Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the seventh annual Pie Social at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, at the Bioscience High School at 512 East Pierce Street. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one.
Today, Cheryl Standage of PIEfection
Cheryl Standage is the owner and head chef at PIEfection, a gourmet pie shop in Mesa. Standage grew up baking alongside her mother and grandmother, developing a passion for great food. After spending years of her adult life as a successful corporate banker, Standage changed career paths, returning to her first love: amazing food. When she's not busy developing new recipes for PIEfection, Standage can usually be found teaching her baking secrets to one or more of her 13 grandchildren.
What is the first dish you remember fixing yourself at home?
I have always loved baking, and the first thing I remember making was a homemade cheesecake with blueberry topping, and I was so proud of myself!
What is the one thing you always had in your kitchen growing up?
We always had fresh cream, because we were raised on raw milk. It was a delicacy that none of my friends had in their home,and I felt so special that we always had fresh cream.
What are five essentials in your home kitchen today?
I always have all the essentials to do any baking in my kitchen today. There is always good chocolate, cream cheese, sour cream, good-quality vanilla, and fresh berries.
What is a memorable dish from your childhood and the back story?
My most memorable food from my childhood was the pies that my grandmother made. To be perfectly honest, her pies are the best I have ever tasted! She used to make a pear/pineapple pie that was out of this world! She had a pear tree and we would pick the pears and then she would make us a pie and we would devour it in one sitting. To this day, it is still my favorite pie!
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Who inspired you to become a chef and why?
This is really my second career. I left the corporate world after a 25-plus year career in management. I have been a foodie since I was a little girl. When my friends were playing with dolls or watching TV, I wanted to see what their moms were baking in the kitchen. I would pick everyone's brain that made a good dish, and I would always ask for the recipe. I have always wanted to have my own little bakery or restaurant, and when I left corporate America, it was the perfect time to make my dream come true.
The 2016 Pie Social Celebrity Bakers so far:
Adam Allison of SuperFarm
Soraya Medina of Heavenly Bites
Nicholas Hyche of Hilton Phoenix Chandler
Adriana Gomez of Lola Coffee
Sarah Chisholm of Phoenix Public Market Cafe
Chelsea Gabayan of Fabulous Food