Rune Wines & Farmboy pair up for “Blue Zones” pop-up dinner

Grace Farms in Chandler will be the site of a “Taste of The Blue Zones” pop-up dinner on April 28th. The dinner will pair a creative worldly four-course menu from Farmboy with wines from Sonoita’s Rune Wines. Farmboy chef Dennis Bagnasco will use ingredients that are sourced locally as will be the wood used to cook over.

Blue zone’s are identified as parts of the world where certain lifestyle elements create an excellent quality of life. The blues zones have been identified by author Dan Buettner’s National Geographic articles and books. Lifestyle elements in the blue zones include diet and positive outlook on life.

Rune Wines owner and winemaker James Callahan will be pouring his wines with each course.

The menu is as follows….

Reception (Nicoya, Costa Rica) — Black Bean Dip with corn tortillas, papaya salsa and plantains paired with Rune 201 Viogner, craft beer and specialty cocktail

1st Course (Okinawa, Japan) — Purple Sweet Potato with tofu, snap peas, sesame and sweet and spicy soycomplemented by Rune 2016 Roussanne

Intermezzo (Icaria, Greece) — Ikarian Longevity Stew with black-eyed peas, veggies and heirloom tomatoes

2nd Course (Sandinia, Italy) — Whole Smoked Lamb with artichoke and garlic white wine sauce served with Rune 2016 Grenache

 3rd Course (Loma Linda, California) — Cherry Nut Bark with dried cherries, pecans and dark chocolate paired with Rune 2016 Wild Syrah

The dinner is $119 per person plus tax and starts at 5:30 p.m. You may purchase tickets to the dinner here.

A Taste of Mount Veeder coming to Scottsdale in March

We all remember our first love, first car and first winery we visited right. I remember the first two but the wine geek in me remembers visiting Hess Collection Winery on Mount Veeder in 1997. It was the first winery I had ever visited early in my wine career. Hess Collection will be one of 11 wineries pouring their wines at “A Taste of Mount Veeder” on Saturday March 2nd. The tasting will be at Troon Country Club from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

About Mount Veeder

The Mount Veeder appellation is part of the Mayacamas range on the western side of Napa Valley. It borders Sonoma County to the west and the Carneros appellation to the south. From vineyards a top the mountain on a clear day you can see San Francisco to the south as I did from Rubisow-Sargent’s vineyards on another visit to Napa Valley.

Grapes at Paratus Vineyards. All photos courtesy of Mount Veeder Appellation

In 1993 it was designated an American Viticultural Area(AVA) and covers 16,000 acres with only 1,000 acres under vine. Cabernet Sauvignon makes up 64% of grapes grown. Mount Veeder represents 1.3% of wine production in Napa Valley.

It was the first AVA to grow Petit Verdot, have all 5 Bordeaux varietals planted at one vineyard and produce a wine with all 5 Bordeaux varietals.

Wineries participating

This will be a unique opportunity to taste these wines in one place as some of the wineries are not open to the public. Participating wineries will be…..

Boich Family Cellar
Brandlin
The Hess Collection Winery
Lagier Meredith
Marketta Winery
O’Shaughnessy Estate Winery
Progeny
Random Ridge
Robert Craig Winery
Rudd Estate Winery
Sky Vineyards
Yates Family Vineyards

Find wines that you like and you’ll be able to order them for your collection. Tickets are $75 in advance and include gourmet hor d’oeuvres. Tickets will be $100 at the door. To purchase tickets visit their website or call 707-266-1296 before they sell out.

Troon Country Club is at 25000 N. Windy Walk Dr. Scottsdale 85255.

Tickets available for Tuscon’s SAVOR Food and Wine Festival

If you’re not familiar with the Tuscon food and wine scene now is a great opportunity to get to know it. This Saturday’s SAVOR Food and Wine Festival showcases southern Arizona’s restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries at the Tucson Botanical Garden. Over 60 participants will be offering tastes and sips of their food and drinks.

The 6th annual event promotes the region as a serious player on the national food scene. The festival is co-sponsored by the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, Local First Arizona and Tuscon Botanical Garden. The three non-profits promote the cultural uniqueness that southern Arizona has to offer.

“The Savor Food and Wine Festival not only showcases the rich and delicious culture of the region, but highlights the importance of supporting these local food businesses in our daily lives,” said Kimber Lanning, Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona. “Much of Southern Arizona’s local economy is driven by those in the dining, culinary, and local foods industries. Without them, we wouldn’t have the diverse culture and economy that we see today in Tucson and beyond.”

Tastes and sips at SAVOR Food & Wine Festival

Festival goers can expect to taste delicious foods from new restaurants along with long time Tucson favorites. A few of the restaurants participating include…..

Pastiche Modern Eatery, Tohono Chul Garden Bistro, Omni Tuscon National, Merkin Vineyards Pizza Wagon, Casino Del Sol, El Cisne Cocina de Mexico and Brushfire BBQ.

Wineries, distilleries and breweries include….. Barrio Brewing, Caduceus Cellars, Pillsbury Wine Co. Whiskey Del Bac, Mother Road Brewing Co. and Adventurous Stills.

Guests will also enjoy educational food demonstrations, live music, unique art displays and a raffle. Admission includes Butterfly Magic and the “Out of the Woods” exhibit on tour from the New York Botanical Garden.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. with tickets costing $79. Tickets are available at https://www.saaca.org/

The Tuscon Botanical Garden is at 2150 N. Alveron Way.

 

6th Annual Italian Festival returns to “Piazza del Scottsdale”

Everything Italian will be celebrated February 23rd & 24th at the 6th Annual Italian Festival in Scottsdale. The popular 2-day festival is organized by The Italian Association of Arizona with part of the proceeds going to St. Vincent de Paul. The festival returns to the “Piazza del Southbridge” along the waterfront in downtown Scottsdale.

Marcellino Verzino of Marcellino Ristorante

Wine, gelato, homemade meatballs and delicious Italian food favorites will be available as you stroll among traditional Italian crafts vendors. Live music and dancing by Italian folk group A Ziarella, Di Gala, Phoenician Tenors and Sima and her All Star Trio will entertain.

Celebrity chef Marco Sciortino will be there and offer cooking demonstrations at the Galbani Cheese stage.

Tickets are $10 with children under 12 free and are available online. The festival starts Saturday & Sunday at 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and 6 p.m.

 

 

 

Mora Italian ends 2018 with 4 course menu on New Year’s Eve

As Phoenix restaurants fill up with New Year’s Eve reservations diners decide where to dine for a final meal of 2018. Mora Italian offers a 4 course prie fixe menu starting at 4 p.m. The Italian influenced menu offers guests a wide range of flavors from Chef Scott Conant and his culinary team. This will be the only dining option at Mora on NYE.

The modern Italian menu is as follows….

First (choice of)

Radicchio & Endives- blood orange, pignoli, black olives

Porcini & Artichoke Soup- fontina crema, truffle focaccia

Seacat Gardens Little Gem- black truffle & parmesan dressing, anchovy crumble

Second (choice of)

Pasta Pomodoro

Foie Gras Gnudi- masala reduction, crispy duck

Rigatoni Nero- king crab, squid bolognese, bottarga breadcrumbs

Third (choice of)

Beef Shortrib Daube- chestnut zuppa, celery root, parmesan

Roasted Turbot- hazelnuts, capers, tomato, brown butter

Pumpkin Parmesan- black truffle fonduta, frisée, pickled fennel

Dolce (choice of)

Budino- white chocolate, peppermint

Chocolate Torte- pickled blackberry compote, mascarpone gelato

Blackberry Sorbet- saba, basil Genovese

The multi course dinner is $65 per person with an optional wine pairing for an additional $25.

For more information and to make a reservation please got to their website.

Mora Italian is at 5651 N. 7th St. Phoenix 85014 (602)795-9943

 

Switchback Ridge Winery dinner at The Market Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s

Phoenix restaurants are running around crazy the next 10 days with the holiday rush in 5th gear. After 2019 begins restaurateurs and staff take a needed breather it will be back to serving hungry visitors and locals. The Market + Bar at Jennifer’s jumps back into it on January 9th with a wine dinner with Switchback Ridge Winery.

The four-course dinner will be paired with a unique menu from chef Jennifer Russo and wines made by legendary Napa Valley winemaker Bob Foley. Founder Kelly Peterson will be flying in from Calistoga to co-host the dinner and speak about the wines.

Switchback Ridge sources all the grapes for their wines from the families Peterson Family Vineyard run by Kelly’s mom and dad, John & Joyce Peterson. The winery makes 3 red wines with a small production of less than 3,000 cases.

Switchback Ridge Winery pairing menu

The big & bold red wines require a bold menu and it is as follows……

Hourglass Sauvignon Blanc 2016

Grilled Prawns with Bottarga Risotto

Giant prawns seasoned with flakey salt and Gilroy garlic brushed with extra virgin olive oil lightly grilled until color bursts creamy Italian arborio risotto with vanilla bean backnotes served with grated Mediterranean bottarga lime and lemon zest

 

Switchback Ridge Merlot 2014

Roasted Breast of Duck with Hoisin

Breast of duck, seared to mid-rare with a hoisin glaze Yukon gold potato gratin, braised Belgian endive and fresh mint leaves

 

Switchback Ridge Cabernet 2014

Bing cherry Demi-Glace over Lamb Loin

Boneless Colorado rack of lamb roasted to a warm mid-rare served with a bing cherry demi-glace and tender cooked bulgur wheat and snipped fresh watercress

 

Side by Side

Switchback Ridge Petite Syrah 2015 & Switchback Ridge Vintage Petite Syrah

Deconstructed Bleu Cheese Cheesecake

Honey black pepper macerated blackberries layered with bleu cheese cheesecake with vanilla wafer crust

 

The dinner is $95 per person at starts at 6:30 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling (602)626-5050.

The Market + Bar by Jennifer’s is at 3603 E. Indian School. Rd Phoenix 85018.

2018 AZ Central Wine & Food experience welcomes Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez

Over 60 Arizona restaurants and their chefs return November 3rd & 4th for the 4th annual AZ Central Wine & Food Experience. The 2018 experience moves up the road to Monterra at Westworld and includes celebrity chefs Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez.

Marcus Samuelsson
All photos courtesy of FleurCom Group

The Martha Stewart Experience returns

AZWFE welcomes back The Martha Stewart Experience with a Celebrating with Martha theme for guests to get creative just in time for the holidays. You’ll be able to check out Martha’s newest line of kitchen gear and utensils from Macy’s and QVC.

New to this years event is the The Grateful House where guests can make their own salsa and wine charms. Their will be Master Demo lead by a Grateful Influencer to 40 people on a first come first serve basis.

Join Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez

On Saturday award-winning chef Marcus Samuelesson will join the festivities along with local chefs. Sunday welcomes chef and Food Network judge Aaron Sanchez who will mix and mingle with guest and more local chefs.

Chefs from across the valley including Juan Zamora of Chula Seafood, Jennifer Russo of The Market by Jennifer Restaurant and Bar and MATCH Restaurant and Lounge chef Alex Stratta will prepare tastes of food.

Get your tickets

Tickets for the two day event are available at their website.

  • Grand Tasting.  $65 limited time offer in advance. Sample delicious bites from Arizona’s most coveted dining establishments. Meet chefs, taste their creations; see cooking demonstrations.  Plus enjoy fine wine, craft beer and distinctive spirits sampling. GT entry at 1pm Sat. and Sun.
  • VIP Grand Tasting. $120 in advance.  For guests who seek all the benefits of the Grand Tasting, they’ll also enjoy private tastings from wineries and distillers, early entry, a VIP Lounge and VIP restrooms. VIP Entry at noon.
  • Chef’s Package Experience with Marcus Samulesson & Aarón Sánchez.  $180 in advance. Enjoy all the benefits of the VIP Grand Tasting, PLUS private meet and greet and book-signing with Marcus Samuelsson Nov. 3 & Aarón Sánchez Nov. 4 [Advance purchase recommended. Tickets subject to sellout.] Chef’s Package begins at 11:30am. Subscribers are eligible for $15 off tickets, available only through azcentral.com/insider.

 

Parma Italian Roots to debut in north Scottsdale this fall.

Our love affair with Italian food will never end and it’s a good thing that the valley is getting another Italian restaurant when it opens September 21st. Parma Italian Roots will open this fall in north Scottsdale under the direction of executive chef Chris Gentile.

Parma Italian Roots
Blueberry Bruschetta. All photos courtesy of Awe Collective.

Gentile from southern California has created a menu of West Coast influenced Italian cuisine which uses high-quality seafood, flavorful herbs and fresh vegetables. He then adds his coastal California influences to each dish.

“I can’t wait to call Scottsdale home,” Gentile says. “The city has already been amazingly welcoming, and I’ve loved getting to know the local food and beverage scene and everyone who makes it so special.”

Pappardelle Bolognaese

Want to work at Parma Italian Roots?

Those looking to work at Parma Italian Roots can attend a job fair to apply and interview for one of 40 positions available. Front of the house and back of the house positions are available. Potential employees can attend a job fair Tues. 8/21-Fri. 8/25 from 10.am. – 2p.m. at the restaurant at 20831 N. Scottsdale Rd. Suite 117 Scottsdale. For more information check out http://www.parmaitalianaz.com/

If you can’t make the job fair you can send a resume & cover letter to chris@parmaitalian.com

Subscribe to get the latest restaurant news, info on food, wine & beer festivals and other culinary and hospitality current events. Follow me on Instagram @SandyWass Twitter @SandyWasserman

 

Tomaso’s to host 4-course Italian wine pairing dinner

Long time Phoenix restaurateur Tomaso Maggiore of Tomaso’s knows his way around the kitchen and dining room after serving guests since 1977. He also knows what wine goes well with his authentic Italian specialties coming from his kitchen. On Saturday August 25th he will share his culinary knowledge as he prepares a 4-course dinner that pairs his food with wine inspired by his Sicilian upbringing.

Tomaso’s wine pairing menu

The dinner will start at 6:30 p.m. with a reception as guests arrive with dinner starting at 7. Guests will dine on…..

Swordfish Braciola with seafood and zucchini blossom couscous paired with Monte Olimpo- Chardonnay Insolia blend.

Veal with wild mushrooms & truffle ravioli paired with Monte Olimpo – Cabernet Sauvignon Nero d’ Avola blend.

Grilled Prime Bistecca a la Siciliana with Sicilian croquettes and grilled asparagus paired with a Cabernet Sauvignon.

Mixed Berry cake with Peachello.

The dinner costs $80 ++ per person with reservations being made by calling 602-956-0836. For more information visit http://tomasos.com

Tomaso’s is at 32235 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85018

Tempo Urban Bistro to host Robert Mondavi Wine Makers dinner

Buckeye’s modern Tempo Urban Bistro and Coffee Bar will be hosting a 5-course dinner paired with wines from one of Napa Valley’s classic wineries, Robert Mondavi. The dinner will be a great way to end the weekend will take place on Sunday August 19th at 6p.m.

The three year old Tempo Urban Bistro in the Verrado neighborhood of Buckeye will prepare dishes from chef Steven Maynard for this special evening. The menu will be…

  • First Course — Pork Belly Steam Bun with hoisin glaze, cilantro, and pickled onions
  • Second Course — Artichoke and Leek Frittata with frisee salad and heirloom tomatoes
  • Third Course — Cioppino, Italian fish stew
  • Fourth Course — Seared Breast of Duck with dark cherry jus and parsnip puree
  • Fifth Course — White Chocolate Pots de Creme

The wine pairing dinner is $65 per person and reservations can be made by calling 623-594-6788 and the bistro is at 21067 W. Main st. Buckeye 85396. For more information check out their website.