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 family man.
Tastemaker 62: Brandon Gauthier
Brandon Gauthier began his culinary career washing dishes at 14 -- and he's been in the kitchen ever since. He graduated from Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 2002 and landed a job with Kevin Binkley at Crew, where he remained for a year before moving to Michigan. He returned when Chef Binkley was preparing to open his namesake restaurant. After working as sous chef at Binkley's for three years, Gauthier opened Cafe Bink as the chef. Three years later, he was promoted to chef de cuisine for the Binkley's Restaurant Group and now oversees both Cafe Bink and Binkley's Restaurant.
I arrived in Phoenix with... my family when I was 16 years old and I hated it.
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream companions would be... my wife Victoria, author John Gierach, Chef Fergus Henderson, professional fly fisherman Jeff Currier, and Chef Ferran Adria.
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... Shin Bay.
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One menu item this city could do without is... poorly made salsa.
My last meal in Phoenix would be... at my parents' house with my mother cooking and the whole family around the table.
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