Michael Rusconi of Rusconi’s American Kitchen to teach how to make 3 of his signature dishes at luncheon.

Calling all home chefs, if you’re looking for new recipe ideas and cooking techniques chef/ owner Michael Rusconi of Rusconi’s American Kitchen is teaching a cooking class & luncheon this Saturday Jan. 28th. The theme for the 3-course meal & lunch is “A Sonoran Winter Harvest Lunch” and will feature 3 of Rusconi’s signature dishes and instructions as how to prepare and cook them.

Guests will learn to use the unique ingredients that chef Rusconi uses to give his dishes his signature flair. After learning to make the dishes guests will dine on the creations of a menu of Butternut Squash Soup, Pan roasted chicken with green chile mac & cheese, agave glazed carrots and Cranberry & White Chocolate Crème Brûlée;

The class will start at 10am and go lunch will conclude at 1:00pm. The cost is $65 per person and includes, cooking instruction, recipes and 3 course lunch. Wine can be paired with lunch for an additional $12. Space is limited, to save your seat call 480-483-0009.

Rusconi’s American Kitchen is at 10637 N. Tatum Blvd. Phoenix 85028. http://rusconiskitchen.com/

Tucson’s OBON Sushi Bar Ramen opening in Scottsdale in the spring

Sliding into the space that used to occupy TK’s Tavern at the Scottsdale Quarter, OBON Sushi Bar Ramen will debut this spring from Tuscon based Fukushu Restaurant Concepts.  The Asian influenced eatery is known for its traditional Japanese ramen and sushi with Korean flare and its well received craft cocktail program.

OBON’s Steamed buns

OBON founder Brando Katz is a veteran of the restaurant industry having worked as a regional manager for RA Sushi and in several restaurant positions in Tucson for more than 10 years until he went to open his own restaurant with partner Andrew Joffroy in 2015.

“Expanding this concept into the valley has been a longtime dream of ours since opening our first location in Tucson” says Katz. “From our diverse menu to our innovative cocktails and hip yet approachable atmosphere, I truly believe that we’ve created a unique dining experience that will resonate with people.”

The kitchen will be led by chef Paulo Im and the menu will highlight its OBON sushi, a variety of ramen along with steamed buns, Katsu pork and chicken teriyaki.

The bar program created by Beverage Director Matt Martinez has garnered accolades locally being named “Restaurant Bar of the Year” by Tucson Bar Awards and Martinez being named Tucson’s Bartender of the Year and Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender. In addition to craft cocktails OBON will also offer sake, wine and craft beer.

Check back for updates for more information, a full menu and opening date.

 

 

Singh Farms opens Singh Meadows in Tempe with big plans

I just got back from visiting the new Singh Meadows on the old Rio Salado Golf Course in Tempe where I got to meet and speak with Ken Singh farmer & owner of Singh Farms & Meadows. I first heard about this project a few years ago and have not heard anything until this week about its progress and phase 1.  Ken has spent the last few years completely re-soiling the once toxic dirt from the golf course to new fresh, organic soil that will grow much of his fresh vegetables & where kids can roll down the hills free of toxic pesticides.

 

His new market inside the old club house is where visitors find his growings from his farm not far away. A coffee bar with coffee from Press Roasters & bake shop offers people to linger and enjoy all the green lush landscape that has been restored from recent years. After the rains of yesterday water flows out of sight as part of the Indian Bend Wash where it empties to Tempe Town Lake a little ways down. Ken hopes to incorporate a park like atmosphere with paths is already under way as golf cart paths are still in tact and softer wood chip paths have start to be landscaped taking you down to the running water.

The cafe which currently has grab n go items and pastries is being run by 3 experienced chefs Frank Belosic, Jay Bogsinske and Dan Melden. In the future the cafe will offer house made pizzas, pastas and more from scratch. Dinners and farm tours will be available down the road.

Ken has lots of ideas but not sure what he wants to do with all 72 acres he has to play with. Having farmed his family farm for over 40 years this has become a grand endeavor to leave his son, a future farmer.  In listening to Ken he is the smartest person I know when it comes to soil, dirt and growing vegetables in it and listening to him I hear his passion in making sure we leave the earths resources it the right way for future generations.

The farmer’s market is open every weekend from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

I’m as excited as Ken Singh is to have this new farm & market community down the street near the Tempe/ Scottsdale border and look forward to helping keep Ken’s vision alive.

Singh Meadows is at 1490 E. Weber Dr. Tempe 85281

 

 

MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails now serving brunch on weekends

If you’re like me, an early riser who eats breakfast well before the sun rises during the winter months, it means you probably want lunch when some still have not had breakfast. This common occurrence is best served on weekends when many restaurants serve brunch to appease both the early & late risers. Now you can enjoy brunch at MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails on Sat. & Sun. from 10:20 a.m. – 4:20 p.m.

MATCH Cuisine photos courtesy of Je-Hyen Valdez

Inside the FOUND:RE Hotel in Phoenix MATCH Cuisine started 2017 by serving brunch that will evolve over time to include Executive Chef Akos Szabo’s take on Dim-Sum but currently includes a menu that is inspired by food from around the world with ingredients that come from closer to home. A few of the delicious brunch menus dishes include……

Filipino Chile Relleno with longanisa sausage, mozzarella, charred tomato, cojita cheese and Mexican oregano, $14
Adela’s Enchiladas with top knot farm chicken, salsa verde, avocado crema and crisp lettuce
Braised Korean Rib Lettuce Wraps with pickled carrots, coriander, Thai basil, gochujang aioli, lime and salted cashews, $15
Not Your Basic Chick with a sweet potato waffle, crispy fried chicken and Caribbean hot sauce, $13
Additional menu items include organic yogurt & granola parfait with seasonal berries at $9 and the Plato Paisa with wood grilled steak, plantains, crispy chicharrones, longanisa sausage, avocado, black beans, crema and fried eggs ($21).
MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails and FOUND:RE Hotel is at 1100 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85003. http://www.MatchPHX.com

Sweet treats & wine at the Chocolate and Wine Experience on Jan. 27th.

Nothing says decadence and delight on a Friday night than chocolate and wine do and if both tickle your fancy the way it does mine then circle Friday January 27th on your calendar and get your tickets for the Chocolate and Wine Experience at The Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale.

This tasty event is hosted by The Scottsdale League of the Art as it kicks off its 2017 fund-raising season by bringing together chocolate from local chocolate makers, gourmet cuisine and local wines and craft beers. Highlights of the evening include a s’mores station,  a chocolate 101 teaching, chocolate martinis and a spiked hot chocolate bar.

Guests attending the Chocolate and wine Experience will taste samples of chocolate from Zak’s Chocolate, Nutwhats, XO confections and more. Food, wine and beer will be provided by EVO, Aioli’s Gourmet Burgers, Yancy Fancy Cheeses, Grand Canyon Brewing Company, Aridus Wine Company and others.

The Walken’s will be performing a wide range of classic cover tunes as guests meander through the night enjoying the festive atmosphere.

The money raised helps the non-profit Scottsdale League of the Arts support and promote the arts and arts education throughout the Phoenix area with several popular fundraisers a year including the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and The Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner.

Pre-sale tickets are on sale for $60 and early admission for $75 with entry an hour earlier & a champagne welcome. Tickets at the door will be $70. All guest will enjoy un-limited tastes of food, 12 drink sample tickets and access to all activities. The doors open at 7pm for early guests and 8pm for general admission.

The Saguaro Scottsdale, 4000 N Drinkwater Blvd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 and tickets can be purchased at http://www.scottsdalefest.org/

Liberty Station opening in February by owners of Market Street Kitchen

Options are good and the residents of north Scottsdale will have another dining option when Liberty Station opens in February. The new restaurant will be where Scottsdale Rd. meets Carefree Highway and is from Keeler Hospitality Group, owners of Market Street Kitchen in DC Ranch.

The menu will be focused on American comfort food with a regional twist including specialties from Boston where the Keeler family is from. Lunch and dinner will be served with Executive Chef Michael Hunn and Chef de Cuisine Dan Watts running the kitchen where they will source local ingredients for much of the menu.

Creekstone Farms will be supplying the meats with much of it being smoked in-house in a custom smoker and will include Texas brisket, Carolina pork shoulder and my favorite, St. Louis spare ribs.

The bar will include classic cocktails, local craft beers and a variety of wines.

“Liberty Station is truly the definition of ‘neighborfood.’ You will enjoy a scratch-made meal that is relatable and incredibly tasty, while greeting friends and neighbors in our very comfortable dining room. We’ll have community tables, a very large bar and two patios. We want our neighbors to become friends at Liberty Station,” said Paul Keeler, President of Keeler Hospitality Group.

Liberty Station will be a place for all to enjoy as their will be vegan and vegetarian options including Vegan gnocchi and a Portobello sandwich on Udi’s bread and over a dozen Gluten-free options. A few of the menu highlights will be….

  • Tavern Mac & Cheese with cheddar cream, bacon breadcrumbs and Pasilla chiles, $10 (shared appetizer).
  • Piggy Wings, grilled pork shank with sticky BBQ sauce, $9 (shared appetizer).
  • Liberty Chopped Salad, with white balsamic dressing, roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and pepitas, $8
  • Boston Lobster Roll with lemon aioli and celery on a brioche roll, $18 (lunch menu).
  • All American Chicago Hot Dog with mustard, tomato, onion, house relish and sport peppers, $8 (lunch menu).
  • Chopped Brisket Grilled Cheese with smoky cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese and a grilled tomato, $12 (lunch menu).
  • New England Clam Boil with Littleneck clams, rock shrimp, new potatoes, corn and hot link sausage, $24 (dinner menu).
  • Kobe Meatloaf with shoestring onions, ketchup vinegar glaze and mashed potatoes, $17 (dinner menu).

Once opened Liberty Station will be serving lunch daily at 11:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Dinner service begins at 5:00 p.m. nightly. Happy Hour is offered at the bar Monday – Sunday from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Brunch will be served Sundays from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

 

Del Taco adds turkey meat to the menu for healthy eating options.

Have you already given up on that New Year’s resolution to eat healthier and lose those pounds you put on since Thanksgiving. Well you’re not alone as 80% of people with New Year’s resolutions will give up by February. Del Taco, the nations 2nd leading Mexican quick service restaurant, has added seasoned turkey meat to their menu and can be substituted for the seasoned ground beef to keep you on the healthy eating track all year-long.

The Del Taco w/ turkey courtesy of Del Taco

The seasoned turkey meat has 40% less fat than the traditionally served seasoned beef and can be enjoyed with The Del Taco, one of the best-selling menu items at no extra cost for $1.39.

Other menu items that would be great for turkey substitution are the Signature Taco Salad and Del Taco’s 3 Handcrafted Ensaladas that all have less than 600 calories with dressing and are prepared to order.

“We’re committed to giving our guests the greatest value and variety in the industry, and that means creating options for Del Taco fans who are resolving to eat better in 2017,” said Noah Chillingworth, Del Taco’s Vice President of Marketing. “By substituting our seasoned turkey in any menu item that traditionally comes with seasoned beef, our guests can still satisfy their Mexican food cravings while cutting out nearly half the fat.”

Other low-calorie options on the Del Taco menu include Fresca Bowls packed with fresh ingredients without the tortilla and Street Tacos with 170-180 calories each are topped with roasted chile salsa, diced onions, fresh cilantro and hand sliced avocados wrapped in warm corn tortillas.

For a limited time guests can “Buy 1 Turkey Taco, Get 1 Free” when the join the Raving Fan EClub at https://deltaco.com/turkey

Chillingworth continued, “Our menu truly has something for everyone, from value and convenience seekers to those with hearty appetites or in search of better-for-you options, Del Taco caters to a diverse audience with even broader tastes.”