April 2023

Tucson makes the cut on top 10 “food cities” list

Arizona Daily Star

Appearing alongside cities such as New Orleans and Chicago, Tucson was recently named one of the top 10 cities for food in the U.S. on a list published by Travel and Leisure.

The list, penned by travel writer Lauren Dana Ellman, mentions Tucson’s status as the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy in the nation and its tendency to “wow culinary connoisseurs with its distinct Native American and Mexican offerings.”

Local eateries Bata, Blue Front and Boca Tacos y Tequila were highlighted under Tucson’s name — which came in sixth place on the list — along with the latter’s owner, Maria Mazon.

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March 2023

Tucson Listed by Time Magazine as One of World’s Greatest Places 2023

By Nicholas Derenzo for Time Magazine

There’s something revolutionary cooking in America’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy. Last year, Barrio Bread’s Don Guerra won the James Beard Award for Outstanding Baker, and he’s on a mission to revitalize Arizona-grown heritage grains. First brought here by 17th century Spanish missionaries, white Sonora wheat now crops up on the menus at restaurants like Maynards and the just-opened Bata and even in a Southwestern-inspired hefeweizen from Borderlands Brewing Co. In the coming months, the brewery is set to open a handful of new dining concepts with Top Chef alum Maria Mazon, who’s expanding beyond her popular BOCA Tacos y Tequila with a miniempire that now includes a tortilleria where you can pick up a bottle of her blazing chiltepín salsa, made with America’s only wild native chili pepper.

Born in Tucson and raised in Sonora, Mexico, Mazon represents a spirit of cross-border collaboration that is also seen in the work of Borderlandia, a tour company offering itineraries in Southern Arizona and neighboring Sonora. Join owners Rocío and Alex La Pierre for a stroll around Barrio Viejo, which is dotted with 19th century Sonoran row houses (Tucson’s answer to Pueblo Revival architecture) and new galleries—and which could be on its way to National Historic Landmark status this year. Also looming on the horizon for 2023 is the Leo Kent Hotel, a member of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio, which opens this year in the city’s tallest building. It will join another boutique newcomer, the wine-centric Citizen Hotel, which pioneering developer Moniqua Lane recently opened in Tucson’s historic first newspaper press.

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February 2023

Vail ranked among best suburbs in the U.S.

By: AZ Big Media

With rising mortgage rates and crippling inflation, homebuyers are looking for new ways to save. In a new study, SmartAsset analyzed the affordability, livability, and job situation of nearly 500 suburbs across the nation. And three somewhat surprising Arizona suburbs were ranked among the best suburbs in America.

Vail, Sahuarita and Apache Junction were all ranked among the best suburbs in America.

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December 2022

New video celebrates Tucson’s seventh anniversary as UNESCO City of Gastronomy

Non-profit Tucson City of Gastronomy (TCoG), in partnership with Pima County and Visit Tucson, unveiled a video in honor of Tucson’s seventh anniversary as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy.
The video, “A Heritage Grain Revival”, highlights Sonoran White wheat, a distinctive part of southern Arizona’s food culture. It is the first in a new series funded by Pima County Attractions and Tourism through an American Rescue Plan Act grant for tourism recovery.
“This series will shine the spotlight on southern Arizona’s deep and unique culinary heritage,” said Catherine Strickland, Deputy Director of Pima County Attractions and Tourism and Vice President of TCoG. “As the first-ever UNESCO City of Gastronomy designated in the United States, Tucson’s unique and ever-growing food scene remains a major driver in attracting visitors to our region.”
The video series is just one of several efforts by Tucson City of Gastronomy to amplify the reach of our culinary scene. This year, TCoG launched Pueblos del Maíz, an international festival celebrating the importance of maize through food, art and culture.The non-profit is busy planning an expansion of the event for next year, while also continuing its work with local chefs to further its mission of growing a sustainable desert community by supporting our creative food cultures.
“When we started this journey seven years ago, we had no idea how much energy it would add to the local food movement and how much it would inspire the creativity of our chefs and entrepreneurs around heritage ingredients,” said Jonathan Mabry, Executive Director of TCoG.