The Arizona Seven chef collective re-unite for chef Kelly Fletcher

The local food and restaurant community can never be accused of not helping one its own or its local communities, whether it’s an unfortunate occurrence(fire, theft) or medical need of a staff member we always rally when we hear the cry.The cry went out for chef and all around good guy Kelly Fletcher(House of Tricks, El Chorro Lodge & Zen Culinary) and the medical expenses incurred when Kelly fell ill with a life-threatening infection that had him in the hospital for weeks and at rest back at home.

We heard the cry and jumped into action with 2 Fund Up meals cooked by the “Arizona Seven” chef collective at Crudo restaurant in coming weeks.

The 2 Fund Ups will feature chefs Keenan Bosworth (Pig & Pickle), Cullen Campbell (Crudo, Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails), Jacob Cutino (Homeboy’s Hot Sauce), Josh Hebert (Posh Improvisational Cuisine, Hot Noodles Cold Sake), Scott Holmes (Little Miss BBQ), Stephen Jones (The Larder + The Delta), Bernie Kantak (Citizen Public House, The Gladly) and Gio Osso (Nico, Virtù Honest Craft).

A pig for Kelly Fletcher

100% from both Fund Ups will be donated to pay the medical expenses with the 1st Fund Up taking place next Sunday June 4th for a Communal Pig Roast. Chef & host Cullen Campbell will be roasting a whole hog at his Crudo restaurant with the other 6 chefs will be preparing gourmet side dishes, sauces, desserts and more smoked meats.

Beer from local brewery Huss Brewing Co. will be poured along with wines & cocktails from The Whiny Pig and Tito’s Vodka. The family style roast starts at 2 p.m. and is $50++ per person.

Multi Course dinner

On Monday July 31st the Arizona Seven will re-unite at Crudo for a Multi- Course Dinner to help pay down Kelly’s medical expenses. The menu will be created by Kelly with the other chefs putting their unique twist on each of the courses. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and is $150 ++ per person.

For tickets to the Arizona Seven Fund Ups go to http://7cheffundup.bpt.me/

Who are the Arizona Seven chef collective?

Chefs who own restaurants are friends more than competitors who wish all the best in the day-to-day operations of locally owned restaurant survival. To bring awareness of the local Phoenix food scene the Arizona Seven chef collection debuted in 2014 with events for all to collaborate in and showcase their talents outside of their restaurants. The goal is to bring the James Beard Award back to Arizona.

Crudo is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.

 

The Vig McDowell Mountain to open June 5th

After months of searching for the right location and construction Genuine Concepts is ready to open its new location of The Vig in north Scottsdale. With the McDowell Mountains serving as a backdrop the restaurant is set to open June 5th and will be the 5th location of the successful modern tavern and the 2nd in Scottsdale.

At the intersection of Bell Rd. and Thompson Peak Parkway is where excited residents and visitors will be headed to enjoy the lunch, dinner and brunch in this spacious restaurant of over 13,000 square feet indoors and out.

Frank Lloyd Wright inspired design

The natural desert setting and straight lined designed building was inspired by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Tucker Woodbury, a partner in Genuine Concepts says “I had the pleasure of once again collaborating on the design of the property with Artie Vigil and his team atAV3 Design. We both love the simplicity of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West’s iconic structure and the Usonian style of architecture it represents, which was the inspiration of the design. With a lot of help and collaboration with our development team” YAM Properties, Alexander Building Company, K&IArchitects, the City of Scottsdale and our Genuine Concepts team, we were able to bring our vision to fruition. The end result is an astonishing property and we can’t wait to show it off! “

The Vig McDowell Mountain location

The Vig McDowell Mountain’s location will satisfy all whether your coming of one of the trails of the nearby Sonoran Mountain Preserve, any of the annual events that take place such as the Barrett-Jackson Car Auction or Waste Management Golf Open Tournament. Also an idea spot for residents and visitors to come out to mix and mingle and enjoy the newest member of the community.

Community involvement

Genuine Concepts is a locally owned restaurant group and is committed to to the communities in which there restaurants are located and north Scottsdale will benefit from their new neighbors. The Vig McDowell Mountain will be making an ongoing contribution to the Sonoran Mountain Preserve with sales from its “Bitty Cocktail”. Named after the Bitty Cycling Club, 50 cents from each rum & Coke style drink will be donated to help keep the trails of the McDowell Mountain Preserve safe and maintained for its users.

VMM is located at 10199 E. Bell Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. Hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 11am-11pm, Friday 11am-1am, Saturday 10am-1am & Sunday 10am-11pm

 

 

 

Zuzu introduces new dinner menu from Chef Russell Lacasce

When I wrote about new executive chef Russell Lacasce taking over the kitchen at the Hotel Valley Ho’s flagship restaurant Zuzu back in Dec. I wondered what direction he would take the restaurant. I now know as Lacasce has introduced his first dinner menu since arriving at the Zuzu in January. A few restaurant bloggers and myself had the opportunity to taste several of the new menu items and speak to Lacasce and other members of his culinary team.

Zuzu Lobster Rolls

“I wanted the new menu to be very approachable, while offering dishes with complex combinations of flavors and textures that diners might not expect,” said LaCasce. “Everything is fresh and seasonal, with a strong focus on showcasing our amazing local farmers and purveyors.” Several of the Zuzu’s previous American comfort food staples are still available in the lounge.

Chef Russell Lacasce new menu items

The new menu includes dishes that perfect for sharing and include….

Hawaiian Ahi Tuna Tartare with spicy chicharones, Avocado mousse, Heirloom tomatoes, with a local Feta and shallot buttermilk dressing. This small plate tasted fresh with a hint of spice and a nice touch from the crispy chicharone.

Chef Russell Lacasce Hawaiian Ahi Tartare

The Burrata has a creamy and smooth texture and the addition of pickled strawberries & toasted pistachios give it flavors you’d be hard pressed to find on other plates of Burrata around town.

The Hokkaido Scallops comes three to a serving separated by one of the more unique ingredients I’ve found recently, fried Meyer lemon wedges. Both are served over a bed of toasted cous cous & pine nuts and drizzled with a shellfish butter. The scallops practically melt in your mouth and citrus flavor and crunch from the Panko crusted fried lemon may have made me a scallop convert. This dish is not to be missed by scallop enthusiasts.

The entrée we tasted was the item on the whole menu that raised my eye brow when I read it…..Baker’s Bacon Chop. A 20 lb. back bacon loin that is house carved, cured, smoked and honey lacquered prior to being plated. Served with green harissa, burnt orange, fresh herbs, pickled chiles and pork rinds. All I can say is WOW! A loin of crispy back bacon will give a whole new meaning to bacon. It’s also great for those who prefer gluten-free dinners.

What’s next at Zuzu

At the same time the dinner menu debuted in early May, Lacasce introduced a lounge menu and new dessert menu from pastry chef Audrey Enriquez. In coming weeks he will be rolling out new breakfast, lunch and brunch menus for diners to sink their teeth into. If his first menu is any indication of what’s to come in June we should be pick a day now, circle on the calendar and plan to check out Zuzu.

Zuzu is in the Hotel Valley Ho at 6850 E. Main St. Scottsdale 85251 (480)376-2600 http://www.hotelvalleyho.com/ZuZu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Local eateries offer up burger deals for National Hamburger Month

Americans eat more than 50 billion, billion with a “b” hamburgers every year and I’m proud to do my part of a couple a dozen a year. Since we couldn’t give it its own year somebody decided to give it all 31 days in the month of May. To salute the American classic several Phoenix area restaurants are celebrating all month with burger deals & even a burger selfie contest.

Kelly’s at Southbridge

U.S. Egg’s selfie contest

U.S. Egg not only serves up delicious breakfast but they offer mouth-watering burgers. U.S. Eggs grills up nine different burgers including a vegetarian burger and they even offer gluten-free burgers.

In celebration of National Hamburger Month, U.S. Egg is having a burger selfie contest. Take a photo eating a burger, upload it to social media and #USEgg in your caption and you will be entered to win free burgers for a year! Every week in May, one winner will be chosen and will be given a $50 U.S. Egg gift card and will be entered for the grand prize. Check out facebook.com/USeggBreakfastLunch for more information

Thirsty Lion Gastropub’s Tavern Burger

One of Thirsty Lion’s signature items is none other than the Tavern Burger. This classic burger is simple, delicious and topped with crispy onion rings. Thirsty Lion also has a happy hour from 3pm – 6pm and 9:30pm – close and serves $5.95 Grilled Burger Sliders.

Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill is at 2000 East Rio Salado Parkway, Suite 1041 in Tempe and 7014 E Camelback Road, Suite 1423 in Scottsdale. Their Scottsdale location offers complimentary valet. Thirsty Lion’s newest location is at SanTan Village 2212 E Williams Field Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85297. For more information visit www.thirstyliongastropub.com.

Kelly’s at Southbridge offers burger deals on May 28th

On Sunday, May 28th, National Hamburger Day, Kelly’s at Southbridge will offer $12 burgers. Kelly’s award winning burgers are made with a signature four meat blend of short rib, sirloin, chuck and brisket.

Kelly’s burgers include a spicy Pepperjack Guacamole Burger, Bourbon Egg Burger topped with onion rings and barbecue sauce and the signature Original Four-Cut Burger topped with pancetta, mushrooms and piquillo peppers. Kelly’s will also have all day happy hour on Sunday, May 28th! Enjoy half price appetizers, bruschetta, bottles of wine and champagne, $4 drafts, house wines, wells and $4 off signature cocktails.

Kelly’s is on Sixth Avenue in downtown Scottsdale. For more information, visit www.kellysatsouthbridge.com or facebook.com/KellysAtSouthbridge.

 

 

A relaxing all day Cinco de Mayo at Sierra Bonita Grill

Cinco de Mayo celebrations come in all shapes and sizes on Friday May 5th and not everybody wants shots of tequila, loud music or parties in to early Saturday morning. Some prefer to celebrate with a relaxing lunch, a refreshing margarita or an after work Happy Hour with friends or co-workers. If that’s your plan continue reading about what central Phoenix’s Sierra Bonita Grill is serving up.

A Cinco de Mayo margarita

Cinco de Mayo Margaritas

Starting at 11 a.m. SBG will be offering their popular Fresh Squeezed Margarita and Pomegranate Margarita for only $5 until they close. These thirst quenching margaritas are made with tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, a splash orange juice, orange liqueur, house made sweet and sour mix, agave nectar and PAMA liquor.

Lunch and extended Happy Hour

Lunch goes well with margaritas and SBG is serving up 5 tempting lunch specials for $12 until 3 p.m. Guests can choose from Jalapeño Chicken Pasta, Green Onion, Spinach and Cheese Enchiladas served with rice and beans, Chicharron and Potato Taquitos, Red Chile Pork Tostadas, and a Green Chile-Chicken Quesadilla.

If you can’t get in early for lunch SBG is extending their Happy Hour from 3 p.m. until closing. in the bar with cocktails, appetizers and entree items available for $7. Signature cocktails such as Miguel’s Mule, Sangria or the Daiquiri Anos will be available along with dishes that include Carne Asada Street Tacos, a Sonoran Hot Dog and Borracho Nachos.

Sierra Bonita Grill is at 6933 N. 7th St., Phoenix, Ariz., 85014. 602-264-0700 http://www.sierrabonitagrill.com/

 

 

FREE Barbecue sandwiches at Joe’s Real BBQ in exchange for food donations

To give is to receive they say and Joe’s Real BBQ in Gilbert is hoping to give away 5,000 FREE pulled pork or chicken sandwiches hoping to receive cans of food (hopefully fruit) or boxed cereal donations for the Open Arms Care Center.

It’s all part of Joe’s 17 year tradition of its annual Free Barbecue Day next Wed. May 3rd as owners Joe Johnson and Tim & Tad Peelen give back to the community and their loyal customers. The trio has given away over 77,000 meals since over the years as part of their Customer Appreciation Days which happen several times a year.

Joe’s Real BBQ rules for the day.

As you can imagine giving away 5,000 sandwiches is no small task so a few simple rules apply. Meals will be served from 11 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

  • Only one meal per person
  • Must be present to receive free meal
  • No take out
  • No other menu items will be offered

Free BBQ Day menu

Those attending this popular event will be served a delicious meal of

  • Choice of a pulled pork or chicken breast sandwich
  • Fresh homemade coleslaw, BBQ Pit Beans, and a drink.
  • There will be children’s sized sandwiches available for the little ones

Open Arms Care Center food drive

Food donations are not required to get a free meal  but they are encouraged as an opportunity to help the Open Arms Care Center which helps those in need. Open Arms is a Gilbert based non-profit and all volunteer center and neighbor of Joe’s Real BBQ that provides food and clothing to the homeless and less fortunate. For more information about Open Arms go to http://www.openarmscc.com/

The nationally acclaimed Joe’s Real BBQ is at 301 N. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert AZ. 85234 and has a location in Terminal 4 (before security) at Sky Harbor Airport. For more information check out http://www.joesrealbbq.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Stephen Jones Bite Box is full of local eats and treats.

What is chef Stephen Jones jonesin for when he’s not in the kitchen of his Larder + The Delta at Desoto Central Market or collaborating with other local chefs around town? Jones has been asked to pick his local favorites for the Summer 2017 Bite Box program from Bite Magazine. His collection of goodies looks as if he’s planning a picnic with a variety of foods and a candle.

What is a Bite Box?

The popular Bite Box program is a collection of Arizona produced foods and products picked by a locally notable person. 8-10 full size items are picked, packed and ready for pick-up shortly after the deadline to order. For this offering you can order until May 31st with pick up available in mid-June. Customers will be notified with details after their order has been placed.

“Our curators are on the forefront of Arizona’s makers community,” said Michelle Jacoby, publisher and editor-in-chief of Bite Magazine. “The Bite Box is a way for them to share their discoveries of amazing local products with us and our readers.”

What’s in Stephen’s box

Stephen’s Bite Box offers sweet & savory that combined can make for a small meal.

Tracy Dempsey Originals Fernet Branca Caramels

Crow’s Dairy Pepper Feta Cheese

McClendon’s Select Desert Blossom Honey

Radish “Beets Me” Cold Pressed Juice

Noble Bread Super Seed Loaf

Teaspressa Charles Grey Tea

Salted Serenity Sweets Salted Dark Chocolate Espresso Caramels

Burn Candle Company Candle

Past & future Bite Box’s

Aaron Chamberlin of St. Francis and Phoenix Public Market Cafe kicked off the 2017 program with Country Velador of Super Chunk Sweets & Treats and the soon to be opened New Wave Market (scroll down to see last week’s post) is planning her Bite Box for the Fall Edition and the Winter Edition will be the Editor’s Holiday Picks.

Bite Box’s are $65(plus tax) per box or you can get the 3 remaining 2017 Box’s for $185(plus tax) and can be purchased at https://biteboxaz.squarespace.com/