Address and phone: 2910 N. Swan Road, (Red Sky) and 2990 N. Swan Road (Luna Bella), 325-3895
Meet Blanca Osuna, 33, pastry chef for Steve Schultz’s Red Sky New American Cuisine and Luna Bella Italian Cuisine & Catering.
The Nogales native was raised in Tucson and attended Cholla High School.
Osuna’s first restaurant job was as salad attendant at the Sizzler steakhouse on Congress Street.
After graduating from high school, she worked in the kitchens at the veterans hospital and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and was then hired as assistant pastry chef at Arizona Inn. Three years later, Osuna decided to move to Portland, Ore., where she worked at the Five-Star Benson Hotel and the Montloma Athletic Club before moving back to Tucson in 2007.
She was hired as pastry chef at Bistro Philippe and, when the restaurant closed after just four months, Schultz hired her as the pastry chef at Red Sky and Luna Bella, which opened in October in the former Bistro Philippe.
Question: What’s your favorite restaurant in Tucson?
Answer: I’ve always really enjoyed The Grill at Hacienda Del Sol. I also really like Güero Canelo on South 12th Avenue.
What’s your favorite dish to prepare and why?
My favorite is something really simple – couscous. I’m the queen of couscous now. I make every style and every flavor.
What’s your favorite dish to eat?
I really enjoy Chinese stir fry, but with vegetables, because I’m a vegetarian.
What’s unique about the Tucson restaurant scene compared to other cities?
I guess just the fact that we use local things like nopales and agave. I think you get a nice fusion of Southwest cuisine at a lot of restaurants here.
What’s your favorite or most used gadget or kitchen utensil?
That would be my whisk. Every baker should definitely have one.
What do you always have in your refrigerator?
Definitely the basics – milk, butter, eggs and lots of vegetables, of course.
Why are you a chef?
It’s just something I knew I really wanted to do ever since I was a child. I really enjoy the smiles when I bring out my pastries and wedding cakes, especially when it’s something more than people are expecting.