Fabian and Julie Ocampo and their South American food truck, Que Sazon, moved recently to Maricopa County from St. Louis.
Fabian and Julie Ocampo and their South American food truck, Que Sazon, moved recently to Maricopa County from St. Louis.
Stephanie Funk

8 Players in the Phoenix Culinary Scene You Need to Know

Fabian and Julie Ocampo of Que Sazon Food Truck
Fabian Ocampo learned to cook during his childhood in Colombia, when he, his mother, and grandmother often prepared large, communal meals for family, friends, and neighbors.
He and his wife, Julie Ocampo, now operate Que Sazon with that same food-and-family ethos and those same flavors: generous amounts of cumin, a variety of meats and sausages, and herbaceous chimichurri on everything.

Chef Akos Szabo
Chef Akos Szabo
Courtesy of Found:RE

Akos Szabo of Match
Born in Burbank, California, to a Guatemalan mother and Hungarian father, Akos Szabo remained in California until he was 13, after which he toured the world, with stops in Mexico, Massachusetts, Guatemala, Indiana, and Chicago. He kept an eye peeled on cuisine in each of those places, eventually settling in Arizona where he attended culinary school.

Scott Conant: celebrity chef, TV star, and newly minted Phoenician.
Scott Conant: celebrity chef, TV star, and newly minted Phoenician.
Scott Conant on Moving to Phoenix and Opening Mora Italian

Scott Conant of Mora Italian
Celebrity chef Scott Conant started cooking as a teenager, and he takes inspiration from his Italian-American upbringing. But as Conant is quick to clarify, he doesn't do "traditional" Italian fare. He mixes and matches different ingredients from different parts of Italy, creating a style all his own.

Breann and Ben Bowman of Simple Soda Co. in Mesa
“There’s something about Mesa that we really like,” says Breann Bowman of Simple Soda Co. “There’s a lot of character that’s just waiting to be uncovered. It’s just a matter of the right people coming in and fixing it up again."

Bryan McCormick (left) and Noel Garcia (right) of 12 West Brewing Co.
Bryan McCormick (left) and Noel Garcia (right) of 12 West Brewing Co.
Noel Garcia of 12 West Brewing Co.

Noel Garcia of 12 West Brewing Co.
Though 12 West is brand new, Noel Garcia has been making beer and taking notes from pros for more than nine years. “I took home brewing really serious to the point that I wanted to become professional,” he says. A taste of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at the tender age of 20 sparked an obsession.

The ramen ronin: Brian Webb stands before Hot Noodles' hand-written menu.
The ramen ronin: Brian Webb stands before Hot Noodles' hand-written menu.
Robert Isenberg

Brian Webb of Hot Noodles Cold Sake
If you think ramen has to be a hard square that you soften in the microwave, Brian Webb is here to change your mind. The Bay Area native grew up eating Asian dishes, and he's passionate about his ramen bowls.

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