Who We Are
Pamela Hamilton is the founder, publisher and editor of Edible Phoenix. She has enjoyed living, food shopping and dining around the world and is an avid cookbook collector. Pamela is the Governor of the Southwest region for Slow Food and is a member of Les Dames D’Escoffier. She is a past co-leader of Slow Food Phoenix and currently serves as Treasurer for the local chapter. Pamela has served as a board member for Community Food Connections and on the advisory board for Edible Communities. She was formerly a management consultant and holds a Bachelor degree from Stanford University.
Ashley Betz is a freelance writer, event planner, blogger and a spice-of-life enthusiast. She formerly worked in food retail among someof today’s most popular chefs and upon her return to the Valley began writing as a way to literally sink her teeth into local culture. You will find her about town trying new flavors or daring adventures.
Chef Molly Beverly is Prescott's creative food activist and teacher. As Prescott College Food Service Director and Executive Chef for 9 years, she built the food service into a showcase of sustainable, educational, and tasty food. She operates a three-acre organic farm and a catering business that features delicious local, historical and ethnic foods. As Chair of Slow Food Prescott, she champions local growers, and supports sustainable food education. Molly has taught cooking classes since 1976 for adults and children that focus on healthy, sustainable and delicious. She currently teaches at Yavapai College.
Local chalkboard artist Maggie Choate creates custom, handmade chalkboard art for restaurants and business establishments as well as for weddings, events and personal use. To see more of her work, check out her website www.chalktreatment.com or visit her Etsy shoppe at www.etsy.com/shop/chalktreatment.
Gail Cochrane finds joy in many aspects of nature, from gardening to hiking to wildlife watching. She’s been published in Maricopa Audubon’s Wrenditions, Liberty Wildlife’s Nature News, Phoenix Magazine and Raising Arizona Kids Magazine.
A graduate of Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, Heather Gill moved behind the camera after the birth of her child almost 7 years ago. In addition to photography she is also a food stylist. Her photography will be featured in an upcoming book to be published in Spring of 2011. Her fine art photography is in the Randy Jay Braun Galley in Up Country Maui, Hawaii as well as her own website, heathergillphotography.com.
Christine Hyatt is a cheese-obsessed creative who has worked in the artisanal cheese industry since 1998. The founder of Cheese Chick Productions, she writes about and photographs handcrafted cheeses for print and digital media and helps cheesemakers share their story through video profiles. She is past-president of the American Cheese Society, a member of the Guilde de Fromagers and a regular contributor to regional and national cheese and food publications.
Originally from Michigan, Art Holeman lived in Iowa and Nevada before settling in Phoenix in 1986. He has been a photographer for over 30 years and specializes in commercial advertising and editorial work. He likes travel and black and white photography. His photography has garnered numerous national awards, including appearances in Communication Arts, Applied Arts, Graphis, The Art Of Seeing, and other publications. For more info, see www.artholeman.com.
Michele Laudig is a restaurant critic, food writer, and artist who has been writing about the Phoenix creative community for the past decade. When she’s not obsessing about the city’s newest restaurants—or drawing pictures of what she ate there—she’s plotting her next eating adventure abroad. Follow her on Twitter at @michelelaudig or email her at email@example.com
Greg Peterson is a writer, teacher and lecturer and holds a master’s degree in urban and environmental planning. For the past 30 years sustainability has played a key role in how he has pursued his education and planted his gardens. In 2001 Greg created a new concept called the Urban Farm, a real-world environmental showcase home in the heart of Phoenix. The Urban Farm offers classes, lectures and tours throughout the year. Greg is a primary writer and host for the new television show Smart Spaces: Inside & Out. For information on living a green lifestyle and to receive a weekly green living tip, visit his website at www.YourGuideToGreen.com.
Sharon Salomon, MS, RD has discovered that eating and writing about eating are the most fulfilling endeavors she has tried. This realization comes after experiences in teaching at a culinary arts school, working as a registered dietitian, selling real estate, teaching English as a Second Language in elementary school, helping restaurants with marketing, working in a professional kitchen, joking around about food and nutrition on early morning news television and trying out her organizational and customer service skills in an office. She believes that her past careers and academic accomplishments have prepared her to be a competent eater with adequate writing skills. Sharon refers to herself as an “almost” expert eater because there are still too many foods she has not tried. “So many foods, so little time”, best describes her attitude about eating. Sharon is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters Degree in Nutrition. Sharon has culinary certificates from La Varenne in France and Greystone in Napa as well as hundreds of hours of watching the best chefs prepare food at cooking demos. Sharon and a colleague have written a manual to train dietitians to present cooking demos to the public, Cooking Show and Tell for Dietitians. One of Sharon’s goals is to help dietitians and other nutrition professionals understand how taste and flavor affect the public’s perception of healthy food. Sharon’s previous publications have appeared in newspapers, magazines and web site. She is a contributor to the recently published The New American Plate, as well as a regular chapter contributor to On Cooking and On Baking.
Josh Schachter works as a freelance photographer, visual storytelling teacher and consultant in Tucson. His images (www.joshphotos.com) have been published internationally in books, magazines, newspapers, and annual reports in publications ranging from the New York Times to the Navajo Times. Josh is the founder of the photography and digital storytelling programs at the Tucson-based nonprofit, Voices Inc., where he currently works as a guest artist on the San Xavier Reservation.
Edible Communities co-founder, Carole Topalian, travels the world with a finely tuned photographer’s eye. Her ability to communicate through photographs brings the Edible Communities mission to life as visual feast, and the pages of our newsletters and websites testify to this. In addition to her work as photographer for Edible Communities, Carole also serves as creative director for the company, ensuring the highest possible level of quality and consistency in each of our printed newsletters and websites. During the 1980s, Carole owned a Los Angeles-based multimedia company where she produced several award-winning advertising and promotional campaigns for corporate America. In the 1990s, she did graduate work in depth psychology at Pacific Graduate Institute and left the corporate world behind. Today, she enjoys life in the very rural Ojai Valley, where she is able to ride her bike daily and garden at will. Her fine art photographs have been exhibited in over 70 shows throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Visit www.topalianphoto.com for more information.
Born to journalist parents, it was only a matter of time before Gwen Ashley Walters, a professionally trained chef and Certified Culinary Professional settled into a rewarding food writing career. An honors graduate of the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, she honed her cooking skills in commercial kitchens such as the renowned Boulders Resort in Carefree before trading her chef’s knife for a pen. She is the author of three award-winning cookbooks featuring renowned U.S. resorts. She has taught cooking classes across the country and her recipes have been featured in various national newspapers and magazines. Since 2006, she has written feature stories for Edible Phoenix, two of which are featured in Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods, by Edible Communities, released in May of 2010. For fun, Gwen regularly dishes about food and travel on her blog, www.penandfork.com.
Eliot Wexler is a “foodie”. He grew up in Chicago and was exposed to a variety of fine dining from an Italian Beef sandwich to white truffle risotto. His love of food has taken him round the globe to many Michelin-starred restaurants. He is the specialist for the Southwest Forum of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts and Letters and owns NOCA restaurant.