Bringing awareness to the Phoenix restaurant scene is just one way that we Localists strive to put our dynamic and innovative community on the map. Being a part of a local community involves more than just shopping and eating local; it is about getting to know the faces behind these culinary masterpieces and hearing their incredible stories.
In the spirit of bringing our restaurant community into the spotlight, we have asked the members of our Devour Phoenix Restaurant Coalition a few questions to get to know them better and hear a bit about their inspiration. In today’s article, we are featuring:
Lauren Bailey / Owner of Upward Projects, including Postino Winecafé, Churn, Federal Pizza, Windsor, and Joyride Taco House
Q: What is your favorite food memory?
My favorite food memory is making ice cream for the first time with Monica Castillo for Churn. Frozen ice crystal slushes kept coming out and we were panicking hard core. We were supposed to open the next day! She figured it out- she always does. But, it was one of those moments I always try and remember so we keep focused on the fact that we can solve any problem we are ever faced with.
Q: What has inspired the different concepts for your restaurants?
We have been lucky to find amazing buildings that have driven the restaurant concepts we put in them. We would literally stand in them and say, ‘What does this want to be? What does the neighborhood want?’ We also focused on what was already there to define the design side of things.
Q: What is your favorite dish from one of your menus and why?
The bruschetta at Postino. I know its probably not shocking, but I’ve been eating it for 12 years and I still crave it. Its fresh, lets the ingredients shine, and you can change up what toppings you have. I also love the At Last Pizza at Federal.
Q: What other Phoenix chef inspires you and why?
One Phoenix Chef that inspires me is Justin Beckett of Beckett’s Table and Southern Rail Restaurant. I love the lens he looks through, how much he cares about food, how collaborative he is and what a huge contributor to Phoenix he is. He never hesitates to raise his hand. EVER.
Q: What do you love most about being a local business in Phoenix?
My favorite part about being a local business in Phoenix is the community of people I get to call my neighbors. There is no shortage of people willing to contribute to making this town awesome. I purposely say town, because it is a “small” big city and I love that. I also love how much it’s evolving and how much everyone is embracing that new changes in this community.