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Margaree Bigler gives the closing remarks from the first Ignite Food. Thank you to everyone who sponsored the event, and the crew who worked on it: Chris Lee, Oden Hughes, Margaree Bigler, Dannie Moriarty, Andrew Knochel, Shaina Rozen, Kevin Maxwell, Andy Woodward, and Jeff Moriarty.

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Presenter: Dominic Armato

Biography: Stay at home dad by day, packaging manufacturer by night, occasional supplier of voices for computer generated pirates with cult followings and, whenever possible, obsessive pursuer and chronicler of all things tasty. Ergo, not so much of a sleeper. Author of a food blog, moderator of a food chat site, and rabid booster of the food nerd community.

Description: With unity and dedication, a community of food nerds can make a positive impact on Phoenix' food scene. We need foot soldiers who take an active and collaborative role. Organize, then strive to learn from each other. Dig for the hidden gems, identify those who do it right and get the word out. Force awesomeness into the mainstream. Fight for it!

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Presenter: Justin Beckett

Biography: Chef/owner of Beckett's Table, father of two boys, husband to a beautiful wife, eater of good food, lover of bacon (and all things pork). Need i say more...

Description: Planning a 24 restaurant tour sounds like fun, planning the tour out of town provides a bit of a challenge, dining in all those restaurants in under 36 hours takes a fully committed culinarian. It takes passion, education, and extreme gastrological management. Kobayashi ain't got nothing on me!

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Presenter: Derek Slife

Biography: I've been brewing my own beer since I convinced my parents at the age of 15 that it would be a good learning experience and help me in my chemistry and biology classes. Over the last decade I've home-brewed countless batches of beer, operated a small winery, and conducted numerous experiments with a goal of achieving refreshment enlightenment.

Description: Hops are a key ingredient of BEER. Even though we consume hops on a regular basis, majority of us have no idea what they are, where they come from, how they're grown, and the amazing variety which they come in. I'll share my exciting journey to WA and OR, where I visited hop farmers, processing houses, and made beer with hops right from the vine.

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Presenter: Paul Schwennesen

Biography: I am a cattle rancher east of Phoenix who raises, processes, and markets all-natural grassfed beef at farmers' markets in Phoenix and Tucson.
I live sustainably on land that produces an incredible wealth of tangible and intangible products, not least of which is a passion for small-scale, lightly regulated food systems.

Description: I believe that independent, self-sufficient agrarians who raise food directly from the soil are a largely missing demographic in modern political society. I want to change that, encourage young people to return to agriculture and cultivate the roots of local food/local markets that creates a resilient republic.

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Presenter: Bill Mar

Biography: I'm an embedded computer engineer that loves to eat, and have lately been having lots of fun with molecular gastronomy after getting a copy of Modernist Cuisine Cookbook.

Description: Freeze dried food is great for camping and survival, but its expensive and selection is limited from retail stores.
My talk explains the science behind freeze-dried food and I'll show my various home-brew freeze-drying contraptions and experiments.

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Presenter: Monika Woolsey

Biography: I am a registered dietitian and research institute CEO. I like to show people that eating well is accessible regardless of kitchen experience. I recently scored 61 on the 100 foods to eat before you die test, which, considering the fact that haggis and crickets were on that list, is pretty darn high.

Description: We tend to think immediately of medication, supplements, or exotic super fruits when looking for answers to health problems. Then we walk right past some of our most useful options every time we shop for groceries. I'd like to share some of these, with an emphasis on local foods like agave, beets, melon, hibiscus, pecans, and nopales.

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Presenter: Jason Miller

Biography: I am a restaurant marketing professional that works for a locally-based chain. When not stuck in my corporate world, I love trying and talking about whiskey (Bourbon, Canadian, Irish & especially Scotch). I even started a poorly kept up blog as an outlet. I spent my 30th b-day backpacking Scotland to learn more about Scotch Whisky & to sample.

Description: Like wine, there is an unknown element that can shy people away from whisky, especially Scotch whisky. Heck, there are two different spellings (Whiskey & Whisky). Whisky is an amazing spirit, and sometimes a little education can go a long way to introducing someone to the nuances and complexity that might entice them to see it in a new light.

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Presenter: Brian Sun

Biography: If you google mapped me, there's a good chance I'll be in a restaurant that ends with "erto's." Ever since I got a stomach ache from that Filiberto's burrito in high school, I've been enamored with...THE BURRITO.

Description: Unwrap the underground world of burrito by learning about The Erto's Phenomenon, The Big Three, and the eternal struggle of hole in the wall versus Chipotle. Along with poquito historia and a burrito dreaming exercise that'll leave you reeling for days. Oversized burrito pictures are to be expected.

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Presenter: Cisco Saavedra

Biography: I'm a Father/Husband/Actor/Sommelier/Nerd....yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Description: Variety meats, organ meats, offal, the extra bits get some pretty unappetizing names and are usually relegated to the world of "ethnic foods" and animal feed, but the world of innards has a lot to offer the gastronomically adventurous.
Nutritious? certainly
Icky? well yeah, it's guts n' stuff
Delicious? oh hell yeah!

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What is Ignite?

Ignite is a geek event in over 100 cities worldwide. At the events Ignite presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes.

Find an Ignite near you, start your own or watch a video.