Joey Sienicki: Founder of iCook uEat and Private Chef

Joey Sienicki, founder of iCook uEat and private chef, photographed at Salut in Tempe, by Nicki Escudero

Joey Sienicki, founder of iCook uEat and private chef, photographed at Salut in Tempe, by Nicki Escudero

Joey Sienicki
twitter.com/icookueataz

Whether you are hosting a meaningful gathering at your home or want to create an extra-special anniversary dinner with your own customized menu, private chef and founder of iCook uEat Joey Sienicki is stellar at making blissful culinary memories with his tasty meals. The 25-year-old Tempe resident calls Phoenix Iron Chef winner Mark Tarbell of Tarbell’s a mentor, and Sienicki has studied in Italy and France and can cook any type of cuisine.

He also loves sharing his knowledge, with a blog that’s a wealth full of mouth-watering recipes. Indeed, his lemon ricotta cheesecake with caramel drizzle will have you craving it for weeks. Read on for what inspires his menu, as well as why he’s proud to be a part of the Arizona culinary scene.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’ve lived here my whole life. I was born in Phoenix. I went to Arizona School for the Arts for high school — I play piano and trumpet — and got my degree in architecture at ASU, then went to The Arizona Culinary Institute. Continue reading

Daniel Davis: Founder of Steam Crow

Daniel Davis, founder of Steam Crow, photographed at Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Daniel Davis, founder of Steam Crow, photographed at Desert Ridge Marketplace in Phoenix, by Nicki Escudero

Daniel Davis
twitter.com/steamcrow

Monsters aren’t scary — they’re just like humans. They get sad, they have aspirations, and they’re quirky. At least, that’s how local illustrator Daniel Davis, aka Steam Crow, sees it. The 44-year-old Peoria resident makes his living drawing endearing monster creatures for prints, books, buttons, and more, and has amassed a national fan base from appearing at conventions such as San Diego Comic-Con and at pop-up stores from Portland to Denver.

Besides founding Steam Crow, Davis started Tiny Army, a community of local artists that meets once a month each first Wednesday at various locations. You can find his art in local spots MADE, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, The Record Room, and Lulubell Toy Bodega, in addition to his site. This Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29, he and his wife (and Steam Crow partner) Dawna host Keen Halloween, a Halloween event at Sano Fitness Studio in Phoenix, where patrons can check out cool art from artists around the country, as well as attend workshops on everything from costumes to decorations. Head West this November to Disneyland, where he’ll be a featured artist at the park’s WonderGround Gallery. Keep reading for Davis’ monstrous inspiration, as well as to hear five reasons why he loves living in Arizona.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’m from Spokane, Washington. I was in a creative rut and had friends who were artists but who weren’t necessarily good for me. I had a job opportunity to move to Arizona. I didn’t really want to live here, but I needed to get out of my comfort zone. Also, my wife Dawna’s family lives in Tucson. We moved in 2004. Continue reading

Kristin Castle: General Manager of Scottsdale Culinary Festival and the Scottsdale League for the Arts

Kristin Castle, general manager of Scottsdale Culinary Festival and the Scottsdale League for the Arts, photographed at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, by Nicki Escudero

Kristin Castle, general manager of Scottsdale Culinary Festival and the Scottsdale League for the Arts, photographed at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, by Nicki Escudero

Kristin Castle
twitter.com/ScottsdaleFest

Imagine the stress of putting a party together — having to make sure you have the right mix of people (who actually come after they RSVP), making sure you get enough food so no one leaves hungry, and having to put together the perfect party music mix that everyone will enjoy. Now, multiple that by 1,000. As general manager of Scottsdale Culinary Festival and the Scottsdale League for the Arts, it’s Kristin Castle’s job to make sure the Valley’s longest-running culinary festival comes together perfectly. The Gilbert resident started off her professional career in the world of dance, as a touring company member for shows such as Footloose and The Music Man, before becoming an event planner. She’s helping coordinate the Cooks and Corks dining event Friday, November 8 at Four Seasons Resort at Troon North. Read on for insight into the behind-the-scenes work that goes into these massive dining events, as well as to hear five reasons why Castle is glad to call the Valley home after living in the country’s two biggest cities.

What brought you to Arizona?

I’m originally from Kansas City, Missouri. I moved to New York and was a professional dancer there for about seven years. I was ready for a change from the winters and moved to L.A., where I met my husband. We came here last summer because of his job. Continue reading

Kim Covert: Family VetCare Veterinarian

Kim Covert, veterinarian at Family Vet Care in Mesa, photographed at Family Vet Care by Nicki Escudero

Kim Covert, veterinarian at Family VetCare in Mesa, and Chico Hombre, photographed at Family VetCare by Nicki Escudero

Kim Covert
twitter.com/FamilyVetCare

If you have pets, you know they’re like family members. They bring us joy, they comfort us when we’re sad, and they’re always there to hang out whenever you need a positive influence. One local lady making sure our furry friends stay healthy and happy is Kim Covert, a high school valedictorian who works at Family VetCare in Mesa. When she’s not treating patients, she’s hanging out with two pooches of her own. Read on for where her love for animals comes from, and to listen to five reasons the 29-year-old Arizona native and Tempe resident still loves calling the Valley her home.

What brought you to Arizona?

I am an Arizona native and have always loved it here. While growing up, my family made the most of all the fun activities Arizona has to offer. We waterskied, camped, and hiked all over the state. I did spend four years for veterinary school in Washington, but decided to come back to Arizona to practice. I have a wonderful family that lives here and have had the chance to start my career here, as well. Continue reading

Lonni Lattie: Co-Founder of Sollus Nutrition and Fitness

Lonni Lattie
twitter.com/sollusfit

Sadly, nutrition and exercise are often at the bottom of people’s lists of priorities, and Fountain Hills mom Lonni Lattie wants to help Valley residents be healthier through nutrition-filled meals and staying fit. The 40-year-old Fountain Hills resident and former advertising professional co-founded Sollus Nutrition and Fitness in September 2012 with fellow mom Sonia Thalman, and the American Council on Exercise-certified fitness instructor coaches individuals, families and businesses on everything from how to healthily stock refrigerators, to exercise moves to stay toned. Lattie shared some of her top nutrition tips, and keep scrolling to watch a video of Lattie sharing her five favorite reasons for being a Valley dweller.

What brought you to Arizona?

We moved from Washington, D.C to the Valley in 2007 as my husband was relocated for work. I was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin. My family lives in a tiny town of 2,200 people. and I had a great childhood, but knew there was more to living than what I was exposed to in my upbringing. After graduating from college, I moved to Green Bay and worked for a few years before moving to Washington, D.C. for a position with a design studio. Continue reading