100 Tastemakers in Phoenix

Jennifer Caraway of The Joy Bus Shares Her Secret Spot For Great Barbacoa

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.

71. Jennifer Caraway of The Joy Bus

After watching a good friend fight cancer, Valley entrepreneur Jennifer Caraway decided she wanted to help cancer patients. She founded The Joy Bus, a nonprofit organization that delivers healthy, home-cooked meals to homebound cancer patients. 

From the beginning, the organization received strong support from the local food community, including from chefs Tracy Dempsey and Bernie Kantak, both of whom sit on the organization's board of directors, and Crooked Sky Farms, which makes a weekly donation of produce for the meals. And now, what started with a single woman delivering meals to patients during her lunch break has grown into a hybrid commercial and nonprofit organization. Caraway recently established The Joy Bus Diner, a breakfast and lunch spot that will fund the nonprofit meal delivery program. 

Today, Caraway shares her current culinary obsession and the one thing — er, person — she can't cook without. 

My go-to place for the best grilled octopus ever is Virtu.

The best-kept secret in Phoenix is weekend barbacoa at El Rinconcito DF.

I'm totally obsessed with soups right now, and totally over fruit in my guacamole. 

If I could invite five people to dinner, I'd invite Lucille Ball, Frida Kahlo, Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, and Steven McDonald and we'd eat anything that Charleen Badman made us with dessert, of course, by the talented Tracy Dempsey.

I can't cook without my 
farmer because farmer Frank [Martin of Crooked Sky Farms] rules! Without his support, The Joy Bus would cease to exist!

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.

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Lauren Saria
Contact: Lauren Saria