Food & Wine Experience announces a la carte schedule

For several months foodies around the valley have been waiting anxiously for the up coming Food & Wine Experience the weekend of Nov. 5th-6th. The event at Salt River Fields will bring foodies together with chefs from Phoenix area restaurants and celebrity chef Mario Batali for cooking classes, dinners, a whiskey tasting and much more.

azcentral-food-wine-logo-cid_image002_jpg01d218b9With great food from over 70 restaurants and more than 200 beers and whiskeys available to taste organizers have put together an a la carte schedule so each festival goer can personalize their own experience. Food & wine experience a la carte itinerary

Below is the a la carte itinerary so you can plan a fun weekend.


Photo courtesy of Ken Goodman

Sat., Nov. 5

  • Lunch with Mario Batali. The chance to dine on recipes by this global favorite sold out within days.  Guests will dine on Mario’s favorite recipes, have the chance to hear firsthand from the maestro about his culinary inspirations and learn what promoted his latest book newest out this fall MARIO BATALI BIG AMERICAN COOKBOOK: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA. SOLD OUT
  • 1:30pm.  The Blend. Master bourbon maker and proprietor of Jefferson’s Small Batch Bourbon of Kentucky, Trey Zoeller leads this interactive adventure in blending.  Guests create their own custom bourbon and learn the historic secrets to this signature beverage. $39
  • Scotch, Steaks and Stogies. It’s a triple threat of super talent: chefs James Porter, Christopher Gross and Matt Carter lead this happy hour of great food and strong drink.  Porter pontificates straight from his Terra farm + manor; James Beard winner & French chef extraordinaire Christopher Gross adds spark straight from his venerable Christopher’s and Crush Lounge; and super perfect restaurateur Matt Carter delivers the flair of his Zinc Bistro, The Mission, The House Brasserie and the soon opening, Fat Ox. $59
  • Not Your Average BBQ & Brews. Another super trio elevates the American barbecue to new heights.  Think wagu beef vs. pulled pork. ‘nuf said.  Little Miss Barbecue’s jewel of a smoker, Scott Holmes, takes the griller’s role; Downtown Phoenix food creative Stephen Jones of DeSoto Market adds his stamp of culinary flair; and Bernie Kantak puts his precision into action straight from Citizen Public House and The Gladly. Want more of a reason to attend this event? Select varieties of Four Peaks, Goose Island and Golden Road breweries are featured accompaniments.  $79
  • Talking Stick Destination Dinner. Indigenous ingredients and savory continental flavors served with each course in this evening of authentic cultural immersion of the Southwest. Come for the food but stay for the flautist and hoop dancing performances of the Native American tradition. $80
  • Batali + Bianco. Experience elevated dining from two of the world’s most popular Italian chefs. An evening of fine food, excellent wine, warm hearts and two superbly inspiring culinary personalities. This occurs at the new Tratto in Phoenix. An evening to remember! $175.

Sun., Nov. 6

  • Eat. Drink. Give. We’re talking Sisterhood of the Stove, people!  Get on your feet and support this beautiful mini grand tasting lovingly prepared by a 13 all-female chef cast.  AND proceeds benefit The Joy Bus, which delivers fresh healthy meals to cancer patients. These sisters bring the heat from the kitchen to create small bites and joyful cocktails in a feel-good midday dining event that won’t disappoint.  $99
  • 12:30pm. East Meets West. When Nobuo Fukada decides to put a new twist on cuisine, guests know something exotic and delicious is about to happen.  The James Beard Award winning chef enlightens with insights on delicate yet satiating creations in a dining presentation that combines Japanese culture.  His small bites are paired with fine wines, rare Japanese whiskey and sake.  $49
  • 2:30pm.  Sunday Sip ‘n Tell. The traditions, regions and secrets of select wines make for a rare and palate-pleasing storyline in this Sunday afternoon seminar of libations presented by Today’s Patio.  $49
  • The Grand Finale Gio Osso, Alex Stratta, Kevin Fink, Bruce Kalman, and Chris Bianco present a superlative multi-course meal with fabulous pairings, capping off 3 days of rare food and beverages. Each delivers their own creation passionately prepared for an unforgettable evening with mega award-winning culinary personalities. $125

Ticket and information

Subscribers to and The Arizona Republic are eligible for $10 and $15-off any Grand Tasting ticket while supplies last at Grand Tasting tickets and latest information is at


Joe’s Midnight Run starts “It’s Midnight Somewhere” weekend brunch menu.

Along the busy restaurant corridor of 7th St. in central Phoenix, Joe’s Midnight Run kicks off its “It’s Midnight Somewhere” weekend brunch menu with drink and food specials every Saturday & Sunday from 9:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Joe's Midnight Run

Photo courtesy of Joe’s Midnight Run

its midnight somewhere’ brunch menu

Start off the morning with $3 Bellinis or Mimosas, $8 Bloody Mary’s, signature cocktails and more while you decide to soak it up with Chef Michael Smith’s Banana French Toast, Biscuits & Gravy or Shrimp & Grits just a few of the new brunch menu items.

For those that prefer the lunch side to the brunch menu they can order Notorious BIG Burger( made with braised pork, beef and chicharones), Milanesa Sandwich, salads, flatbreads and more.

photo courtesy of Joe's Midnight Run

photo courtesy of Joe’s Midnight Run

Joe’s Midnight Run is at 6101 N. 7th St. Phoenix, 85014 (480)459-4467



New Beer Buzz: Sierra Bonita Grill 1st in Phoenix area to sell Dog Tag Legacy Lager

Central Phoenix’s Sierra Bonita Grill is the 1st Phoenix area restaurant to sell Dog Tag Brewing Foundation’s Legacy Lager at their 16th St. restaurant. The beer was created to honor the legacy of men & women in the armed services who made the ultimate sacrifice with all profits going to support their Gold Star families. You can enjoy the beer at Sierra Bonita Grill or take it home with you for $10 a can.

Dog Tag legacy lager. Photo courtesy of Leslie Chou

Dog Tag legacy lager. Photo courtesy of Leslie Chou

Dog tag Brewing Foundation

The Bozeman MT, Dog Tag Brewing Foundation uses all profits to support building projects in the communities of the Gold Star Families through grants, consulting with charities and public awareness of the service and sacrifice made by the fallen soldiers. In addition much of the packaging is dedicated to each Fallen Warrior who family has been a recipient of a Dog Tag Brewing Foundation Legacy Grant.

Sierra Bonita Grill donates sales

Sierra Bonita Grill will continue to support Dog Tag Brewing Foundation causes by donating 50% off the purchase price of each beer to Dog Tag sold. According to Sierra Bonita Grill’s Bar Manager, Miguel Lerma, “Honoring the brave individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice is a privilege that Sierra Bonita Grill is humbled by. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve Dog Tag Brewing’s beer.”

Sierra Bonita Grill is at 6933 N. 7th St., Phoenix, Ariz., 85014. 602-274-0700




2016 Slider Throw Down for charity set for November 13th at Kierland Commons

Who doesn’t like tasting the delicious flavors of tacos, pizza & burgers to satisfy your appetite, not this guy. While typing this post for the up-coming 2016 Slider Throw Down, I’m building an appetite for day 2 of taco judging. We enjoy tasting food prepared by full time restaurant chefs along with weekend chef and their taco or slider creations. The Slider Throw Down is set to take place at Kierland Commons on Sunday Nov. 13th from 12 noon – 3pm to benefit Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF)

Photo courtesy of Knife and Fork Media

Photo courtesy of Knife and Fork Media

slider throw down food trucks

This years Slider Throw Down will have local food trucks such as Butta Burger, Spice It Up and Phil the Grill preparing sliders for festival goers who contribute $25 for admission and 1 slider from each truck. All proceeds got to Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation. Slders will be judged by local “slider experts” and attendees who can vote for the “People’s Choice”

Arizona friends of foster children foundation

The AFFCF helps support children in foster care by letting them enjoy their childhood, according to Kris Jacober, Director of the AFFCF says, “We help these children through difficult circumstances by providing them with resources and allowing them to take part in enjoyable activities that promote self-esteem.” The AFFCF has awarded over $5 million dollars to children in foster care and yet there are still thousands of kids awaiting their help. By purchasing a ticket to the Slider Throwdown you can do your part to help. Purchase tickets here



2nd annual Phoenix Pizza Festival is a slice of heaven

It’s food festival season here in the Phoenix area with restaurants, food trucks, bartenders & foodies prepping their favorite food & drinks for the masses on a weekly basis. Saturday November 19th brings us the 2nd Annual Phoenix Pizza Festival as it converges on Margret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix.

Logo courtesy of Phoenix Pizza Festival

Logo courtesy of Phoenix Pizza Festival

festival pizza makers

15 pizza makers including Fabio on Fire, SuperFarm SuperTruck, La Piazza Al Forno Phx and Dough Mama will give the estimated 3,000+ festival attendees the opportunity to buy slices, full pies and more. Craft beers from Helio Basin Brewing Co, That Brewing Co. and other brewers along with wines will be available to pair with your pizza. Lawn games and live music will be adding to the festive food atmosphere.

downtown phoenix Inc.

Part of the proceeds from the pizza festival will be given to the Downtown Phoenix Inc. as it continues to promote the development & re-vitalization of downtown Phoenix with events and strategic partnerships.

tickets and info

Tickets for the Phoenix Pizza Festival are $10 and only available on online at and are limited. The festival runs from 11am- 5pm & Margret T. Hance Park is at 1202 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85004. Free parking is available around the park and light rail stops 3 blocks from the park.



Zen Culinary announces executive chef Kelly Fletcher to lead new restaurant

New restaurants are always opening in the Phoenix metro area, one of the more anticipated and ambitious projects is Zen Culinary, set to open later in October in north Scottsdale. Executive chef Kelly Fletcher is a big piece of the puzzle as he’s been tapped to lead the culinary team that also includes Bitter & Twisted’s executive chef Bob Tam as culinary advisor.

Dumplings. Photo courtesy of HDE Agency

Dumplings. Photo courtesy of HDE Agency

Zen Culinary Team

Kelly Fletcher has been around the Phoenix area food scene for quite a while as former executive chef at House of Trick’s in Tempe and recently at El Chorro Lodge in Paradise Valley. Fletcher has hosted pop-up dinners, been guest chef at many local restaurants and is very active in the Phoenix culinary industry.

Owner Rachel Maculey sought out Fletcher for his food and cultural diversity when it comes to his menu’s, his French training and his commitment to his home-grown Arizona community in an effort to achieve her vision of sharing her family’s culture through food and here upbringing in Thailand. Bob Tam’s bring his culinary ideas including teaching new techniques, introducing new ingredients & his business acumen to this Asian fusion restaurant.

With good food comes good drinks to enjoy and Michael Liberatore is responsible for the beverage program at Zen Culinary. Michael previously worked at Citizen Public House.

Zen Culinary executive chef Kelly Fletcher

Zen Culinary executive chef Kelly Fletcher

Zen Culinary will be serving lunch and dinner from a menu that will include Thai, Chinese, Japanese and American cuisine by using mostly locally sourced organic ingredients that will give diners the opportunity to experience the balance, spice & textures of the teams creations.

Zen Culinary is at 15544 N Pima Road, Scottsdale, AZ, Zen Culinary will be open Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.


Sushi Roku is celebrating it’s 8th anniversary and is giving you the gift with 50% off dinner

Sushi Roku at the W Hotel celebrates its 8th anniversary this week and it’s the customers who are being given the gift of half off all food. Whether your there for the stylish & delicious sushi or the authentic Asian delicacies, all your food will be 50% off when you guarantee the offer by making a reservation for the any evening this week, Monday, Oct.10th – Thus. 13th. Walk-ins are welcome, seated on a 1st come 1st serve basis.

Photo courtesy of Sushi Roku

Photo courtesy of Sushi Roku

The W Hotel is at 7277 E. Camelback Rd. Scottsdale 85251 (480)970-2121