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.
35. Jan Bracamonte of J. Lauren PR & Marketing
Jan Bracamonte started J. Lauren PR just over five years ago, although she's been in the PR business for almost 15 years. The boutique public relations, social media, and marketing firm is based in Tempe and specializes in luxury and lifestyle brands in the restaurant, hospitality, retail, banking, and luxury real estate industries. With clients from places including Arizona, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Mexico, Bracamonte counts some of the state’s best-known chefs and restaurants as clients — names like T. Cook's at the Royal Palms Resort, chef Aaron Chamberlin, and Sedona chef Lisa Dahl of Mariposa, Dahl & Di Luca, Cucina Rustica, and Pisa Lisa.
"My secret talent is knowing where to eat, what to eat, and who to ask for in almost every city I’ve ever visited," Bracamonte says. "On a personal note, my 2-year-old son, Oliver, is a picky eater, and it’s really cramping my style."
Today she dishes on her social media pet peeve and her culinary guilty pleasure.
My go-to place for date night with my husband, Anthony in Phoenix is Pizzeria Bianco at Town & Country on Camelback. We never order the pizza, only whatever is on special that day. I check out Chris [Bianco's] Instagram before going to see what's cooking. Dessert is always a must — the tres leches cake with cream cheese frosting is a life-changer.
The best-kept secret in Phoenix is Sourdough Pizza in east Mesa. Go for the #14 pizza with a level 10 on the fresh-diced jalapenos.
My social media pet peeve is when people post amazing food photos, but don't tag the location.
My kitchen isn't complete without takeout menus. Very little cooking actually happens in my kitchen, but no one orders better takeout than me. Plus, a giant can of red chili flakes from the Asian market (which excessively garnishes said takeout).
My culinary guilty pleasure is I'm an over-orderer. I'm an "I'll take everyone on the left side of the menu" type of girl. I can never decide, and have an irrational fear of missing something good.
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
90. Daniel Sevilla of Angry Crab Shack
89. Doug Robson of Gallo Blanco and Otro Cafe
88. LaDawn Driscoll of Liberty Market
87. Jason Calhoon of The Shop Beer Co. and Side Kick Cold Brew
86. Tim and Kim Cobb of United Lunchadores Street Gourmet
85. Micah Olson of Bar Crudo and Okra Cookhouse and Cocktails
84. Paola Embry of Christopher's + Crush and The Wrigley Mansion
83. Jared Porter of The Clever Koi
82. Diane Corieri of Evening Entertainment Group
81. Erich Schultz of Steadfast Farm
80. Jeff and Leah Huss of Huss Brewing Company
79. Aaron Pool of Gadzooks Enchiladas and Soup
78. Diana Santospago of The Maine Lobster Lady food truck
77. Gio Osso of Virtu Honest Craft and Nico Heirloom Kitchen
76. Lauren Bailey of Upward Projects
75. Rodney Hu of Arizona Distilling Company and Yucca Tap Room
74. Jacob Cutino of Homeboy's Hot Sauce
73. Country and Sergio Velador of Super Chunk Sweets and Treats
72. Dean Thomas of Cornish Pasty Co.
71. Jennifer Caraway of The Joy Bus
70. Scott Holmes of Little Miss BBQ
69. Jared Allen of Proof Artisan Breads
68. Steve McFate of McFate Brewing Company
67. Mel Mecinas of Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North
66. Jessa and Dan Koppenhofer of Gilbert Farmers Market
65. Todd and Kelly Bostock of Dos Cabezas WineWorks
64. Ryan Probst of Odelay Bagel Co.
63. Diana Brandt of AZFoodie
62. Benjamin Butler of Hayden Flour Mills
61. Jim and Maureen Elitzak of Zak's Chocolate
60. Michael Babcock of Welcome Diner and Welcome Chicken + Donuts
59. Nick Ambeliotis of Mediterra Bakehouse
58. Peter Kasperski of Cowboy Ciao and Kazimierz World Wine Bar
57. Kimber Stonehouse of LGO Hospitality
56. David Tyda of EATERAZ and Arizona Taco Festival
55. Pavle Milic of FnB
54. Pat Christofolo of Santa Barbara Catering Company and The Farm at South Mountain
53. Brandon Casey of The Ostrich
52. Jonathan Buford of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
51. Sasha Raj of 24 Carrots
50. Rob Fullmer of Arizona Craft Brewers Guild
49. Bill and Lillian Buitenhuys of AZ Bitters Lab
48. Ramona Button of Ramona Farms
47. Justin Piazza of La Piazza Al Forno and La Piazza PHX
46. Andrew Gooi of Food Talkies
45. Jason Raducha of Noble Bread and Noble Eatery
44. Ty Largo of Awe Collective
43. Christopher Gross of Christopher's and Crush Lounge
42. Heidi Lee of Into The Soup
41. ET Rivera of Tres Leches Cafe
40. Monika Woolsey of Hip Veggies
39. Bobby Kramer of The Brickyard
38. Jenna Reeves of Press Coffee Roasters
37. Sarah Chisholm of Phoenix Public Market Cafe
36. Bill Kennedy of Futuro
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