Pie Social

Eddie Castillo of AZ Food Crafters: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2014

Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fifth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 15, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one through a quick Pie.Q. quiz to test their baking prowess.

Today: Eddie Castillo of AZ Food Crafters

Eddie Castillo isn't afraid to take chances. As a man fresh off of a life-changing, empanada-filled vacation to Costa Rica, he decided it was high time that he start his own hand pie business. One year later, AZ Food Crafters was popping up with piping hot pies at farmers markets across the Valley.

Although Castillo has a brick and mortar location now and is even serving up the crème brulée recipe developed by the now defunct Torched Goodness truck, he's still ready to shake things up. He wouldn't say for sure if that meant he'd go the admirable, yet intimidating savory route with his competing pie this year, but he did say that his favorite pie at AZ Food Crafters is El Cubano, which combines ham, citrus pulled pork, and a handmade relish.

See also: 9 Tips for Making the Best Pie Ever

It's 15 minutes until Pie Social and you drop a pie: What do you do? If it's just one, I'd move on. I have 15.

What's the single most important tool in pie making? Your hands.

What's the most important ingredient in a pie crust? Butter.

What's the secret to the perfect fruit filling consistency? The right ratio of your thickening agent. I use tapioca or corn starch.

Hand pie, pie in a jar, or no mini pies EVER? Hand pies, obviously, though I do like pies in a jar.

What's on your pie-making playlist? Dave Matthews Band.

What will be the next big pie trend? Meat. Savory pies.

You have to make 100 pies in 5 hours. Who you gonna call for help? Mikey (Castillo's other baker at AZ Food Crafters).

How do you spend your down time while your pies are in the oven? Planning the next thing. If I'm at home, I'll have a glass of wine.

In one word, what's your strategy for competing as a celebrity baker this year? Crush.

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Heather Hoch is a music, food, and arts writer based in Tucson. She enjoys soup, scotch, Electric Light Orchestra, and walking her dog, Frodo.
Contact: Heather Hoch