100 Tastemakers in Phoenix

Jared Allen of Proof Artisan Breads on The Books That Changed His Life and His Favorite Childhood Dessert

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.

69. Jared Allen of Proof Artisan Breads

Jared Allen is a Cordon Bleu-trained chef who gained national attention after being named a finalist in Martha Stewart’s American Made Awards and local renown thanks to the many fans who’ve discovered his bakery, Proof Artisan Breads, at the Gilbert Farmer’s Market. Allen specializes in baking, though he also manages the American Way Market in Chandler. He is married with five children, and besides baking, enjoys gardening, hiking, and running.

Today, he dishes on his favorite spot for gelato and the three books that changed his life. 

My go-to place for hiking in Phoenix is the Superstition Wilderness. Kid-friendly trails, beautiful scenery, petroglyphs – so much to love

The best-kept secret in Phoenix is Gelato Dolce Vita. It's simply the best gelato I’ve ever had. It's a bit out of the way, tucked in a strip mall at the corner of Brown and Higley roads in Mesa, but it's worth the trip. The South African Dark Gelato is a chocolate lover's dream.

Three books that changed my life are: 

1. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo. I first read it in my high school English class. It helped me realize that life is not always black and white.

2. Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe's Best Artisan Bakers by Daniel Leader. This book fueled the beginning of my bread obsession. Great recipes that are easy to follow and beautiful pictures.

3. The Book of Mormon. I struggled with the decision to include this on my list. I feel vulnerable discussing this aspect of my life. Faith is not a popular subject right now, but no book has had a more profound effect on my life. Reading it and following its teachings have changed my life forever.

My favorite childhood dessert was my Mom’s homemade cream puffs. She didn’t make them often, but they were amazing. I don’t think she even realized that she was making a classic French profiterole. Today I love a slice of our Flourless Chocolate Torte over pretty much anything.

I'm happiest when I'm spending time with my family and enjoying nature.

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

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria