winter in the rest of the world, but we Phoenicians have the luxury of enjoying all the delicious flavors of the season without any of the icky, snowy consequences. Let's toast to that while we celebrate some of our fantastic Phoenix-area cafes.

Here are four seasonal treats to try, and one that's not really seasonal, but will provide you with a delicious escape from the stress of the holidays.

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5 Gifts for the Vegetarian: Chow Bella Gift Guides 2014

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Lauren Saria
Agritopia Farms offers a fantastic weekly CSA membership - perfect for the produce lover.
Stumped for what to buy those special someones on your list? Let Chow Bella do the shopping -- or at least the browsing -- with our 2014 gift guides. Today: gifts for the vegetarian.

Whether or not you agree with their dietary decisions, the vegetarian in your life probably deserves more than coal in his or her stocking. Here are some ideas for what to get the vegetable lover in your life.

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