BEST PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY Phoenix 2006 - Cullen Campbell's PB&J at Camus
We'll always associate Camus chef Cullen Campbell with Krispy Kreme doughnuts. That's because the first time we experienced his sometimes quirky cuisine was at a one-off event in Tempe where he made bread pudding out of two or three boxes of plain, glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts. That eve was also memorable for truffled collard greens, and various other goodies that endeared our bellies to the self-taught, Tennessee-born taste titan. Leave it to Campbell, then, to try to build a better mousetrap with his pistachio PB&J, save that here all of the basic elements are made in-house: pistachio butter with hazelnut oil, instead of peanut butter; toasted slices of house-baked brioche; and vanilla-strawberry jam. Served in quarters with a little glass of milk, this scrumptious sammy overtakes the original, turning the most pedestrian of noshes into gourmet eatin'. Hats off to you, Cullen. Now if you'd only put that Krispy Kreme bread pudding on the menu, we'd buy an RV and take up residence in the Clarendon parking lot for good.