New local food mag debuts

Does the name Jessica Florez-Lieb ring a bell?

If you follow local politics, you might remember her stint as a Phoenix City Councilwoman, back in 2003. Or, if you pay attention to publishing, you'd know her from Latino Future magazine, which she co-founded in 2001.

Although Florez-Lieb and her partner, Enrique Lopez Lira, have since sold the mag, they haven't bowed out of the magazine biz. Their newest project, AZ Taste Magazine, goes to print this Friday.

"My passion is the culinary arts," says Florez-Lieb. "I'm not a trained chef, though -- I'm more of an entertainer."

From food and wine coverage to recipes and advice on seating arrangements, AZ Taste sounds like a handy dinner party companion. Florez-Lieb says the debut November/December issue will feature Thanksgiving favorites from chef Mark Tarbell, as well as a feature on chef Patricio Sandoval, who will be collaborating with Scottsdale's Bottomline Hospitality Group on a new restaurant in the Camelback Corridor.

(According to Bottomline president Randy Smith, Sandoval has already moved to Phoenix and is currently doing a stint in Mexico City while Smith gets building permits for the as-yet-unnamed casual, upscale Mexican restaurant, to be located at 40th Street and Campbell. Smith hopes to open sometime by April 2008).

To start, AZ Taste will be a direct mail publication, with quarterly issues for 2008. As of this blog posting, www.aztastemagazine.com is not live, but Florez-Lieb expects the site to be up shortly.

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