Prized Offspring

Craig OuthierJuly 7, 2022
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It’s considered bad form as a parent to play favorites with your kids. You’re supposed to love Colten as much as Olivia, even if Olivia has a better jump shot and brightens every day with sweet little compliments and interesting facts about whales, and Colten just plays a lot of Fortnite. 

By extension, as a magazine dad, I should probably love a fun feature such as 52 Weekend Adventures as much as a drier one like Top Real Estate Agents. But I don’t. Where our annual features and cover stories are concerned, I can’t help but play favorites. So, let me come clean and admit I love Best of the Valley most of all. 

Published every summer, BOV is a massive, rambling celebration of Valley culture, and it spoils me with resources. Supported by a crack team of photographers, freelance writers and one ever-adventurous art director in Mirelle Inglefield, we’ve built it into a fabulous annual expo of food, shopping, experiences and people, propelled by neat-o editorial contraptions that allow us to exploit the full cinematic potential of the magazine form. In this year’s edition – our biggest ever – you’ll find tournament-style taste tests, head-to-head matchups, Valleywide “4 Corners” best lists for bakeries, chicken fingers and puppet shows, and a massively expanded list of readers’ picks, assembled by digital director Matt Johnson.

“Where our annual features and cover stories are concerned, I can’t help but play favorites. So, let me come clean and admit I love Best of the Valley most of all.

If the 58-page 2022 BOV behemoth isn’t enough for you, managing editor Leah LeMoine is back with Great 48, our annual gang-profile of excellent Phoenicians from all walks of life, from zine publishers to Super Bowl organizers. Make sure to give them a look – seeing their faces and reading their stories will surely stir something in you, call it “Phoenician solidarity,” as it did for us as we edited and designed it.

Also in our feature lineup: freelancer Robrt L. Pela’s passionate post-mortem of Valley arts criticism in Gone, Critic, Gone, our annual Top Dentists list and my kinda-sorta profile of GOP gubernatorial hopeful Kari Lake, who proved somewhat more elusive than I anticipated when I first approached her about an interview last September.

As I write this, we as Greater Phoenicians are not yet three weeks into the long summer to come. Hopefully, this girthy July/August issue will help you smile through the rest of it. Now I’m off to start editing Top Lawyers for our next issue. Love that little guy.


For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.