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
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.
I arrived in Phoenix with...
Kierstin: A U-haul, our dog, and a K-1 fiancé visa, stating we had to get married in 90 days (Snir is from Israel) :-)
Snir: A couple of suitcases, lots of dreams, and a funny accent.
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be...
Kierstin: Ronald Reagan - the cowboy that changed the world. Anthony Bourdain- tells it like it is, and loves to eat, drink, smoke, travel, and talk! Rosa Parks-kindred spirit...I hate authority (probably why I started my own gig!!!) Thomas Jefferson- rocked the Constitution! Jeff Lewis of 'Flipping Out!' So funny, slightly mean, but most importantly, he gets the job done.
Snir: Ronald Reagan - One of our most successful presidents, ended the cold war, reminded us all what the U.S is about and a truly sincere human being. Paul Bocuse - He brought the French cuisine to the modern era while keeping the deep roots of the classical cuisine. Clint Eastwood - That would make my day, empty chair or not. Peyton Manning - One of my favorite athletes, a true student of the game and never takes himself too seriously. Mark Twain - My favorite American author, piercing and hilarious insights into life, death and everything in between.
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is...
Kierstin and Snir: Ranch Market in Phoenix, dine while surrounded by piles of produce, scores of chiles, and Mexican delicacies. Chile verde and the biggest Styrofoam cup of horchata they can possibly pour....We've gone through 3 pregnancies with Ranch Market...lol!
One menu item this city could do without is...
Kierstin: A split meal...seriously, if you're not hungry, don't go out to eat! Oh, and cheese crisps - come on, if you charge $7 for a tortilla with cheese, can you at least fold it over and call it a quesadilla?
Snir: An all you can eat super buffet/fish fry. People never stop to think what kind of nutrition they will get from a $10 buffet. The old saying "You get what you pay for" disappears when faced with cheap food.
My last meal in Phoenix would be...
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Kierstin: A frosty Papago Orange Blossom (orange creamsicle meets hefeweizen)...love me a local brewery.
Snir: An authentic green chile burrito with rice and beans. It is the benchmark for any good Mexican restaurant.
The Tastemakers so far: 100: Tracy Dempsey 99: Craig DeMarco 98: Lara Mulchay 97: M.J. Coe 96: Betty Alatorre de Hong 95: Eric Schaefer 94: Hanna Gabrielsson 93: Shinji Kurita 92: Silvana Salcido Esparza 91: Mike Pitt 90: Christina Barrueta 89: Christopher Gross 88: Jan Wichayanuparp and Helen Yung 87: DJ Fernandes 86: Cullen Campbell 85: Chris Lee 84. Gwen Ashley Walters 83: Tony Morales 82: Lylah Ledner 81: Andrea White 80: Lori Hashimoto 79. Mrs. White 78: Eugenia Theodosopolous 77: Lou & Lovey Borenstein 76: Anthony Patafio 75: Carl Seacat 74: Sacha Levine 73: Sharon Salomon 72: Johnny Chu 71: Susie Timm 70: Jason Silberschlag 69: Gina Miller 68: Cindy Gentry 67: Amy Binkley 66: Dave Anderson 65: Mark Tarbell 64: Marianne Belardi 63: Audrey Lasalle 62: Brandon Gauthier 61: Brad and Kat Moore 60: Denise Clayton 59: Nobuo Fukuda 58: Richie Moe 57: Robin Trick 56: Alberto Della Casa and Letizia de Lucia 55: Farah Khalid 54: Dave Andrea 53: Vincent Guerithault 52: Danielle Leoni 51: Stan Zawatski 50: Maya Dailey 49: Duc Liao 48: Lisa Reinhardt 47: Isam Saed 46: Greg Peterson 45: Marco Bianco 44: Mark Fratu 43: Wendell Crow 42. Barb Harris 41: Michael Perry 40: Jeff Kraus 39: Ryan Avery 38: Charleen Badman 37: Damon Brasch 36: Dwayne Allen 35: Jason Asher 34: Pamela Hamilton 33: Victoria Chavez 32: Giovanni Scorzo 31: Tim Wilson 30: Travis Nass 29: Jason Alford 28: Clint Spotleson 27: Daniel Wayne 26: Korina Adkins 25: Carla Wade Logan 24: Jeff Zimmerman 23: Gabriele Bertaccini 22: Claudio Urciuoli 21: Peter DeRuvo 20: Natalie Morris 19: Eliot Wexler 18: Sam Fox 17: Bryan Dooley 16: Bernie Kantak 15: Jim Cerreta Sr. 14: Josh Hebert 13: Michael Brown 12: Dave Johnson 11: Chrysa Robertson 10: Joe Johnston 9: Eytan Zias 8: Bob McClendon