Pie Social 2014 Roundup: Thoughts From the Judges' Table

Categories: Pie Social

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JK Grence
Did you get your fill of pie?

If you weren't at this past weekend's Pie Social, you missed out on a terrific time. The "What Should Go Here?" lot on Roosevelt Row was filled to bursting with happy pie makers and pie eaters.

See what you missed -- in our slideshow.

I was there on a special mission. I wasn't there just to eat pie. I was there to judge pie.

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Pie Social 2014: The Winners!

Categories: Pie Social

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Amy Silverman
Who will take home the tins this year?
Hey, Phoenix -- have you recovered?

Hundreds of you showed up on Roosevelt Row Saturday to consume hundreds of pies and vote for your favorite at our fifth annual Pie Social.

There can only be one grand prize winner, and we're here to tell you who won in the People's Choice category as well as the blind awards, including Best in Show.

First, Chow Bella would like to thank Cindy Dach and the rest of the kind folks of Roosevelt Row and their volunteers for hard work on an event that benefits the Phoenix Union Bioscience High School. We'd also like to thank the judges, the community bakers, The Senators, Brand X, and the 14 incredibly talented celebrity chefs and their teams who baked an awe-inspiring lineup of pies this year.

Now for the winners.

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Pie Social 2014: Eat Pie, Listen to The Senators, Buy a BrandX Tee with Sarah Hurwitz's Design

Categories: Pie Social

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Sarah Hurwitz
The day is upon us, people. And the forecast for Saturday, November 15, is partly sunny with a 100 percent chance of PIE.

Come down to Roosevelt Row tomorrow at 2 (we recommend you come on time, the pie doesn't last) and bring $10 or two pies and get five tasting tickets.

There will be live music from Phoenix's own The Senators, and BrandX will be on hand to print T-shirts with a black and white version of the artwork above, by Sarah Hurwitz.

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Pie Social 2014: Who Won Our Pie-Ku Contest?

Categories: Pie Social

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Sarah Hurwitz
Once again this year, Phoenix, you take the cake, er, pie for poetry! We had many excellent entries in our Pie-Ku contest, and two lucky winners -- as well as a runner up.

The winners will join our line-up of esteemed judges at Pie Social this Saturday, Nov. 15. The event opens to the public at 2 and goes till 5 p.m. at the at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park on the northeast corner of Second Street and Roosevelt. The Senators will be performing. Admission to the event is free and tasting tickets will be sold five for $10. Or you can bring two pies to donate to the community table and get those five tickets free. Either way, come hungry.

And now, here are the winners of the Pie-Ku contest.

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10 Tips for Baking Vegan Pie (and a Recipe for Dark Chocolate Mousse Pie)

Categories: Pie Social

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Marisa Lown
A rich vegan and gluten free chocolate mousse pie is the perfect addition to your holiday baking.

When you think of vegan and gluten free baking, you may be under the impression that limited options exist that could fulfill such seemingly restrictive parameters. Yet, the opposite could not be more accurate. Whether you have adopted an animal friendly lifestyle, have dairy and/or egg allergies, or are simply trying to reduce your cholesterol, vegan baked goods can easily be added into your rotation. There is no need to give up your favorite treats, especially at the holidays. And if the fifth annual Chow Bella Pie Social on Saturday, November 15th doesn't inspire you to try your hand at pie making, you will certainly be on your way to mastering the dark chocolate mousse pie recipe below after learning a few methods for replacing dairy and eggs. Your heart -- and guests -- will thank you.


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Pie Social 2014: An Illustrated Map and Field Guide for November 15

Categories: Pie Social

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Illustration by Claire Lawton
There will be plenty to see and do during Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row's Pie Social on November 15, but stay focused -- there will be plenty of hungry people with the same mission:

Drop off the pies (optional), get the tasting tickets, find the best pies, taste, and repeat.

But no need to stress. In an effort to help maximize your pie-eating efficiency (and give you a few things to check out while you're in the 'hood), we have a printable map, official details and a few hints to help you on your way.

Happy pie eating.

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10 Tips for Gluten Free Pie Baking (and a Recipe for Gluten Free Pumpkin Meringue Pie)

Categories: Pie Social

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Marisa Lown
Bake a gluten free pumpkin meringue pie this holiday that all of your guests are sure to love!

With the Chow Bella Pie Social returning for its fifth year on Saturday, November 15th, you will certainly be inspired to bake up some of your very own slightly sweet treats this holiday season. For those with food allergies or who follow particular diets, the last course is generally one we tend to avoid (or we bring along a container filled with our own private stash of goodies) at a family meal. Whether you are baking for yourself or a beloved friend or family member -- or simply wondering how to include allergy friendly desserts into your repertoire -- incorporating a gluten free pie into your holiday spread will certainly be appreciated. Follow these simple tips and then try your hand at the gluten free pumpkin meringue pie recipe below. All of your guests -- not just those who eschew gluten -- will devour every last bite and you'll give them one more thing to be thankful for.


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Want to be a Judge at Pie Social 2014? Write the Winning Pie-Ku

Categories: Pie Social

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Sarah Hurwitz
It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, not that. Pie Social! The fifth annual event will be the sweetest ever -- check out our celebrity chef line-up and sharpen your pencils, folks, because it's time once again for Chow Bella's Pie-Ku contest.

And you just might win a spot as a judge on November 15.

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Leslie Peterson and Dan Medlen of Arcadia Farms: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

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Hayden Harrison
Leslie Peterson and Dan Medlen plating the baked goods for the day.

Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fifth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one through a quick Pie.Q. quiz to test their baking prowess.

Today: Leslie Peterson and Dan Medlen of Arcadia Farms

In this corner we have Arcadia Farms pastry chefs Leslie Peterson and Dan Medlen who have baked together since first working at Tammie Coe Cakes.

"I convinced him to move with me," Peterson laughs. She began working at Arcadia Farms in May of 2014 and Medlen followed not too long after.

Rewind a little bit and you can find both being directed by family members on what path to take.

Peterson's cousin was in the business and she wanted to follow suit. She attended the French Culinary Institute. Medlen's uncle guided him and he attended Scottsdale Community College.

"I told him I was thinking about going to culinary school because originally it was supposed to be for the hot side," Medlen said. "He told me my personality might be better at pastry. I don't even know what he meant by that."

Now, both are baking it up and preparing for the Pie Social.

"I don't think we're trying to reinvent the wheel with it," Medlen said. "We just want to make something that's tasty that people will be like, 'Damn, that was good pie,' and that's it. It doesn't need to be something out of this world or strange."


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Ricardo Palacio of Catrinas Bake Shop: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

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Lauren Saria
Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fifth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one through a quick Pie.Q. quiz to test their baking prowess.

Today: Ricardo Palacio of Catrinas Bake Shop

When you consider that Richard Palacio spends his mornings baking at Urban Cookies, it's quite remarkable that all he wants to do when he gets back to his charming abode is...bake some more.

That's because Palacio, a self-taught baker who's spent the last ten years or so working in popular restaurant kitchen around town, also has his own custom baking company called Catrinas Bake Shop. Though there's no brick-and-mortar space (yet), Palacio creates picture-perfect cakes, pies, cupcakes, and more to satisfy his customers' sugary needs.

Palacio uses eggs from the 20 chickens he and his husband Calvin raise -- along with five dogs and one cat -- at their home to make his sweet treats. And he only bakes in old school cast iron cookware. In fact, the entire kitchen and house is packed with great vintage finds, in part because Calvin is an antiques dealer. Palacio says he grew up wanting to be an artist but now uses baking to combine his two passions.

"I decided pastry is how I can show my art," he says.

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