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, Jennifer Tom and Corrie Sharp of Bubby Goober’s
Jen Tom is the mad scientist of this dynamic duo, spending hours researching food history, coming up with new flavor combinations, and writing recipes. She caught the baking bug 10 years ago as a result of a New Year's resolution to learn how to make the perfect chocolate chip cookie. She comes from a long line of pie makers. Her great-grandmother was famous in her town for her gooseberry pie, and her dad bakes a key lime pie that is so good, it's worthy of a plane trip home every Thanksgiving.
Corrie Sharp was born in Indiana and grew up in Southern California, where she first learned to cook by her stepfather's side. She has spent more than 20 years in the restaurant industry, in positions from host to manager and everything in between, so restaurants have become her second home, and her co-workers have turned into family. In addition to managing at Snooze, an A.M. Eatery in Gilbert, she tackles the business side of Bubby Goober's, although she makes the flakiest pie crust you'll ever eat.
What is the first dish you remember fixing yourself at home?
Corrie: Cowboy cake. It's a brown sugar spice cake. I was in junior high and fresh out of Home Ec class. I thought I was a pretty big deal.
Jen: The first dish I made for myself was steamed tofu and vegetables. (Not too complicated!) I was a vegetarian in a house full of serious meat eaters, so I was on my own for meals.
What is the one thing you always had in your kitchen growing up?
Corrie: Ketchup. Can't live without it; however, my stepfather was a chef, so when he cooked dinner, he made me keep it on the floor and out of sight.
Jen: Lithuanian rye bread. My mom is Lithuanian, and there is a large population near Chicago where I'm from, so it was easy to find and absolutely delicious.
What are five essentials in your home kitchen today?
Jen and Corrie: Butter, flour, buttermilk, salt, and sugar. We're always making pie crust!
What is a memorable dish from your childhood and the back story?
Corrie: Every family reunion, my Uncle Don would make sticky buns and beignets. It was the only thing that would get me out of bed early in the morning! They are life-changing.
Jen: My grandparents lived across the country, so every Easter break we would go visit them. My grandmother made the most incredible rolls for all of our family dinners, which were extremely important in her house. They were buttery magic! I have no idea how she baked them perfectly every time.
Who inspired you to become a chef and why?
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Corrie: I have worked in restaurants for over 20 years, so I've been around a lot of inspiring chefs and people. I don't think it's just one person. It's a collaboration of all of the talented people I've met throughout the years. And I just love food!
Jen: I come from a family of food lovers. The first question that always comes up for holidays and special occasions is, "What are we going to eat?" The kitchen was my favorite place growing up, so I could watch my grandparents and parents in action. It felt natural to return to the kitchen in my adult life.
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
Cheryl Standage of PIEfection
Chelsea Gabayan of Fabulous Food
Holly Heizenrader of MacAlpine’s
Virginia Senior of Urban Beans
Mandy Bublitz of Pane Bianco
Omei Eaglerider of Fry’s Cooking School
Casey Hopkins of Welcome Diner
Garrett Verhage of Grassroots Kitchen & Tap