Chef AZ Rates Pumpkin Spice Products She Usually Hates

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KJZZ News

Angel Ortiz (left) and Charleen Badman at KJZZ Studios, October 7, 2022.

Charleen Badman is one of Arizona’s most celebrated chefs. FnB, the restaurant she opened with Pavle Milic, has won just about every accolade imaginable, and Badman herself won a coveted James Beard Award in 2019.

She is also known as the “Veggie Whisperer” for her path with the products. So it’s no surprise that she’s interested in pumpkins – but pumpkin spice?

And yet, for several years now, on October 1, Badman resumes what has become an annual tradition at FnB.

Every day this month, she presents her sous chef, Angel Ortiz, with a pumpkin spice product. But that’s nothing she’d serve her customers — she’s offered everything from Pumpkin Spice Twinkies to a particularly pungent Pumpkin Spice Candle.

Oh, and you should know that Ortiz absolutely despises pumpkin spice.

One and done might have been enough for her, but followers of Ortiz’s Instagram account, where she’s known as @SheWoreRaspberryPuree, won’t get any of that.

So they start over. Already this month, Ortiz posted reviews of pumpkin spice Oreos, hand lotion, and oatmeal — and let’s just say she’s a good sportswoman.

The two joined The Show recently to talk about — what else — pumpkin spice.

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Rozella J. Cook