3TV gets to know up and coming Valley chef Amanda Crick

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Phnx Magazine: Up and coming chefs

"This is one of my favorite parts to do out of the whole job. You can create anything, use your imagination. I like doing that," admits up and coming chef Amanda Crick.

This is how she says she feels every time she makes a dessert. " My mom inspired me a lot. She taught me a lot of baking and cooking."

Starting at a young age, the 28-year-old has moved from kid chef to the big time.

Her title is executive pastry chef at Tonto Bar and Grill and sister restaurant Cartwright's in the town of Cave Creek.

Crick explains, "I think as a child you're excited. You're making a pie. Now you're more concerned if it tastes good. Did I put the right ingredients in? Is it too tart or is it too sweet?"< /p>

Crick is self-taught and her signature desserts include the lemon sour cream pie, butter milk chocolate cake and lemon ricotta cheese cake. She says, "It's usually at home. I'll make something to eat and it will be a peanut butter sandwich with some M&M's on it and bananas and I'll think 'How can I make that into a cake with some kind of banana frosting'."

Those confectionary delights not only taste good, but look good as well. Crick says, "You got to be artistic. You can use sauces and you want to use color to bring out the food. You want the plate to look nice and when it comes out to the table I want it to be " Pow" like "Wow."

Eric Flatt, Crick's boss, tells 3TV, "When I challenge her and I put her to the test this is what we need to do and she'll dig into it and the things she comes up with are just like, 'Wow where did that come from?"

Flatt is the one person she told Phoenix Magazine she most admires in her field.

When they asked her about what food she couldn't stop eating she admits, "Chocolate, of course. You can't go wrong with chocolate."< /p>

As for what food she will not eat, she says, "Sushi. I'm just not a big fish person."

And the kitchen tool Crick says she cannot live without is a pocket knife. "When we're putting away orders, opening boxes it's easy to flip it open, cut open boxes, putting stuff away and on shelves. It's like a cell phone, you feel off without it."

To catch the rest of Crick's interview plus the 50 best dishes in town read the latest issue of which goes on sale Christmas Day.