2015 AH Classic Wall CalendarShop the AH Store >>

Our 2015 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL15 $10.99

Our classic 13-month spiral-bound calendar features 30 full-color photographs and a handy map of Arizona on the back.

Order Now >>
Purchase Camping GuideShop the AH Store >>

Featured Book

Arizona Highways
Camping Guide

AGCS3 $22.95

Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.

Order Now >>
2011 AH Wildlife CalendarSee Selection of Images >>

Featured Prints

Poster Prints
Special Edition Prints

Many of the extraordinary images found in our award-winning magazine, scenic coffee-table books and exquisite calendars can be purchased as fine posters and prints.

Order Now >>
Shop the AH Store >>

Featured Gift Item

Centennial Issue Reprint

SPCENN2 $4.99

If you missed our February 100-page Centennial Issue on newsstands earlier this year, here's your second chance to get a copy of this special collector's edition of Arizona Highways magazine..

Order Now >>

  • print page
  • Tell a Friend
  • Post to Facebook
  • YouTube
  • past to del.icio.us
BULLETDining Archive
Featured Dining LocationQueen Creek Olive Mill is located at 25062 S. Meridian Road in Queen Creek. For more information, call 480-888-9290 or visit www.queencreekolivemill.com.

© Richard Maack

Click image to view larger in separate window.
Good Press
It's improbable, to say the least, but some of the
best food around is at del Piero, the trendy little eatery
at Queen Creek Olive Mill. Talk about fresh.

By Maryal Miller

Queen Creek Fascinating are things that seemingly make no sense, yet somehow manage to be both strangely fantastic and surprisingly successful — Jamaican bobsledding, the Slinky and The Governator, to name a few. Arizona's only working olive mill and farm, the Queen Creek Olive Mill, is among the conundrums.

The mill is the brainchild of Perry Rea, a Canadian-born former Detroit auto industry exec with no formal gastronomic or agricultural pedigree, who moved his family to pastoral Queen Creek 12 years ago. Recreationally, Perry planted a few olive trees on his "retirement" property, and purchased a press to see if he could churn out some oil. He triumphed when Beau MacMillan — Rea's hockey buddy (Rea is a Canuck, after all) and Sanctuary Resort's famous "Iron Chef" — sampled his EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and bought it. The buzz was born and before long, despite the dicey drive to the mill, olive-oil lovers came knocking on Rea's far-flung door. Literally. He supplied their demand for oil and the Queen Creek Olive Mill was officially in business. As Kevin Costner can attest, if you build it, they just might come.

"People laugh when I tell them I went from motor oil to olive oil," Rea jokes. "This wasn't my plan, but this hobby of mine morphed so quickly, I couldn't stop it from growing."

Today, the completely sustainable farm harvests 16 different varieties of olives (the Spanish Mission is Rea's gem) to produce markedly fresh, Tuscan-style oils that are particularly, as Rea describes, "herbaceous." Sure, a 2,000-tree olive grove in the middle of the arid desert on the outer limits of Maricopa County might seem as outlandish as some Canadian car guy shilling olive oil, but the olive tree is actually indigenous to similar landscapes in the Mediterranean region. Moreover, in Arizona, the trees have no natural predators, so Rea's plants are pesticide free, leaving his oil unsullied.

"I have no problem saying that I have the freshest oil in North America. No oil is fresher than mine," Rea boasts. "And it's healthier."

In fact, his funky fresh EVOO became so popular, customers beseeched Rea to open an eatery at the mill to utilize it. And so, he did just that, opening del Piero, which is housed inside a 5,000-square-foot farmer's market, amid mill-made goodies and heaps of local bounty. The curious visit del Piero in droves to taste the illustrious Kalamata sandwich, stacked with salami, leafy greens and the mill's own sun-dried tomato and parmesan tapenade. Other delights, like homemade bruschetta and gourmet paninis on rosemary focaccia, use entirely in-house and local ingredients, and shine alongside natively fermented wine.

The mill's carnivorous Queen Creek neighbor, The Pork Shop, supplies the meats, including the smoky pepper-encrusted bacon used in del Piero's fluffy egg and provolone frittata. Rea's personal favorite, the EVOO waffles, are served all day, everyday. No doubt, olive-oil waffles at a small eatery in Queen Creek sounds preposterous, but somewhere in the Greater Antilles, a Jamaican bobsledder just wept tears of joy.

>> Back to Dining Archive
>> Visit Dining Guide

Events CalendarEscape, experience and explore Arizona, one event at a time... [more]

External LinksFor more information about great places to visit in Arizona, view our list of links to external resources, from Native American arts to parks and national forests... [more]


LodgingNo matter where you travel in Arizona, you'll find lodging that ranges from rustic to ritzy, along with everything in between... [more]

Weekend GetawaysIf you’re not working for the weekend, why not get away? Search our regional listings of things to do around the state. ... [more]

site map  |  terms of use  |  privacy policy  |  corporate sales  |  about us  |  contact us

Arizona Highways Television AZ Dept. of Transportation AZ Dept. of Public Safety Arizona Highways Photo Workshops

© Copyright 2014 Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The images on this Web site are copyrighted, digitally watermarked and registered with the Digimarc tracking system. All rights reserved. Copying and downloading images from this site are strictly prohibited.