Pie Social

Julie Moreno of Jewel's Bakery & Cafe: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fifth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets. 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 through a quick Pie.Q. quiz to test their baking prowess.

Today: Julie Moreno of Jewel's Bakery & Cafe

"That's my motto, 'It better be as good or better,'" Julie Moreno says of her approach to baking gluten-free sweets. And thankfully for all those who can't eat gluten, she really means it. Moreno's cucakes, macarons, and more are so good you'd never known there's anything missing.

It's been almost a year since the mother and former homebaker opened Jewel's Bakery & Café in Arcadia and during that time Moreno says she's established a strong following of people who love the sweet and savory eats coming out of her scratch kitchen. In addition to serving breakfast, lunch, and brunch, Jewel's now offers grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, pre-made gluten-free baking mixes, as well as monthly classes in gluten-free cooking. The Pie Social veteran hasn't yet decided what she'll be baking for this year's competition, but you can rest-assured it will gluten-free.

See also: Joshua Nelson of Jobot Coffee: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

It's 15 minutes until Pie Social and you drop a pie: What do you do?

See if there's any left to scoop up? I'll bring extra pie.

What's the single most important tool in pie making?

A good crust. You have to hold it in there.

What's the most important ingredient in a pie crust?

Jewel's All-Purpose Flour

What's the secret to the perfect fruit filling consistency?

Not using too much thickener, just the right amount.

Hand pie, pie in a jar, or no mini pies EVER?

We do all of those but I like mini-pies. They're so cute.

What's on your pie-making playlist?

The bakers always play crazy music. I don't ever get to use my playlist!

What will be the next big pie trend?

I saw pies baked inside of cakes. That was weird. Someone in New York does it. Don't you think it will catch on? (laughing) No...I have no idea! I don't think that will really take off. It's just weird.

You have to make 100 pies in 5 hours. Who you gonna call for help?

All of my awesome bakers.

How do you spend your down time while your pies are in the oven?

I don't have down time.

In one word, what's your strategy for competing as a celebrity baker this year?

Can I say kick-ass? Is that one word?

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