Editor's Note: This post has been edited from its original version to correct errors regarding Levine's current job. We regret the mistakes.
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's not afraid to say she's had her fill of pork belly.
Tastemaker 74: Sacha Levine
Sacha Levine has been in the Phoenix food scene nearly her entire adult life, working behind the scenes at some of the most prominent restaurants in the city. She's cooked under several well-known Valley chefs, including Aaron May, Claudio Urciuoli, Charleen Badman and Walter Sterling. Extremely passionate about eating, cooking, and spreading the gospel of great food to all, Levine currently works for Chef Chrysa Robertson at Rancho Pinot and occasionally helps out at FnB. She also makes pickles, which you can find for sale at Bodega in Scottsdale.
I arrived in Phoenix with... an empty stomach, an empty tank of gas, and my culinary-school-issued knife set. I was ready to learn, cook, and eat!
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, (I would be tempted to say that) my five dream dining companions would be... female culinary giants like Julia Child, Gabrielle Hamilton, and Alice Waters. But in reality, it would be my girlfriend, my mom, my little brother, and a couple of close friends. They make for the best conversation anyway. One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... La Condesa. Being on the Mexico border, people who visit expect tasty Hispanic food and this is it. Eclectic salsa bar!
One menu item this city could do without is... pork belly and bacon everything. You're eating a mound of fat. We get it.
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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