Chow Bella

60: Denise Clayton

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 who can get you cookin'.

Tastemaker 60: Denise Clayton

Denise Clayton moved to Phoenix in 1980 from California and worked as a preschool administrator before becoming a full-time nanny in 2000. Four years ago, she chose to follow her passion for food into a new career as a personal chef and caterer. For the past two years, she has lived in the Roosevelt Row arts district with her husband, Jay, and she says they are constantly inspired and amazed at the creative buzz that permeates the neighborhood. Clayton teaches a wide range of cooking classes, from canning to tamale-making out of her living/working space downtown. You can get more information on her Facebook page.