Chow Bella

45: Marco Bianco

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 guy with some real flour power.

Tastemaker 45: Marco Bianco

See also: Flourless Chocolate Cake with Lemon Marmalade at Pane Bianco See also: Bianco's Italian Restaurant: Great Lunch, Great Back-Story

Although he's been in the Valley for two decades, Marco Bianco still has a dash of Big Apple attitude. After all, he was born in New York City and lived in Westchester County, the home of Sing Sing Prison. He worked in New York as graphic designer for 12 years before coming to Phoenix in 1996. Once here, he started foraging and picking up produce for his brother, Chris Bianco, which eventually led him to his current position as bread baker at Pane Bianco.

I arrived in Phoenix with... my Macintosh computer, a quadra-650 with eight megabytes of RAM. That's how I started my art business, and from there I went into the food business.

If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... Thomas Jefferson, Michelangelo, Leonardo DaVinci, Mozart, Wernher Von Braun, and Neil Armstrong.

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... besides Pizzeria Bianco and our restaurants, FnB.

One menu item this city could do without is... oh, that's mean. How about those fried foods at the Arizona State Fair?

My last meal in Phoenix would be... butter and sage sauce with butternut squash gnocchi and smoked ricotta. Or I would go to Rito's -- they make the best burros, then Short Leash Hot Dogs because I love their Oliver with sauerkraut. I would get a pizza at Pizzeria Bianco and Sweet Republic ice cream -- I love anything chocolate. Also, Essence Bakery's French macarons.

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

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