Chow Bella

50: Maya Dailey

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: A woman whose name is synonymous with a bright bouquet of farm-fresh flowers.

Tastemaker 50: Maya Dailey

If you've been to a Phoenix-area farmers market, then you probably already know of Maya Dailey, owner of Maya's Farm. When she's not using her magical green thumb to coax fresh produce from our desert soil, she stays active in the community through her work with Slow Foods Phoenix and the local nonprofit Community Food Connection. Maya consistently develops her knowledge of Slow Food's Ark of Taste program and immerses herself in the education of biodiversity, cultural diversity and native seed work.

I arrived in Phoenix with... the mission to educate Phoenicians and Arizonans about clean, fair, and safe agricultural practices and the importance of supporting small local farms.

If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... Mick Jagger, Carlo Petrini, Mother Teresa, Jacques Cousteau, Cindy Gentry, and Gary Nabhan.

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... Rancho Pinot Grill.

One menu item this city could do without is... gringo red and green chile.

My last meal in Phoenix would be... a cowboy steakout with grass-fed beef, country western and salsa music, dancing and margaritas in the Superstition Mountains with friends, family, and community.

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

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