From now until we publish the 2016 edition of Best of Phoenix, New Times is naming 100 Tastemakers — members of our local culinary community who help shape the way we eat, drink, and think about food in Phoenix. Some you'll know, and for others, it'll be a first introduction, but each person on our list deserves a nod for helping make our city so delicious. Oh, and while you're here, be sure to check out our list of 100 Creatives.
Next up, a man who brought Southern-style seafood to the middle of the desert.
90. Daniel Sevilla of Angry Crab Shack
There may have been a time when desert dwellers didn't trust any edible sea creatures found in Arizona. But that's clearly water under the bridge these days, as evidenced by the ever-packed dining rooms at Daniel Sevilla's Angry Crab restaurants.
Sevilla is owner and chief operating officer of the Angry Crab Shack, a mini-empire of Cajun-style seafood restaurants that started with a single location in Mesa but has since spawned locations in Phoenix, Ahwatukee, Goodyear, and Peoria. Prior to opening one of the Valley's most well-loved spots to don a plastic bib, Sevilla spent 10 years in Los Angeles managing and consulting for new restaurant opens.
Sevilla's favorite beverages are strong black coffee and or a chilled glass of vodka, and when he's not hobnobbing at one of his five restaurants, you can usually find him lake fishing with his brothers and enjoying the Arizona outdoors.
Today he dishes on the hardest thing about owning a restaurant.
Mt go-to place for summer time chill-down in Phoenix is SNOH.
The best kept secret in Phoenix is Da Vang for Vietnamese food.
The hardest thing about owning a restaurant is staffing because a great work ethic is hard to find.
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The most memorable meal I've had in Phoenix was at Beckett's Table. His simplicity and local focus is very refreshing.
I'd be delighted if I never ate another plate of cottage cheese. It's definitely not for me.
The 2016 Tastemakers so far:
100. Aaron Chamberlin of St. Francis and Phoenix Public Market Cafe
99. Ross Simon of Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
98. Debby Wolvos of DW Photography
97. Anibal and Salem Beyene of Café Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant
96. Bo Mostow of Uptown Farmers Market
95. Julian Wright of Pedal Haus Brewery
94. Stephen Jones of The Larder + The Delta
93. Eric Glomski of Page Spring Cellars
92. Richard Bock of Giuseppe's on 28th
91. Walter Sterling of Ocotillo