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5 Best Chef and Tell Interviews of 2013

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We consider ourselves pretty lucky to get to sit and chat with some of the Valley biggest, brightest and best culinary minds each week. This week we're taking a break to look back at some of the most memorable Chef and Tell interviews of 2013.

See all of the Chef and Tell interviews so far here.

Marco Bianco, Bread Baker Pizzeria Bianco 623 East Adams Street

This is the first part of our interview with Marco Bianco, the bread baker for the Bianco restaurants. Today, we get the scoop on Arizona's heirloom wheat and Bianco's thoughts about bread's big comeback. Be sure to return tomorrow when he dishes on his brother Chris -- the pizza savant -- as a child and how their parents met.

Read more here.

Marco, Jinette and Edmundo Meraz Owners and chef Republica Empanada

This is part one of our interview with the Meraz family, the folks behind Republica Empanada, the Latin American eatery that opened in downtown Mesa in June. Owners Jinette (she's also the chef) and Edmundo join their son Marco, who serves as general manager, to talk about why they chose the midcentury building in downtown Mesa and how much the city has changed during the past four decades. Be sure to come back Tuesday for part two, when Marco tells the story about how Chris Bianco inspired him to open his own restaurant.

Read more here.

Kevin Lentz Chef, Owner French Grocery

This week we sit down with Kevin Lentz, owner of French Grocery in Phoenix. The market, which opened this summer, offers a friendly neighborhood spot to get everything from gelato to French press coffee -- roasted locally in Tempe. Today Lentz, a Southern boy who spent most of his adult life in New Orleans, tells us about how he got the idea to open a French-Creole grocery and gives the scoop on where you have to eat when you make it to the Big Easy. Don't forget to come back tomorrow for the second part of the interview, in which Lentz spills the beans on how he got started in the biz and his not-so-secret passion for Old World wines.

Read more here.

Sacha Levine Cook Rancho Pinot, FnB Restaurant,

This is part one of our interview with Sacha Levine of both Rancho Pinot and FnB Restaurant. When she's not serving as wingwoman for her mentors Chrysa Robertson and Charleen Badman, she's pickling all sorts of seasonal veggies and things for her line of products called Green Thumb. Today, Levine, a tatted-up feminist and self-identified crybaby, tells us how she ended up at FnB and explains why she's not into the social media thing. Don't forget to come back tomorrow to get the scoop on her future plans and her hilarious thoughts on the Food Network.

(Levine has since become sous chef at Quiessence at The Farm at South Mountain.)

Read more here.

Eugenia Theodosopoulos Owner/chef Essence Bakery and Café

It's been a busy few weeks for Essence Bakery owner and chef Eugenia Theodosopoulos as she's opened her bakery's second location, in Central Phoenix. Known for making delicate French-style pastries and light breakfast and lunch fare, Essence Bakery has been a Francophile's dream come true since opening back in 2007. We caught up with Theodosopoulos to find out more about the new location, the building and the history -- and to get the scoop on the gigantic stand mixer that graces the entryway. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the second part of our interview, when we learn more about what she has planned for Essence Bakery's future.

Read more here.

Check out our past Chef and Tell interviews with: Cullen Campbell - Crudo Mel Mecinas - Four Seasons Scottsdale at Troon North Meagan Micozzi - Scarletta Bakes Tyson Holzheimer and Joe Strelnik - Snooze, an A.M. Eatery Paul McCabe - T. Cook's at the Royal Palms Eugenia Theodosopoulos - Essence Bakery Cafe Eddie Hantas - Hummus Xpress Jay Bogsinke - St. Francis Dustin Christofolo - Quiessence Blaise and DJ Aki - The Sushi Room Sacha Levine - Rancho Pinot and FnB Andrew Nienke - Cafe Monarch Kevin Lentz - French Grocery Aurore de Beauduy - Vogue Bistro Justin Olsen - Bink's Midtown Marco, Jinette, and Edmundo Meraz - Republica Empanada Brian Peterson - Cork Brian Webb - Hey Joe! Filipino Street Food Lester Gonzalez - Cowboy Ciao Renetto-Mario Etsitty - Tertio German Sega - Roka Akor Marco Bianco - Pizzeria Bianco Brad and Kat Moore - Short Leash Hot Dogs and Sit...Stay

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