From now 'til we publish the 2012 edition of Best of Phoenix, New Times and Chow Bella present 100 Tastemakers -- Valley residents who make the cut in our culinary scene. Some you'll know; for others, it'll be a first introduction (but likely not the last). While you're here, check out our 100 Creatives on Jackalope Ranch.
Today: Belly up to the rum bar.
Tastemaker 36: Dwayne Allen
In a previous life, Dwyane Allen was a computer systems engineer, but since moving to the Phoenix suburbs in 1992, he's established himself as Phoenix's own rum royalty. After falling in love with downtown in 2002, Allen opened The Breadfruit with co-owner Danielle Leoni, and in 2011 they added Rum Bar at the Breadfruit to the mix. Together, the two spots create a Caribbean oasis in the heart of downtown.
I arrived in Phoenix with... a heavy Jamaican accent and no idea what Taco Bell was.
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... My grandma who lives in Jamaica so I get to see once per year, and Danielle's grandma, the quintessential Italian lady from Illinois. They would insist on cooking so it would be a thrill to experience what these two matriarchs would serve up on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I'd through in three of your food critics, who shall remain nameless, to see what they'd write about... It would be a great way for me to get a proper gauge of their palates with some seriously good food.
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... Nobuo at Teeter House. I'd need at least three days' notice so I can reserve a bento box or two.
One menu item this city could do without is... bacon... It just too easy!
My last meal in Phoenix would be... cinnamon buns at St. Francis -- sweet, soft, warm and fluffy with the perfect amount of gooey. This thing has all that could ever be right with consuming so much sugar.
The Tastemakers so far: 100: Tracy Dempsey 99: Craig DeMarco 98: Lara Mulchay 97: M.J. Coe 96: Betty Alatorre de Hong 95: Eric Schaefer 94: Hanna Gabrielsson 93: Shinji Kurita 92: Silvana Salcido Esparza 91: Mike Pitt 90: Christina Barrueta 89: Christopher Gross 88: Jan Wichayanuparp and Helen Yung 87: DJ Fernandes 86: Cullen Campbell 85: Chris Lee 84. Gwen Ashley Walters 83: Tony Morales 82: Lylah Ledner 81: Andrea White 80: Lori Hashimoto 79. Mrs. White 78: Eugenia Theodosopolous 77: Lou & Lovey Borenstein 76: Anthony Patafio 75: Carl Seacat 74: Sacha Levine 73: Sharon Salomon 72: Johnny Chu 71: Susie Timm 70: Jason Silberschlag 69: Gina Miller 68: Cindy Gentry 67: Amy Binkley 66: Dave Anderson 65: Mark Tarbell 64: Marianne Belardi 63: Audrey Lasalle 62: Brandon Gauthier 61: Brad and Kat Moore 60: Denise Clayton 59: Nobuo Fukuda 58: Richie Moe 57: Robin Trick 56: Alberto Della Casa and Letizia de Lucia 55: Farah Khalid 54: Dave Andrea 53: Vincent Guerithault 52: Danielle Leoni 51: Stan Zawatski 50: Maya Dailey 49: Duc Liao 48: Lisa Reinhardt 47: Isam Saed 46: Greg Peterson 45: Marco Bianco 44: Mark Fratu 43: Wendell Crow 42. Barb Harris 41: Michael Perry 40: Jeff Kraus 39: Ryan Avery 38: Charleen Badman 37: Damon Brasch