Julie Moreno of Jewel's Bakery & Cafe: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

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Lauren Saria
Julie Moreno of Jewel's Bakery & Cafe
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: Julie Moreno of Jewel's Bakery & Cafe

"That's my motto, 'It better be as good or better,'" Julie Moreno says of her approach to baking gluten-free sweets. And thankfully for all those who can't eat gluten, she really means it. Moreno's cucakes, macarons, and more are so good you'd never known there's anything missing.

It's been almost a year since the mother and former homebaker opened Jewel's Bakery & Café in Arcadia and during that time Moreno says she's established a strong following of people who love the sweet and savory eats coming out of her scratch kitchen. In addition to serving breakfast, lunch, and brunch, Jewel's now offers grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, pre-made gluten-free baking mixes, as well as monthly classes in gluten-free cooking. The Pie Social veteran hasn't yet decided what she'll be baking for this year's competition, but you can rest-assured it will gluten-free.


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Joshua Nelson of Jobot Coffee: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

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Heather Hoch
Joshua Nelson will be competing for the first time at this year's Pie Social.
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: Joshua Nelson of Jobot Coffee

This might be Joshua Nelson's first time throwing down at Pie Social, but as a two-time Chile Pepper Festival champion, he knows how to compete. His strategy this year is to go for something unusual, but familiar in his pie recipe. That way people will feel comfortable trying it, but will still experience something new.

Although Jobot is Nelson's first spot baking in Phoenix, he's worked in many kitchens in Portland, Oregon and has a degree in pastry. Having been with the coffee shop and restaurant for about three of the four years Jobot has been open, he's ready to represent the downtown Phoenix shop in the celebrity baking challenge. He says he has no expectations for the event right now, but you can expect something new and different from his pies, which he says have yet to have a bad review from anyone who has tried them.

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Chris Collins of Grassroots Kitchen and Tap: 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: Chris Collins of Grassroots Kitchen and Tap

Chris Collins doesn't just like pie, he freakin' loves it. As proof, consider that his first job was carrying out pies at his dads' restaurant when he was just six years old -- and that was back when his pops, Wally of Wally's American Pub and Grill, ran the mother of all pie restaurants: Marie Callender's. Collins went on to serve pie -- not cake -- at his wedding and these days the chef lets his love for pie hang out at his two Valley restaurants. Both the Scottsdale and Phoenix locations of Grassroots offer pie for dessert, though Collins insists on making only one flavor at a time to ensure freshness. The Key Lime Pie has become the restaurant's signature offering; it's so popular that Collins says he recently had a customer break down in tears upon learning it isn't available everyday. (Word to the wise, call ahead.)

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Dana Stern of Bragg's Factory Diner: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

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Heather Hoch
Dana Stern lives the pie life every day at Bragg's Factory Diner in Phoenix.
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: Dana Stern of Bragg's Factory Diner

Don't get hung up on the vegan thing. Dana Stern says her vegan pies have been fooling co-workers and friends since before she was a professional baker and part-owner of Bragg's Factory Diner in downtown Phoenix. The added challenge of not using animal products keeps baking exciting for Stern, otherwise it's just "too easy," she says. Plus, she explains that the addition of healthy ingredients like flax seed means you can eat more pie because it's actually good for you -- right?

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Katherine Dwight of Phoenix Public Market: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

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Hayden Harrison
Katherine Dwight of Phoenix Public Market Cafe

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: Katherine Dwight of Phoenix Public Market Cafe

Luckily for us and a lot of Phoenicians, Katherine Dwight has come a long way since her first baking experience in third grade.

"Chocolate chip cookies," Dwight says. "I completely messed them up. We had to throw it all away. I used powdered sugar instead of flour."

Since then, she attended culinary at Scottsdale Community College, headed the pastry program at St. Francis and is in charge of the pastries at Phoenix Public Market, St. Francis and Cartel.

Her favorite thing to bake? Still chocolate chip cookies.

"They always taste good, simple but delicious," Dwight says.

On November 15 she's switching over to pie and her goal is just as straightforward. She wants to bake "something that tastes good, just delicious -- that is all."

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Shelley's Specialty Desserts: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

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Josh Chesler
Shelley Au is a celebrity entrant for the 2014 Pie Social.

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: Shelley Au of Shelley's Specialty Desserts

Shelley Au started baking at a very young age. Not because she had a particular passion for it, but because it provided heat.

"I've been baking ever since I can remember," Au says. "I grew up in Minnesota, so I always hung out wherever the warm spot was, and the oven was always warm."

It's not that Au didn't like baking, but it was her grandmother who really started her down the path of making desserts for a living.

"When I was pretty young, I would help my grandma with the pie crust. I think it was like (Tom Sawyer) except I was making a pie crust instead of painting a fence. I think that was her master plan," Au says.

These days, Au runs Shelley's Specialty Desserts in Glendale, where she makes everything from pies to cookies to sugar art from fresh local ingredients.

"We use as many local fruits as possible. For instance, we get these peaches that are picked on Tuesday, and I drive an hour to get them on Wednesday morning. We don't compromise on ingredients, people can tell the difference."


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Omei Eaglerider of Fabulous Food Catering: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

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Lauren Saria
Faabulous Food Catering's pastry chef, Omei Eaglerider.
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: Omei Eaglerider of Fabulous Food Catering

"I am an equal opportunity dessert person," Omei Eaglerider says when asked if her favorite sweet is pie. Since 2001 the pastry chef and art school grad has been working with Fabulous Food Catering, a custom fine dining catering company here in the Valley. As pastry chef for the company, Eaglerider gets to craft one-of-a-kind desert menus for clients to fit specific themes -- like an "all white" dessert menu. Following a career in special effects and design, the chef -- whose first name means "one who loves" in the language spoken by the Blackfoot tribe of Native Americans -- decided to go back to culinary school. Now she says she uses her experience to craft "tasty, edible art."

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Eddie Castillo of AZ Food Crafters: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

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Heather Hoch
Hand pies are the name of the game for Eddie Castillo of AZ Food Crafters.
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: Eddie Castillo of AZ Food Crafters

Eddie Castillo isn't afraid to take chances. As a man fresh off of a life-changing, empanada-filled vacation to Costa Rica, he decided it was high time that he start his own hand pie business. One year later, AZ Food Crafters was popping up with piping hot pies at farmers markets across the Valley.

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Heather Hoch
Will he go savory this year?
Although Castillo has a brick and mortar location now and is even serving up the crème brulée recipe developed by the now defunct Torched Goodness truck, he's still ready to shake things up. He wouldn't say for sure if that meant he'd go the admirable, yet intimidating savory route with his competing pie this year, but he did say that his favorite pie at AZ Food Crafters is El Cubano, which combines ham, citrus pulled pork, and a handmade relish.

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LaDawn Driscoll of Liberty Market: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Categories: Pie Social

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Hayden Harrison
LaDawn Driscoll of Liberty Market

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: LaDawn Driscoll of Liberty Market

About a year ago when LaDawn Driscoll became the head pastry chef of Liberty Market, her life came full circle. Her parents lived on Page Avenue -- close to where the old grocery store was located.

"My mom used to walk me in my stroller to go shopping when this was an actual market," Driscoll says. "Little baby LaDawn was in here. It's just crazy."

Her mother taught her the home cooking basics, which led to a love and career of baking. Now she bakes her mother's banana cream pie for customers along with an array of other desserts. She applies her creativity to every bite.

Driscoll said she's excited to bake for Pie Social and has her pie picked out, but as a past participant she's even more excited to get her own mouthful.

"It's a gorgeous day downtown and people eat pie," Driscoll says. "I only got two pieces last year. This year I'm bringing more help so I can eat pie and they can stand behind the table."


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Pie Social 2014: Here's the Celebrity Chef Lineup

Categories: Pie Social

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Lauren Saria
Country Velador's winning pie from 2013.
Are you as excited as we are for Pie Social 2014? You will be once you get a load of this year's celebrity chef lineup. This year, 16 chefs will craft pie masterpieces to compete for the title of best in show. The fifth annual event, hosted by Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row, features both returning competitors and newbies and we can't wait to taste what they bake.

Pie Social 2014 will take place Saturday, November 15 from 2 until 5 p.m. at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park on the northeast corner of Second Street and Roosevelt.

Here's the lineup:

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