Today: A man with the most interesting answers we've seen yet in the Tastemakers series -- which is saying a lot.
Tastemaker 39: Ryan Avery
See also: Hi, My Name Is Ryan
There are a lot of titles we could give Ryan Avery but to keep things simple we'll just say that when he's not busy serving as "the clown prince of Phoenix's downtown art scene," you can find him working at Astor House. Avery has worked in food service for more than 10 years -- and has been eating solid food since he was 9 months old. He has never liked peas, but will always eat them when they're served. And he tells us that he always tries to give a 25 percent gratuity when dining out.
I arrived in Phoenix with... nothing.
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be... it depends on the meal... for example I wouldn't want to eat potatoes au-gratin with someone who is allergic to dairy. And it also depends on the comfort level of everyone I am surrounded with, My wife would be there for sure but if I had too many musicians or performance artists there I would be afraid she would feel bored with the conversation. But I wouldn't want a huge variety of people necessarily because what if we all started talking about Breaking Bad but one of the people didn't watch the show and one other person isn't caught up to season five yet? Then there is going to be some tension. I also would want people who have exciting taste buds. My dream dining companions would not want to use ketchup.
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is... Astor House for breakfast, La Tolteca or Lo Lo's for lunch, St. Francis for dinner and Churn for dessert
One menu item this city could do without is... I'm not sure.... but I think this city could do without Arribas - that place gave me the worst diarrhea I have ever had.
My last meal in Phoenix would be... fry bread. If I was leaving Phoenix I would want something that's a staple.