Chef and Restaurateur Lisa Giungo (Lisa G.) Loses Battle with Lung Cancer

Tracy Dempsey and Lisa Giungo
Tracy Dempsey and Lisa Giungo
Photo courtesy of Tracy Dempsey

The Valley food community lost a dear friend this past weekend when Lisa Giungo, more commonly known as "Lisa G.," passed away after a battle with lung cancer.

Following years spent working at Scottsdale's Arcadia Farms, Giungo opened her own place, Lisa G's, in a 1930s bungalow in Central Phoenix in 2006. Her famous meatballs, from a family recipe, were one of the restaurant's most popular dishes. Giungo sold Lisa G.'s in 2009 to move to Philadelphia, where her father was ailing. Under its new ownership, the space became Main Ingredient Ale House and Café.

Giungo eventually returned to the Valley and worked and consulted for several restaurants. This August, many in the Valley food community learned of Giungo's illness through Tracy Dempsey (Tracy Dempsey Originals), who wrote a letter asking for support of her friend.

In September, a fundraiser for Lisa Giungo was held at Union at the Biltmore.

"It is with heavy heart and tremendous sadness that we bid farewell to our much loved Lisa G.," said Dempsey. "She was one-of-a-kind in every way."

Dempsey tells me there were neither plans for an obituary nor a funeral made by her family, but that she's sure Giungo's Arizona family will do something and that she'll keep us posted.

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