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, all hail the queen.
Tastemaker 92: Silvana Salcido Esparza
From tableside guacamole to mole to caramel-dipped churros, Silvana Salcido Esparza's taken what this town thought it knew about Mexican food, soaked it in tequila and -- well, the rest of the story sticks happily to our waistlines. It wasn't enough to conquer Phoenix, she's moved on to Scottsdale with Barrio Queen. And we can't wait to see what's next.
I arrived in Phoenix with... a suitcase full of dreams and a broken heart (my mother had just passed).
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... Jorge Negrete; Moctezuma; Diego Rivera; my father, Agustîn; and Bill Clinton -- we would smoke cigars and play poker.
One menu item this city could do without is... chimichangas.
My last meal in Phoenix would be... The Wiseguy at Pizzeria Bianco. I mean, really!