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 last meal in Phoenix will have you drooling on your keyboard.
Tastemaker 42: Barb Harris
Barb Harris began to love cooking as a little girl, receiving her first subscription to Bon Appetit at age ten and watching Julia Child and the Frugal Gourmet on PBS every Saturday morning. She loves to eat out, but most nights find her in the kitchen being creative - either dreaming up something new with what she has in the pantry or dissecting a favorite dish from a local restaurant. To Barb, sharing food is sharing love, whether it's posting recipes and tips on her food blog, FeedingFrenzy; feeding friends and family; or volunteering at hunger-related charities in Phoenix.
I arrived in Phoenix with... my hubby, my toddler daughter, two howling cats and a broken air-conditioner in our Honda Civic (on July 3rd, 1997).
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... my great-grandmother (who made killer potato pancakes), Clinton Kelly (so I'm dressed appropriately for the occasion), my FeedingFrenzy blog partner-in-crime Sharon Kreher, Amy Winehouse (because she was so f'in cool), and comedian Craig Ferguson to keep us all laughing. (I didn't include my hubby as I get to eat with him every night and he's always a dream....)
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... the al pastor tacos at America's Taco Shop, along with a side of beans and a horchata. Everyone wants to eat Mexican food when they come to Phoenix, they might as well eat really good Mexican food...
One menu item this city could do without is... burrata. I don't care who "brought it to town" and yes, it's tasty, but there are other cheeses we should be exploiting...
My last meal in Phoenix would be... a Pimm's Cup and manti (Turkish dumplings) at FnB, Payton Curry's gnocchi with favas and fried egg for the pasta course, Rancho Pinot's Chrysa Robertson's stuffed squash blossoms and lamb with flageolet beans and Meyer lemon for my main, and Tracy Dempsey's Mexican chocolate pot du crème for dessert. Then, after a stop at Citizen Public House for a Midwest Manhattan, I'd head to China Magic Noodle House for a late-night bowl of minced pork with shaved noodles.
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