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Once known for its lumberjack college kids, good skiing and decent drinkin' scene, Flagstaff is quickly making a name for itself as a foodie town (and we're not just talking about the phenomenal pizza). Today, we kick off the first in a series of Q & A's with the personalities behind the chef hats behind the town's restaurant renaissance we'll call the "Flag Food Boom."

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Valley native Peter McQuaid developed an interest in cooking at a young age. He read cookbooks and experimented with dishes at home, but it wasn’t until he got a job working for Silvana Salcido Esparza at Barrio Urbano that his culinary talents emerged. Now 18-years-old, McQuaid is attending culinary school at the International Culinary Center in New York City. He won a scholarship with Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and was a recipient of the prestigious 2015 James Beard Foundation’s Taste America scholarship. He’s back home in the Valley this week to participate in the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America tour Sept. 22-24. We caught up with him by phone last week.