Chow Bella

97: MJ Coe

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, we're breaking bread with a man who makes a lot of it.

Tastemaker 97: MJ Coe We know you know the other Coe, fondant-covered Tammie. But today, we've got the spotlight on certified master baker and owner of MJ Bread, MJ Coe.

Trained in classical French and Italian cuisine, MJ attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. And though MJ's products may not be as pretty to look at as his wife Tammie's cakes, his artisan breads stand testament to his prowess as a baker. With a devotion to quality over quantity, you won't find MJ's breads just anywhere -- but you can snag a taste at favorite Valley spots such as La Grande Orange, The Breadfruit and Postino.

I arrived in Phoenix with... a blatant disregard for sleep and a dream to open an artisan bread bakery.

If sitting down to dinner for six, my five companions would be.... Carl Sagan, Jodie Foster, Stephen Hawking, Isabella Rosselini, and my wife.

One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat... Pino's Pizza al Centro!

One menu item this city could do without... kinda hard to single out one item, but I would like to see more of an emphasis on getting back to simplifying food. More focus on how food actually tastes rather then chefs trying to out-cool each other with what ingredients they manage to incorporate into the dish, cause nine out of 10 times, it just doesn't make sense.

My last meal in Phoenix would be... this is simple: red chili burro, enchilada-style, rice and beans, with chips and a bunch of red salsa from Los Dos Molinos. Hands down, no question, gotta have it!

The Tastemakers so far: 100: Tracy Dempsey 99: Craig DeMarco 98: Lara Mulchay

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