Born with gracious hospitality genes – a gift from his Colombian mother and Yugoslavian father – Pavle Milic entered the restaurant business at the age of 16 and has never looked back. His front-of-the-house career includes time spent at the storied Franco’s Trattoria in Phoenix, Anne Rosenzwig’s fine-dining Arcadia restaurant in New York City, and Restaurant Budo in Napa Valley. During his stint in the California wine country, Milic embraced the interconnected relationships between food and wine, and farmers and winemakers. Upon returning to Arizona in 2007 to help open a new restaurant, Milic was soon approached to oversee the service staff of Prado at the Montelucia in Paradise Valley.
A serendipitous evening shift spent helping an old friend at another local restaurant put Milic back in touch with another longtime friend, Charleen Badman. The two exchanged phone numbers and were soon plotting the opening of their own restaurant, FnB. From the beginning, just as Badman cultivated relationships with the best local farmers, Milic sought out top Arizona winemakers with his efforts culminating in an all-Arizona wine list. In 2014, Milic released his own wine label, Los Milics, in collaboration with noted Arizona winemakers Kelly and Todd Bostock of Dos Cabezas Wineworks in Sonoita. In 2017, Milic’s wine program at FnB was awarded a James Beard Nomination for Outstanding Beverage Program.” In 2020, FnB was nominated for “Outstanding Beverage Program” by the JBF. Milic and Badman were inducted into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame as “Best Restaurateurs” in 2013.
Be sure to check out Pav on Juice in Phoenix Magazine for which Pavle writes a monthly wine column. He has been a contributor to Phoenix Magazine since 2016.
Born and raised in the 5th region of Chile, Villa Alemana, Ita is the daughter of Doña Margarita and Don Marco Gomez, whom she refers to as her pillars in life. Mom to a beautiful boy named Renato, who came into her life at age twenty-two. Early on, she discovered a love for plants and nature, a gift passed on from both her grandmothers, Celinda and Hayde. She studied in various schools in the 5th region where arts and science were fundamental. She was quite fond of the arts, which led her to partake in various plays in theater. She graduated with a degree as a medical technician from the Douc-uc Catholic University of Valparaiso. Though she worked in a lab setting for a few years, it was her love for the arts and languages led her to take on a job as a translator and tour guide in Valparaiso. After finding the love of her life, Pavle, she relocated to the United States where the two families were joined: Ita, Renato and Pavle’s kids (Hannah, Lorenzo, and Oliver), whom she loves infinitely, in addition to their two dogs Lucy and Luna and the chubby gato Brixie.
In Arizona, Ita worked in various restaurants where she developed a deeper love for wine. Soon thereafter, she had the opportunity to learn more about viticulture and enology from local winemakers. She had the unique experience to spend some time with the Villard family in Chile during harvest learning more about the winemaking process. She also has taken satellite courses from UC Davis to complement what was in store at Los Milics Vineyards. In 2019, she spent harvest season with Kelly and Todd from Dos Cabezas, whom she not only considers mentors, but good friends. Since 2018, she has been deeply involved in both vineyard and cellar responsibilities with Pavle. When not found in the cellar, Ita can be found either talking to any animal that crosses her path, or on the roads of Elgin riding her bike, Lourdes.
Mo has been a lover of wine since he was first introduced to the “good life” as a teenager by a friend’s family many decades ago. While his primary career has been in law and aviation, Mo’s primary passion is producing amazing wines in his own vineyard. After scouting sites in Italy and New Zealand, he discovered a “diamond in the rough” in his own backyard: South Arizona. And when Mo and Pavle got to speaking one night at Pavle’s FnB Restaurant about their true calling in life, Los Milics Vineyards was born. Our vineyard is the manifestation of Mo’s desire to pair the incredible natural beauty of the Arizona high desert with superb wine, great food and unforgettable experiences and share it all with family and friends, old and new.
Born in Guanajuato, Mexico, Juan arrived in the United States in 2010. He worked in various vineyards in Oregon where his training in viticulture began. In 2014, he moved to Willcox to join Berenice, his wife. During this time, he worked with Jesse Noble at the Al Buhl Memorial Vineyard until 2016. In 2016, he spent two years tending the Rhumbline Vineyard for Todd and Michelle Myers. In 2018, he assisted in vineyard work with the folks from Deep Sky.
Juan joined our team in 2019 and now oversees vineyard operations with a Cuadrilla he formed with colleagues from Rancho Romita in Guanajuato.
TOMMY & PATRICIA
Chen + Suchart Studio works at a variety of scales ranging from small well crafted projects and single family residences to larger scale urban design. Thamarit Suchart and Patricia Szu-Ping Chen Suchart completed their studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Architecture 1997) and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design (Master of Architecture in Urban Design 1999). Thamarit was born and raised in Arizona. Having left Arizona for 13 years of education on the east coast of the United States, he chose to return to Arizona to raise his family and to start a design practice with Patricia in 2002. Since 2015, the firm has been the recipient of a total of nine AIA design awards, from both the AIA Arizona Chapter as well as from the AIA Western Mountain Region Chapter.