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 man who likely needs no introduction. His restaurants don't, anyway.
Tastemaker 99: Craig DeMarco
Craig and wife, Kris, are founding partners of a treasure trove of eateries: Postino, La Grande Orange, Chelsea's Kitchen, Windsor and Churn. The father of two boys was born in Connecticut . . . And aren't we lucky he ended up here?
I arrived in Phoenix with...my parents in 1980. We came form California, and I was bummed at first but quickly learned to love it here.
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be...Paulo Coelho, Ad Rock, Lance Armstrong, Ari Weinzweig, Mike Ness, and my wife, Kris DeMarco.
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is....Short Leash Hot Dogs.
One menu item this city could do without is...Fried mozzarella sticks.
My last meal in Phoenix would be...FnB.
The Tastemakers so far: 100: Tracy Dempsey
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.