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Sandra Felicidad Cervera Gallardo smiles as she fries stuffed bell peppers outside of her house.EXPAND
Sandra Felicidad Cervera Gallardo smiles as she fries stuffed bell peppers outside of her house.
José-Ignacio Castañeda

Seven Stories Celebrating Women in the Phoenix Food World

It may have felt like it less in 2020 than in recent years, but March has been Women's History Month. Obviously, a serious, unprecedented pandemic told hold of our attention spans and hasn’t let go, but a number of female-focused stories still shone through — many of which as a result of the coronavirus.

Let’s take a look back at some of the more recent and impressive stories we’ve seen about women in Phoenix’s food world — each heralding that "each for equal" message.

'Meet the Glendale Woman Appearing on Andrew Zimmern’s New Show'

“I sincerely didn’t like cooking," Sandra Felicidad Cervera Gallardo says, confessing to her feelings toward the stove earlier in life, when living in Mexico City. Now, Cervera Gallardo resides in Glendale, owns Felicidad Catering, and was featured this month on the MSNBC limited series What’s Eating America — hosted by award-winning chef Andrew Zimmern.

Pastry Chef Christine Conner showcases her Ocean 44 dessert creations.EXPAND
Pastry Chef Christine Conner showcases her Ocean 44 dessert creations.
Prime Steak Concepts

'Spotlight: Pastry Chef Christine Conner of Ocean 44, Steak 44, and Dominick's Steakhouse'

How did Christine Conner rise to the role of head pastry chef for Prime Steak Concepts? By first struggling in a college accounting class. Then, after enrolling in the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Conner thought she’d become a butcher. Now, a natural love for baking and experimentation motivates the pastry chef at Ocean 44, Steak 44, and Dominick's Steakhouse.

The Colfax, CA cocktail with seasonal offerings from Chef Sacha Levine.EXPAND
The Colfax, CA cocktail with seasonal offerings from Chef Sacha Levine.
Jackie Mercandetti Photo

'Review: Century Grand — the Highest-Velocity Bar Eats in Town'

We started our review of Century Grand, the Arcadia cocktail bar and dining experience, strong: “Century Grand might be one of the most exceptional food and drink experiences in town.” Chef Sacha Levine is behind the stoves at Century Grand — meaning the food has the creativity, range, and history (to go with the 1920s theme) to match the wild cocktails. See why we think Levine is one of the Valley’s top talents with vegetables and seasonal bounty.

Rancho Pinot was one of the first restaurants to shut down its dining rooms because of the coronavirus.EXPAND
Rancho Pinot was one of the first restaurants to shut down its dining rooms because of the coronavirus.
Jackie Mercandetti Photo

'Closed, for Now: The Dining Rooms at FnB Restaurant and Rancho Pinot'

FnB Restaurant and Rancho Pinot, two of the Phoenix area’s most regarded eateries, were two of the first restaurants to shut down the dining rooms due to the coronavirus. Both establishments are home to well-known female co-owners and chefs — Charleen Badman at FnB and Chrysa Robertson at Rancho Pino. Since, both businesses have gone one step further, completely shuttering operations to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Leslie Silverglide is the co-founder and CEO of MIXT.EXPAND
Leslie Silverglide is the co-founder and CEO of MIXT.
Rudri Bhatt Patel

'Talking With CEO Leslie Silverglide on the Now-Open MIXT in Scottsdale Quarter'

This idea for MIXT, the new fast-casual eatery at Scottsdale Quarter focusing on healthy but filling meals, was born out of discontent from CEO and co-founder Leslie Silverglide. "I was frustrated I couldn't find a high-quality meal that was less fussy than a fine dining establishment," she tells us. See how the California-based restaurant concept rose to success with Silverglide at the helm.

Chef Danielle Leoni was quick to start the Arizona Small Restaurant Coalition.EXPAND
Chef Danielle Leoni was quick to start the Arizona Small Restaurant Coalition.
Danielle Leoni

''Prevent a Total Collapse': Arizona Restaurants Ask Ducey for Action'

Dine-in service for restaurants in the city of Phoenix was nixed at 8 p.m. on March 18. That included The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, co-owned by Chef Danielle Leoni. While Leoni supports the decision made by Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, she quickly initiated the Arizona Small Restaurant Coalition, beginning with a message to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “We are calling on you and the State Legislature to take decisive actions to address the impact of this catastrophe on our industry and prevent a total collapse of one of Arizona's greatest economic engines,” it reads. As of now, more than 1,100 names have been added.

If you know the story, you may be less quick to toss it, says chef Danielle Leoni.EXPAND
If you know the story, you may be less quick to toss it, says chef Danielle Leoni.
Chris Malloy

'Table Scraps: Know the Story of Your Food, Says Chef Danielle Leoni'

Before the dining spaces were closed for Phoenix restaurants, Leoni talked with us about running a sustainable restaurant and her thoughts on better shopping and cooking to reduce food waste. But it really comes down to knowing the story behind what’s on our cutting boards, and how to better embrace your relationship with food.

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