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 who makes the cookie her canvas.
Tastemaker 69: Gina Miller
What started as a love for baking in a junior high cooking class, turned into a custom cookie business for cookie artist and owner of AZ Cookie Love: Gina Miller. She began baking uniquely decorated cookies for family and friends; as word of her custom designs spread, people began calling with orders. Each order of cookies she creates is unique and designed especially for the intended recipient with her favorite being the "Your Life in Cookies" collection, a design where Miller creates cookies that depict the special moments in people's lives.
I arrived in Phoenix with... my husband and our two kids under the age of 5 in the summer of 1998.
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... my husband and my three kids. Life is so busy right now that I can never have enough family time. My fifth dining companion would be my mom, who passed away in 2006. She shared my love for collecting recipes. I miss her so much.
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... Pomegranate Café in Ahwatukee. They create amazing vegan and vegetarian meals and beverages. I'm not vegan or vegetarian, but I think they could convert me. They support our local farmers, their menu is ever-changing and just thinking about their food right now is making my mouth water.
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One menu item this city could do without is... nachos
My last meal in Phoenix would be... Grandma G's Rosemary Chicken Potato Pizza at Oregano's. Red pepper pesto, roasted garlic chicken, diced Roma tomatoes, gorgonzola, sliced potatoes, Havarti, caramelized onions. Need I say more?
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