Tag Archives: citizen public house

The Joy Bus

Joy Bus Brings Food, Smiles To Cancer Patients

Rafael Figueroa, 48, suffers from stage-four colon and liver cancer, Wagner’s disease, pancreatic cysts and valley fever. But despite his ailing health, Rafael smiles every Friday at the sight of Jennifer Caraway and her free, home-cooked meal.

Caraway is the president of the Joy Bus, a non-for-profit organization she founded offering free, hand-delivered, home-cooked food to home-bound cancer patients. The Joy Bus started in 2011 after Caraway witnessed the struggles her friend Joy went through battling cancer, which killed her in February.

“It was something I was doing for her before she passed,” Caraway says, “and I just realized while doing it there are a lot of people out there that needed help as well.”

Rafael became a Joy Bus recipient after an insurance agent told his family about the service, says Mindy Figueroa, Rafael’s daughter.

“Every Friday, [Jennifer] would bring a healthy meal, and my dad loves it,” Figueroa says.
Her family struggled to locate healthy food recipes online, and Caraway’s meals served as a way to both educate and relieve stress.

“Literally, it’s a blessing; it’s one less day we have to worry and figure out what we’re going to have my dad eat,” Figueroa says. “It’s something to look forward to, and even though he’s suffering you can see a smile come up every Friday.”

The Joy Bus serves a need that isn’t facilitated by anyone else, says Lynne McGowan, a cancer case manager who sits on the Joy Bus’s board of directors.

“There are hospice services for people with cancer; there is Meals on Wheels that charges people for those services, but Joy Bus is a unique service, and it’s a support service by families that are impacted significantly by a cancer diagnosis,” McGowan says. “This service helps them maintain at least a piece of their normal ‘living’ if you will.”

The Joy BusThe Joy Bus is currently serving seven cancer patients, but Caraway says she’ll help anyone who is home-bound; the main emphasis is on cancer because of Joy’s affliction. Most of the clients are recommended through physicians or medical experts, but a client eligibility form is available on the Joy Bus’s website.

“The only reason I would deny anyone is that I can’t afford to feed them,” Caraway says. “Right now I can fit probably two more people in, but I wouldn’t deny anybody; I’d just end up paying for it out of my own purse.”

So far, Caraway has been financing the Joy Bus off a donation by the Case Management Society of America’s Arizona Chapter.

As for meals, each meal costs between $5 and $10 to produce, Caraway says.

One of the Joy Bus's chef-inspired meals.Bernie Kantak, owner of the restaurant Citizen Public House, and a Joy Bus board member, offers Caraway cooking advice and helps locate sponsors.

“I tell her to cook like I do,” Kantak says. “I try to make people happy.”

Caraway is picky and cognoscente about the food and service she gives, and tries to use the healthiest ingredients at her disposal, McGowan says. Most of the foods Caraway cooks contain a focus around increasing a patient’s protein, vegetable and legume intake.

Caraway says although some of the ingredients can get expensive when cooking for seven people, Joy inspired her to continue operating the Joy Bus regardless of the financial challenge.

“I am never ever, ever going to get to a position where I have to charge somebody for a meal,” Caraway says. “I don’t care if I have to do car washes every week, there’s no way in hell I would charge somebody for the service that I’m doing; they’re going through so much already. It’s not even an option.”

For more information about the Joy Bus, visit thejoybus.org.

Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Behind The Scenes: Scottsdale Culinary Festival [VIDEO]

From April 17 to the 22nd, Valley residents flocked to Scottsdale to wine, dine and let loose for one of the biggest culinary festivals in the area — the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. With a wide range of events, Scottsdale Living went behind the scenes to capture the chaos and excitement both before and during the event.

Chefs from well known restaurants, including the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Eddie’s House, Talavera at the Four Seasons, Citizen Public House, T. Cook’s and so much more, were present to show off their culinary skills and fare to satiate the appetites of attendees.

Scottsdale Living even took a moment to speak with James Moser of the Scottsdale League for the Arts, who discussed all the preparation and work that goes into creating such a successful, annual event. We’ve also captured footage behind the curtains of the fashion show at the Eat, Drink & Be Pretty event.

Take a look for yourself of all of the food, fashion and fun from the Scottsdale Culinary Festival:

Video by Josh Estes and Michael Gossie

For more information about the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, visit scottsdalefest.org.

Citizen Public House, The Original Chopped Salad

Chef Kantak Of Citizen Public House Dishes About His Salad Favorites

When your salad has its own Facebook page, that’s when you know you’ve made a culinary Citizen Public House, Chef Bernie Kantakimpact; and Chef Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House in Old Scottsdale is living proof of it.

After years of chefs — both locally and nationally — replicating and recreating his Original Chopped Salad, Kantak jokingly created a Facebook page for it, immediately following a chat with a friend, on Facebook. Since then, Citizen Public House no longer lists the ingredients of the salad on the menu; instead, the restaurant displays the web address for the salad’s Facebook page.

The Original Chopped Salad is considered just that, original and unique. When Peter Kasperski, the owner of Cowboy Ciao, decided the salad needed a fresh look and taste, Kantak took on the challenge. Inspired by a fennel soup with sweet dried corn and salmon, Kantak “liked the combination and herbatiousness of the soup,” and redeveloped it into the salad it is today.

After just two weeks on the menu, Cowbow Ciao sold more than 100 salads a day, and it continues to be the top seller at Citizen Public House.

The Original Chopped Salad has a seemingly abnormal combination of ingredients, including corn, salmon, couscous, asiago, pepitas, tomatoes, currants and arugula. Patrons can then drizzle the salad with buttermilk pesto dressing.

“When you first tell people what’s in it, it doesn’t really sound very good,” Kantak says. “But once they have it, it becomes magical to people. People go bananas for it.”

Kantak says it’s the combination of flavor and texture that keeps diners coming back for more, or intrigued enough to try it for the first time.

The Original Chopped Salad, Chef Kantak“I think it’s the combination of how everything is so different,” Kantak says, “but it comes together really beautifully, especially with the colors.”

This is why Kantak advises for your next salad to be adventurous and try different things. For instance, instead of croutons, Kantak substitutes potato chips.

“You can have a salad with two ingredients in it, and it can taste great; and then there’s the Original Chopped Salad that has a lot of elements into it,” Kantak says. “I think it’s the way things harmonize with one another. Don’t be afraid to try everything, and just think outside the box.”

For those looking to whip up a simple salad for lunch or a pre-dinner treat, Kantak recommends combining tomatoes, a little bit of red onion, basil, balsamic extra virgin olive oil, salt and cracked pepper.

But what makes a great salad are fresh ingredients, Kantak says, which can be found at various farmer’s markets around the Valley.

“Definitely the Scottsdale Farmer’s Market and the farmer’s market downtown,” Kantak says. “I really like to go to the market at the Chinese Cultural Center; they have stuff you just aren’t going to find in a grocery store.”

Kantak’s favorite salad? His own Mirliton Chopped Salad, which combines chayote, snow pea greens, grape tomato, cucumber-onion salad, heirloom popcorn, grilled halloumi cheese and parsley-garlic dressing.

“People are surprised by the heirloom popcorn,” Kantak says. “The Greek grilled cheese is grilled and has a nice smokiness; and the cucumbers are light, refreshing and summery.”

Try the Original Chopped Salad or The Mirliton Chopped Salad, both found on the Citizen Public House menu.

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If You Go: Citizen Public House

7111 E. 5th Ave, Ste. E, Scottsdale
(480) 398-4208