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 man with strong feelings about Rocky Mountain Oysters.
Tastemaker 66: Dave Anderson
Originally from Kansas, Dave Anderson arrived in the Valley in the mid-'90s from Washington, D.C., and founded the Cave Creek Coffee Company & Wine bar. After selling "C4" in 2007, Anderson began to focus on roasting estate grown organic coffee for the Valley's finest dining establishments under the name of Roastery of Cave Creek (a.k.a. Roc2). Driven by his "mad scientist" desire to roast coffee, Anderson formed an alliance with Nationwide Gourmet to provide the Valley restaurants and coffeehouses with fresh/local/organic coffee and tea. He also enjoys designing and building custom steel furniture -- you can see some of his "industrial/contemporary/vintage" work at Baratin.
I arrived in Phoenix (Cave Creek) with... a desire to enjoy the laid-back life style of the Southwest, the quirky vibe in Cave Creek, and to open a unique business. C4 was a coffee bar/roastery, wine bar and outdoor music venue featuring national musicians such as Shawn Colvin, Rickie Lee Jones, Shawn Mullins, Patty Griffin, Sugarland and many more.
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... Alison Johnson (because she is my sweetie and brightens up any dining experience), Mark Tarbell (because he has had such an impact on the Valley's food culture), George Clooney (because he is George Clooney and undoubtedly would add some levity to the experience), Joni Mitchell (because I've been a fan for 40 years and she would broaden the dimension of the experience), and Anthony Bourdain (no explanation required).
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... this one is tough for me, the Valley has so many GREAT restaurants. Cartwrights -- it is off the beaten culinary path, but worth the trip to Cave Creek. Great steak & seafood (grilled over mesquite) and the bar has a "Cheers" like atmosphere. I dream about their Creekstone Farms bone-in Ribeye!
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One menu item this city could do without is... mountain oysters.
My last meal in Phoenix would be... glutinous, but I'd start with a double order of FnB's Rock Shrimp & Citizens Public House's Pork Belly Pastrami, a Cartwright's bone-in rib eye (medium rare, but leaning toward rare) with three or four jumbo prawns, scallloped potatoes, and sautéed green beans. I'd finish with a mixing bowl of cheese cake citrus/ice cream from Beckett's Table paired with three or four of Chrysa Robertson/Rancho Pinot's pecan bars with a cup of black Roc2 coffee. Then i would be ready to lay down.... My carry-out bag as I was leaving town would have a couple of Mark Tarbell's double-cut pork chops wrapped up . . . maybe three or four.
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