Phoenix is continually gaining notoriety in the national culinary scene, and part of that is thanks to Joanie Simon. The 31-year-old Phoenix resident, who is a general manager at her family’s 40-plus-year-old business Copperstate Restaurant Technologies, hosts a weekly Arizona-focused dining podcast every Wednesday at 3 p.m. Arizona time at restaurantliveaz.com. On the hour-long podcast, she interviews local restaurant personalities, ranging from head chefs to cocktail creators, in an effort to bring more recognition to the massive amount of culinary talent the Valley has to offer. Simon talked about her views of Arizona dining below, as well as five reasons why she loves living in the Valley.
What brought you to Arizona?
I’m a third-generation native, in the sense my parents were in college when I was born in Portland, Ore. I moved here when I was 3 years old. I went to North Ranch Elementary School, Desert Shadows Middle School and Horizon High School. I got an art history degree from Arizona State University and a Master’s in counseling from Shippensburg University. I was working for residence halls for about 10 years, at St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., then at Juilliard, then my husband and I moved back to Arizona to start a family in 2009. Continue reading