Chow Bella

89: Christopher Gross

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 chef who strikes terror in geese near and far.

Tastemaker 89: Christopher Gross

Next up, we have a man who needs little introduction: Chef Christopher Gross of Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge. In 1995, Gross won the prestigious James Beard Award for Best Chef of the Southwest and just two years later became the first chef in Arizona to win the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence. He and his recipes have appeared in numerous cookbooks, including the Julia Child PBS series and cookbook In the Kitchen with Master Chefs. He also is co-founder of the annual charity event "Flavors of Phoenix," now in its 21st year and in more than 24 cities.

I arrived in Phoenix mom, a Ford Falcon, and a TV.

If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be...Sir Richard Branson, Salvador Dali, Steve Jobs, Stanley Kubrick, and Terry Gilliam.

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is...Petite Maison in Scottsdale.

One menu item this city could do without is...anything foam. My girlfriend says it looks like dog vomit.

My last meal in Phoenix would be...with my girlfriend, a great bottle of champagne, and caviar.

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 Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest.

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