Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the seventh annual Pie Social at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, at the Bioscience High School at 512 East Pierce Street. 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.
Today, Mandy Bublitz of Pane Bianco
Mandy Bublitz is a Michigan native living in the desert. Her connection to the Phoenix food community started via social media. She’s turned her obsession for baking bread at home into a career.
What is the first dish you remember fixing yourself at home?
A toasted cheese sandwich is the first thing I remember fixing myself. It’s been a staple my entire life. I’m not kidding.
What is the one thing you always had in your kitchen growing up?
My mom always had a toaster oven in her kitchen; my grandma did, too. I can cook anything with a good toaster oven.
What are five essentials in your home kitchen today?
Top five things in my kitchen today: toaster oven (obviously), cast-iron combo cooker, digital scale, good salt, my sourdough starter.
What is a memorable dish from your childhood and the back story?
I can’t pick just one memorable dish from my childhood. For me, food memories aren’t always about good food; sometimes it’s about the memory. My Grandma Bublitz loved Kentucky Fried Chicken and taught me about ring bologna. My Grandma Ikner showed me how to bake cinnamon rolls and hot milk cupcakes. My Grandpa Ikner made the best steak served with dark rye dinner rolls. My mom taught me to make cut-out cookies using my great aunt’s recipe, and it’s still my favorite cookie. There's a steak sandwich from my hometown that I dream about. I could go on and on.
Who inspired you to become a chef and why?
No one ever encouraged me to become a chef — I’m a baker. I connected with some great people in the Phoenix food community that pushed me at the right time.
The 2016 Pie Social Celebrity Bakers so far:
Adam Allison of SuperFarm
Soraya Medina of Heavenly Bites
Nicholas Hyche of Hilton Phoenix Chandler
Adriana Gomez of Lola Coffee
Sarah Chisholm of Phoenix Public Market Cafe
Cheryl Standage of PIEfection
Holly Heizenrader of MacAlpine’s
Virginia Senior of Urban Beans