Chow Bella

95: Eric Schaefer

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 guy with impeccable taste -- and, sometimes, a rather crass mouth.

You might remember Tastemaker Eric Schaefer from his blog ericeatsout.com -- his prediction that whale milk will be big in 2012 comes to mind. Schaefer's fallen silent of late (unless you're lucky enough to be his Facebook friend), but he's still moving and shaking among the local food scene, and we wonder what he'll come up with next. We just hope it doesn't involve whale milk.

I arrived in Phoenix with.... high blood pressure. Although I grew up in Scottsdale, my career took me to Southern California and, ultimately, the Bay Area. Although I never had a bad meal in San Francisco, my technology-boom lifestyle meant that I was either going to die young from a heart attack or lose my mind altogether. Ten years ago, I moved back to Scottsdale, and I have opened my eyes to a community full of culinary promise and potential. When my family initially migrated to Phoenix from the Midwest in the early 1980s, the food scene was dominated by Oscar Taylor's, Lunt Avenue Marble Club, Café Casino, and L'Orangerie. Potato skins were avant-garde. We've come a long way, but I'm still a sucker for a good potato skin.

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