Every member of the Edible Baja Arizona team plays a critical role in making the magazine happen every eight weeks, both in print and online. To use a restaurant analogy, if our editors, writers, photographers, illustrators, and designers are cooking it up in the kitchen, our circulation staff plays the role of waiters, delivering fresh issues to hungry readers at more than 300 outlets in Baja Arizona. Royce Davenport heads down to Bisbee; Steve Anderson visits locations in the far northwest, west side, and the foothills; Gil Mejias and Shiloh Walkosak-Mejias run the metro grid like nobody’s business, packing a cargo van with 5,000 copies at a pop, and have recently added Tubac, Patagonia, and Sonoita to their travels; Scott Muehlman ventures into Willcox and Douglas and other hinterland locations. All the hard work that goes into every issue would be for naught without the contributions from our stalwart distro staff.
Shiloh is our newest team member to help local food artisans, farmers, and producers connect with passionate readers in our special Artisans & Producers advertising section in every issue. We’d like to see the section grow to many pages and become a comprehensive resource to foster and support our local food system. Call Shiloh at 520.248.0667 to reserve your spot in the next issue.
“What the UNESCO designation did for Tucson was offer an opportunity for us to pay attention—unflinching, prolonged attention—to the food that sustains us. And when we looked, we realized that to eat well is to live well—and that no one thrives unless we all do.”
The future can be a great vantage from which to view the present. Megan Kimble envisions a Tucson 30 years hence that has been utterly transformed as a result of the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation that we received in December 2015. We’re still grappling with many questions about what the designation means and how it can produce positive changes across the community. As she writes, “That which we pay attention to grows. And what the UNESCO designation did for Tucson was offer an opportunity for us to pay attention—unflinching, prolonged attention—to the food that sustains us. And when we looked, we realized that to eat well is to live well—and that no one thrives unless we all do.” Pay a visit to Tucson in 2045 and see if it’s a place you want to be—and consider how you can play a role in making some version of this future a reality.
Since 1983, when he opened his namesake restaurant, Janos, in the El Presidio neighborhood in Downtown Tucson, Janos Wilder has been a driving force in Tucson’s culinary community. Debbie Weingarten’s profile of Janos starts early and digs deep, focusing on this James Beard Award Winner’s ability to transform and innovate through location, concept, and cuisine. From his formative childhood days in his mother’s kitchen to the recent opening of his latest venture, The Carriage House, Janos has seemingly shifted seamlessly between his roles as chef, entrepreneur, and community builder while still immersed in the constant challenges of the restaurant business.
John Washington travels to the Yuma Valley to document how technological advances, agriculture at a massive scale, and the lives of field workers are intersecting in one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world. More than half a billion heads of lettuce come out of the winter fields, while 10,000 people cross the border between Mexico and Arizona every day to harvest this produce. From his story: “This is the pace of modern American farming: A Mexican-American great grandfather dipping at the waist and brandishing a lettuce knife like a musketeer … He is an early link in the long chain of food production; he may also be the most vulnerable.”
As always, there’s much more to discover in this issue. Savor the magazine. We’ll see you around the table.
—Douglas Biggers, editor and publisher