Tastemaker No. 1

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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 we introduce our final tastemaker. Aren't you dying to know who it is?! Here's a hint: We have yet to hear even the pickiest food snob among you offer anything but rave review's for this Tastemaker's restaurant.

See also:
- The Tastemaker 2012 Archives


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Tastemaker No. 2

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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: A woman who does a latte for Phoenix.

See also:
- Tastemaker 2012 Archives

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Tastemaker No. 3

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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: A guy with a big breakfast -- and a big heart.

See also:
-Tastemaker 2012 Archives


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4: Cathy Hayes

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Photo courtesy of Cathy Hayes
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 Valley's own designing woman.

Tastemaker 4: Cathy Hayes

See also:
- Modern Steak: Behind the Scenes with Designer Catherine M. Hayes
- Catherine Hayes' Kickass Job

As a child she rode her bike around Chicago, eating up the city's architecture and its wildly creative culinary environment. Tasting and touching other parts of America, Europe and Asia as a young adult, Cathy Hayes now hopes to inspire and entertain us with her architecture & interior design throughout the Valley of the Sun. Whether it's designing a family's home, a neighborhood restaurant, a corporate office or throughout many resort and hotel properties, Cathy leads her team at Hayes Architecture/Interiors to make metro Phoenix better looking.

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5: Stephen Jones

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Photo courtesy of Stephen Jones
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: A guy who actually makes us crave a trip to CityScape.

5: Stephen Jones

See also:
- Blue Hound's Stephen Jones on Cooking for Steve Wynn's Wife, the Joy of Fennel Pollen, and Why Pizza's Overrated
- Kentucky Fried Quail Conundrum: The Praying Monk vs Blue Hound Kitchen
- Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails: Happy Hour Report Card

Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails' Top Dog and Executive Chef Stephen Jones has an impressive culinary career: he's cooked with Mark Tarbell and most recently served as the executive chef at Latilla at the Boulders Resort in Scottsdale. With a background from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, Calif., he honed his craft across many major food-centric cities and says he fell in love with Phoenix and its abundance of quality, local crops and fellow talent. When he's not in the kitchen, you can spot Jones tending to his at-home garden or walking his rescued pit bull-lab mix, Jake, around his neighborhood.


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6: Francesca Bianco

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Lauren Saria
Hand-drawn recipes of desserts by Francesca Bianco
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 Motherlode.

Tastemaker 6: Francesca Bianco

See also:
- Tastemaker No. 45 Marco Bianco
- Caprese Clash: Pane Bianco vs. Cibo

Born in New York and with a background in fashion (she went to FIT and Parsons and worked as a buyer and custom bridal designer for 25 years), Francesca Bianco made her way to Phoenix 15 years ago - on the heels of her son, you may have heard of him, Chris. At 12 she received her first crepe pan from her grandmother and although not a trained chef, Francesca's knowledge of family recipes from both Northern and Southern Italy give her a special know-how that money can't buy. When she's not baking cakes and desserts at Italian Restaurant or welcoming guests into the dining room every Thursday, you can find her working at the Heard Museum.

"I'm just a pair on hands in the back," Francesca says.

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7: Snir and Kierstin Mor

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Photo courtesy of Kiestin Mor
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: a west side love story.

Tastemakers 7: Snir and Kierstin

See also:
- "Clafoutis" Cake at Amuse Bouche
- The Seven Oddest Restaurant Bathrooms in Greater Phoenix

Snir and Kierstin Mor met and fell in love in culinary school in Paris; Snir is from Israel, while Kierstin hails from the Bay Area. The couple moved to the Phoenix area to open their own restaurant as well as to be close to family. They landed on the west side of Phoenix not knowing a thing about the Valley (people normally ask why the heck their restaurant is so far west!) and started the Amuse Bouche Catering division seven years ago -- since then they've built the bistro and their food company, Mor Gourmet Foods, which sells quiche across the Valley.

"We found what we love to do, and we've never 'worked' a day since," Kierstin says.

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8: Bob McClendon

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Photo courtesy of Bob McClendon
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: A man who refuses to play favorites.

Tastemaker 8: Bob McClendon

See also: Bob McClendon Grows Organic Veggies for Patients at Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Bob McClendon, a second generation native Arizonan, was born in Tucson and graduated from pharmacy school at the University of Arizona with honors. He started growing citrus at his Peoria farm in 1975 and has continued to expand the varieties of organic fruits and vegetables every year since. He is joined in the McClendon's Select farming business by his wife, Marsha, son and daughter in law, Sean and Kate, and grandson Aidan.

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9: Eytan Zias

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Photo courtesy of Eytan Zias
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: A guy with a real edge.

Tastemaker 9: Eytan Zias

See also: Phoenix Knife House Moving to Bigger Digs in Arcadia

After a 10 year cooking career working at New York restaurants such as Aureole, Le Cote Basque and Craft, Eytan Zias decided to open the Phoenix Knife House, a chef supply store specializing in kitchen knives, waterstone sharpening and chef uniforms. The shop has been described as "the barber shop for chefs," but also caters to the Valley's home cooks and after five years in business has one of the top collections of Japanese knives in the US. October 1st the shop will be moving to a larger location at 4837 E. Indian School Rd in the Arcadia neighborhood.

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10: Joe Johnston

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Photo courtesy of Joe Johnston
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 man who has made Gilbert safe for hipsters.

Tastemaker 10: Joe Johnston

See also: Joe Johnston's Perfect Food Day

Not everyone gets to see their vision come to life, but take one look at the green lawns and white porches of Agritopia and you're looking at Joe Johnston's dream come to fruition. Johnston went to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and Stanford to be an engineer and worked as an engineering consultant. But don't let his well-polished exterior mislead you - he's a farmer's son, who grew up on the family farm that has now become the ultimate example of urban agriculture. Between the Farm Grill, his Real BBQ and Liberty Market, you can taste a variety of expressions of Johnston's culinary style.

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