Virginia Senior of Urban Beans on Architecture, Design, and Nondairy Coconut Ice Cream

BY LAUREN SARIA - Phoenix New Times


Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the seventh annual Pie Social at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 19, at the Bioscience High School at 512 East Pierce Street. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one.

Today, Virginia Senior of Urban Beans

Virginia Senior utilizes her experience in architecture, design, development, and restaurants in all her projects. Whether that project is a building, a print, or a pie, each project is better because of the diverse background and experience she brings to the table. Currently working with CCBG Architects in Phoenix, and running Urban Beans Bar & 24 Hour Café, Senior is most interested in bringing quality experiences to the community, in food, sustainability, and design.

What is the first dish you remember fixing yourself at home?
I was cooking for our family most nights since I was 12, I loved to cook, and my mom appreciated it cause she did not! Lots of pasta and casseroles, but the first memorable dish was blackened salmon with garlic mashed potatoes and greens. While I don’t eat salmon anymore, I would like to recreate that dish in a vegan format, as the combination of flavors in all three elements was magical, with a squeeze of lemon of course!

What is the one thing you always had in your kitchen growing up?
Enough of everything to experiment with!

What are five essentials in your home kitchen today?
Mustard, tamari, vegan mayo, pasta, coconut ice cream (nondairy)

What is a memorable dish from your childhood and the back story?
Artichokes. They were always a special treat at spring time. My sister didn’t like the heart, so I always got two.

Who inspired you to become a chef and why?
I’ve been inspired by so many people I have met while designing restaurants, eating at restaurants, and watching others cook, including my father, who was a chef.