TasteMakers 100 – Mark Fratu #44
From now ’til we publish the 2012 edition of Best of Phoenix, New Times and Chow Bella present 100 Tastemakers — Valley residents who make the cut in our culinary scene. Some you’ll know; for others, it’ll be a first introduction (but likely not the last). While you’re here, check out our 100 Creatives on Jackalope Ranch.
Today: A man you’d never accuse of being a buzzkill.
Tastemaker 44: Mark Fratu
Mark Fratu grew up in communist Transylvania. He ended up in Chicago with next to nothing — but he worked hard, saved his money, and eventually moved to Arizona, where he spun his meager fortunes into real estate investments. But the work left him empty and bored. So he went back to his roots. His dad was a beekeeper in Transylvania, and while the family business didn’t interest him as a child, he found himself drawn to it later in life. He started with a single hive in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2008, after he’d learned a great deal more about bees, that he transitioned to working with them full time. Now he keeps about 30 hives spread throughout Phoenix and sells his honey at farmers markets.
I arrived in Phoenix with… my wife.
If I was sitting down to dinner for six, my five dream dining companions would be… my wife, Jesus, David, Paul, Moses, and Solomon.
One place everyone who comes to Phoenix must eat is…. honey.
One menu item this city could do without is… hotdogs.
My last meal in Phoenix would be… bread and butter with honey.