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.
Next up, a guy who's kind of a big deal when it comes to small-scale farming.
81. Erich Schultz of Steadfast Farm at Agritopia
"Grow better, not bigger." That's the mantra for farmer Erich Schultz.
Schultz is a small-scale organic farmer located in the East Valley. His farm, Steadfast Farm, currently leases the commercial farm at The Farm at Agritopia, where he grows a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year. You may have tried his produce at farmers markets, local restaurants (including Crepe Bar in Tempe, FnB in Scottsdale, and Pizzeria Bianco and Pane Bianco in Phoenix), or through the farm's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.
Schultz focuses on using low-tech, bio-intensive growing techniques that maximize the quality and amount of food grown per square foot, integrating pigs, chickens, ducks, turkeys, and honeybees into the farm's ecology.
Today, he dishes on his favorite place to grab a beer and the five people he'd like to invite over for a backyard barbecue.
My go-to place for beer in Phoenix is Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. Their beer tastes like Arizona, and I can't get enough of their sours!
The best kept secret in Phoenix is Wong's Place in Tempe. Great Chinese food!
If I could have dinner with any five people, I'd invite Charleen Badman (FnB), Magnus Nilsson, Jeff Kraus, Dan Barber, and Chris Bianco and we'd barbecue at my house.
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You'll never find Roundup on my farm, but I can't work without my Opinel pocket knife.
My restaurant pet peeve is muddled fruit in an old fashioned cocktail. Or, it bugs me when baristas don’t pour the latte art to line up with how the guest will hold the cup. It is such a simple thing but I think it makes the presentation so much better. For me, it’s all in the details.
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