Learn about our long history of agriculture and gastronomy.
Marana’s four thousand years of agriculture and eight thousand years of civilization aren’t what make it a town of gastronomy. It’s the commitment to continuing ancient and heritage food ways that is distinct among Marana farmers, food providers, restaurants, and gourmet desert food foragers.
Fed by the Santa Cruz River, this scenic town is a haven for small farmers and producers, and a newly prospering scene for local chefs and brewers to turn those farmers’ crops into culinary dishes and libations as delicious as they are innovative. Once the historic bread basket, cattle ranching, and orchard area for Tucson, Marana is now a center for farm-to-table, farm-to-bottle, and gourmet desert-foraged food sources.
Marana is home of Forbes Five Star resort The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain and its Executive Chef David Serus, who is one of only seventy-seven Maîtres Cuisiniers de France (Masters of French Cuisine) in the United States. You may learn more about Chef David Serus and the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France recognition here.
Unesco World City of Gastronomy Designation
UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), designated Tucson the first U.S. city to be a UNESCO City of Gastronomy (as part of the Creative Cities Network) in 2015, because of its local food markets and restaurants that utilize ancient and heritage foods, made possible by visionary heritage seed saving practices.
As Tucson’s largest provider of farm-to-table produce, heritage grain, wild desert foods, and honey, Marana is, by its four thousand years of tradition and practice, the Town of Gastronomy.
Marana's cuisine is hyper-local and incorporates wild desert foods and Marana farm-grown grains and produce. You can find Sonoran haute cuisine perfected by classically French-trained chefs at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, Catalina Brewing Company's craft beer with ingredients used in the Sonora for thousands of years such as mesquite, prickly pear cactus fruit, and agave and also uses heritage White Sonora Wheat grown in Marana by BKW Farms that was revived by Native Seeds/SEARCH. Desert food educators, including Bean Tree Farm, Desert Harvesters, and John Slattery, teach how to responsibly forage desert foods and how to prepare and enjoy wild desert-foraged foods.
Local Farmers, Growers, and Purveyors
You can find the following Marana growers and suppliers and their foods at Heirloom Farmers Markets at Rillito and Oro Valley locations, Santa Cruz River Valley Farmers Market, Food Conspiracy Food Co-Op (Tucson), Barrio Bread (Tucson), and on the tables of fine restaurants such as CORE Kitchen (The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain), Cayton’s (The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain), Ignite (The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain), Agustin Kitchen (Tucson), Café Botanica (Tucson Botanical Gardens), The Coronet (Tucson), Pasco Kitchen (Tucson), Maynards Market & Kitchen (Tucson), Tasteful Kitchen (Tucson), and many more.
Where to find Marana-grown and harvested food in Marana: