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Chefs, What Are Your Three Favorite Local Products Right Now?

Welcome to Chow Bella's Bites & Dishes, where Valley chefs and restaurateurs respond to a question New Times food critic Laura Hahnefeld has on her mind. Have a question you'd like to ask? E-mail laura.hahnefeld@newtimes.com.

Whether it's a farmers market find, some local love at the grocery store, or a made-here goodie from a neighborhood food festival, there's no shortage of Arizona-grown products to keep our taste buds happy.

No one knows this better than Valley chefs, many of whom have been leading the charge in helping to bring local products to our tables for years.

What are their top three favorite local products at the moment? Get ready to start shopping -- from produce, cheese, bread, meat, adult libations, and other foodstuffs, these of-the-moment local picks might be your next procurement.

See also: - Is the Recession Over for Restaurants? - Chefs, What's Your Favorite Ice Cream?

Chef Matt Taylor, Market Street Kitchen

Pigs, lamb, and goats from Brad Payne. I've known Brad for years. and it's really cool to see how much he has grown as a purveyor/farmer in the past decade.

Greg LaPrad, Chef and Owner, Overland Trout, Sonoita

Farmer's cheese from Rainbow Valley, goose eggs from Two Wash Ranch, and El Campo red wine from Dos Cabezas.

Chef Ehren Litzenberger BLD Chandler

Bob McClendon's arugula is amazing. It has the best, most bright peppery flavor. Second is the breakfast sausage from Schreiner's. And lastly, the bacon focaaccia from Bread Crafters. Becky makes the best bread in the East Valley, hands down.

Gio Osso, Chef and Owner, Virtu

Prickly pears would have to be one. They grow all over southern Italy, so they remind me of my childhood and I usually get them from my friend's yard. Local peaches from Schnepf Farms have also been amazing the past couple of years. And lastly, goat cheese! Crows Dairy has been making some really interesting stuff that is creative and flavorful.

Romeo Taus Chef and Owner, Romeo's Euro Cafe

Spicy pickles from Pickled Perfection; orange Roma tomatoes from One Windmill Farm; and Arizona mesquite honey and bee pollen from Made By Bees.

Aaron May Chef and Restaurateur

Hickman's eggs -- we serve so many at the Over Easy locations and it's the only egg I use; the pomegranate green tea from Maya Tea in Tucson; and the bratwurst at Schreiner's is really fantastic.

Chef Gregory Wiener, Top of the Rock

Four Peaks Sunbru -- perfect for sipping outside on a hot summer day; AZ Gunslinger Chipotle Habanero Pepper Sauce; and Mediterra's Mt. Athos Fire Bread.

Joe Johnston, Restaurateur

Dos Cabezas El Campo because this complex red wine expresses the terroir of Sonoita in an altogether satisfying way and of national-class craftsmanship; The Pork Shop pepper-cured bacon because it's perhaps the best bacon I've eaten anywhere; and Hayden Flour Mills' Sonoran White Wheat Pancake Mix because it makes the best pancakes ever and supports local farmers of heritage grain.

Guido Saccone, Chef and Partner, Cibo

Sam Pillsbury's Roan Red; Schreiner's Sicilian sausage; and milk chocolate chip cookies from Urban Cookies.

Rick Phillips, Owner, Bootleggers

Modern Moonshine: It's a cold-pressed coffee made by DJ Fernandes (Tuck Shop, Vovomeena, Astor House). Kaleidoscope cold-pressed juices: I just love that it's a mother daughter team (Andrea and Alexandra Maw) who literally put it all on the line and created a high-end product that's both nutritious and delicious. John's Premium Tonic: Also a relative of Tuck Shop, John Cavanagh created this handmade tonic syrup.

Chef Maurice Gordon, The Westin Phoenix Downtown

Chile-infused extra-virgin olive oil from Queen Creek Olive Mill, Oak Creek Amber Ale, and plantain focaccia from Mediterra Bakehouse.

Chef Justin Beckett, Chef and Owner, Beckett's Table

I'm a big fan of Crow's Dairy peppered feta cheese, McClendon Select's heirloom tomatoes, and Noble Bread - really any flavor is delicious but the seeded millet loaf in particular is awesome.

Chef Dustin Christofolo, The House at Secret Garden

Rainbow Valley mascarpone; Maya's Farm squash blossoms; and pork belly from The Meat Shop.

Eddie Castillo Chef and Co-Owner, AZ Food Crafters

Goat milk feta from Crow's Dairy, so fresh and tasty and their flavored cheeses are yummy as well; spicy pickled mushrooms from Pickled Perfection (once you open a jar it's hard not to conquer the whole thing); and local honey.

Bill Sandweg Owner, Copper Star Coffee

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Schreiner's Knockwurst, Four Peaks Hop Knot, and Hickman's eggs.

Christopher Costantino, Chef and Owner, Costantino's Kitchen

Dr. Hummus garlic pita chips; Amaretto cheesecake from Rick's NYCheesecakes; and delicious cakepops from Cake Pops by Sal.

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