From now until we publish the 2016 edition of Best of Phoenix, New Times is naming 100 Tastemakers — members of our local culinary community who help shape the way we eat, drink, and think about food in Phoenix. Some you'll know, and for others, it'll be a first introduction, but each person on our list deserves a nod for helping make our city so delicious. Oh, and while you're here, be sure to check out our list of 100 Creatives.
Today, get to know your friendly neighborhood miller.
62. Benjamin Butler of Hayden Flour Mills
Benjamin Butler spends most of his time on the grind. No, we don't mean that in the figurative, cool sense. As a Master Miller, Butler literally spends several hours a day fine-tuning the mill he uses to grind wheat into fresh flour, giving tours of the Hayden Flour Mill, creating different blends of flour, and testing those blends out by making different types of bread.
The Arizona native was born just down the street from the original Hayden Flour Mill in Tempe. While studying philosophy and theology in the Midwest, he would never have guessed he'd end up being a miller for a re-established flour mill specializing in locally grown, freshly stone-milled ancient and heritage grains. When he's not milling, you can find him dressing (sharpening) stones for improving the milling process or out cleaning grain for the next week's milling.
In his free time, Butler enjoys fly-fishing, trail running, and backpacking adventures. Today, he shares his favorite place in Arizona and what he likes to make with freshly milled flour.
My go-to place for a sandwich in Phoenix is Pane Bianco.
The best-kept secret in Phoenix is a whisky sour at the bar at Crudo.
One thing most people don't know about me is I am an avid runner and am always looking for my next destination marathon.
My favorite place in Arizona is Chevelon Canyon Lake on the Mogollon Rim and I can't wait to visit Chevelon Canyon Lake on the Mogollon Rim AGAIN ... it's that good!
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My three favorite things to make with fresh flour are artisan bread, chocolate-chip bagels, and blueberry pancakes, all from scratch.
The 2016 Tastemakers so far:
100. Aaron Chamberlin of St. Francis and Phoenix Public Market Cafe
99. Ross Simon of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
98. Debby Wolvos of DW Photography
97. Anibal and Salem Beyene of Café Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant
96. Bo Mostow of Uptown Farmers Market
95. Julian Wright of Pedal Haus Brewery
94. Stephen Jones of The Larder + The Delta
93. Eric Glomski of Page Spring Cellars
92. Richard Bock of Giuseppe's on 28th
91. Walter Sterling of Ocotillo
90. Daniel Sevilla of Angry Crab Shack
89. Doug Robson of Gallo Blanco and Otro Cafe
88. LaDawn Driscoll of Liberty Market
87. Jason Calhoon of The Shop Beer Co. and Side Kick Cold Brew
86. Tim and Kim Cobb of United Lunchadores Street Gourmet
85. Micah Olson of Bar Crudo and Okra Cookhouse and Cocktails
84. Paola Embry of Christopher's + Crush and The Wrigley Mansion
83. Jared Porter of The Clever Koi
82. Diane Corieri of Evening Entertainment Group
81. Erich Schultz of Steadfast Farm Shares His Go-To Place For Beer That Tastes "Like Arizona"
80. Jeff and Leah Huss of Huss Brewing Company
79. Aaron Pool of Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup
78. Diana Santospago of The Maine Lobster Lady food truck
77. Gio Osso of Virtu Honest Craft and Nico Heirloom Kitchen
76. Lauren Bailey of Upward Projects
75. Rodney Hu of Arizona Distilling Company and Yucca Tap Room
74. Jacob Cutino of Homeboy's Hot Sauce
73. Country and Sergio Velador of Super Chunk Sweets and Treats
72. Dean Thomas of Cornish Pasty Co.
71. Jennifer Caraway of The Joy Bus
70. Scott Holmes of Little Miss BBQ
69. Jared Allen of Proof Artisan Breads
68. Steve McFate of McFate Brewing Company
67. Mel Mecinas of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
66. Jessa and Dan Koppenhofer of Gilbert Farmers Market
65. Todd and Kelly Bostock of Dos Cabezas WineWorks
64. Ryan Probst of Odelay Bagel Co.
63. Diana Brandt of AZFoodie