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, one of the sweetest couples we know.
73. Country and Sergio Velador of Super Chunk Sweets and Treats
Whether you're craving a chocolate-chip cookie elevated with a hint of mesquite or a top-notch sandwich served on fresh-made bread, Super Chunk Sweets and Treats is the place to get it. The Old Town Scottsdale storefront started as a destination for handmade confections such as chocolate bacon caramel corn and house-made licorice (made with fennel, anise, and green chartreuse), and has since grown into a whimsical cafe and bakery offering golden croissants, house-made bagels, and sandwiches made with fresh bread and artisan meats and cheeses.
The couple behind the shop, Country and Sergio Velador, bring an impressive collection of talents and experience to the project. Country also serves as executive pastry chef at Cowboy Ciao and Kazimierz World Wine Bar, and received a bachelor of fine arts in photography at Arizona State University before she found her passion for all things sweet. Sergio brings almost two decades of experience in the restaurant industry to the table, including time managing Chicago gastropubs and fine dining establishments.
Together, the two make everything from blue cheese and fig caramels to handpulled taffy in house and from scratch with the best ingredients they can find.
Today, they dish on their go-to place for burgers and the hardest thing about working with your spouse.
Our go-to place for burgers in Phoenix is The Stand. It's right by our house, consistent, priced right, and the people who work there are always friendly.
The best kept secret in Phoenix is Gadzooks. We're not sure how much of a secret it is, but whenever we mention it to industry friends, they've never heard of it. It surprises us because it's delicious and affordable. The short ribs are a favorite, and the cornbread is not to be missed.
Our favorite childhood desserts were Orange Julius and Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, but these days our guilty pleasures are Trader Joe's Peanut Butter Cups and a waffle-cone ice cream sundae.
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The hardest thing about working with your spouse is figuring out what's for dinner. It's a constant back and forth: "What do you want?" "I don't know. What do you want?"
Three restaurants on our culinary bucket list right now are Cafe Olympic in Nagasaki, Japan, to try their Nagasaki Dream Tower; a stop through Kumamoto for ramen; and Ameyayokocho, a large market full of street food just outside of Tokyo. We really want to go to Japan!
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