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.

 

Cool off this summer with Arizona wine

There’s no denying it as we’re about to embark on another hot summer here in the southwest. One of the best ways I’ve found to keep cool is to stay inside (a no brainer I know) and sip on a chilled glass of wine (another no brainer). A refreshing glass of Arizona wine should be in order and the folks at LDV Wine Gallery and Kief-Joshua Vineyards are doing their part to keep you cool.

Photo courtesy of LDV Wine Gallery

Heading to Arizona wine country

One of the best ways to get your Arizona wine is to head to the source. Kief-Joshua Vineyards in Elgin is kicking off their weekly summer concert series every Saturday from 1-3 p.m. this weekend 5/27 with Rhythm Jax, No better way to cool off (yes it’s actually cooler down south) than with wine and live music. Kief-Joshua will also host a “Dinner in the Vines” in July and a harvest festival in August. A line-up of the musicians and schedule of events at the winery are below.

June 3: Jenny Jarnigan

June 10: Bryan Dean Trio

June 17: Corey Spector

June 24: Kroehler & Rovnak

July 1: Sage Gentle-Wing

July 8: Josh McCormack

July 15: Blaine Long

July 22: Joerdie

July 29: Tommy Tucker

August 5: Black Cat Blues

August 12: Jacob Acosta Band

August 19: 76th Street

July 15th is when they will host “Dinner in the Vines” that will include a four-course meal paired with wines for $75.00 per person. This event will take place in the vineyard from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Space is limited, to reserve your seat(s) call 520-455-5582 or email kjvineayrds@gmail.com The menu is…..

Arrival Canapés                                                                                                              Genoa salami coronets with boursin cheese Steamed artichokes with lemon remoulade Mexican caviar in corn tortilla cups

First Course                                                                                                                   Roasted red bell pepper & tomato bisque with fried leek baked parmesan cheese straw

Second Course                                                                                                                    Mix green salad with apple, jicama and citrus vinaigrette

Main Course                                                                                                              Cabernet braised short ribs Twice baked poblano potatoes French green beans with lemon thyme butter

Sweet Course                                                                                                                   Crème Brule in crisp phyllo shells and fresh berries

On August 26 from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  is when The Magdalena Bash Harvest Festival happens. Several new Arizona wine releases, including 2015 Magdelena, a blend of Cabernet Franc and Barbera, along with many new white wines for summer and a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon will be released at the festival. Guests will also enjoy live music and food vendors.

Kief-Joshua Vineyards is at 370 Elgin Road, Elgin, Arizona http://kj-vineyards.com/default.asp

Staying in the Phoenix area

Prefer staying around the comfort of your home, no problem as LDV Wine Gallery in Scottsdale is doing their part to keep you cool.

On Father’s Day their offering 25% off their big & bold (like dad) Petite Sirah. By the glass, the bottle or the case you’ll make his day. A perfect wine for grilling steaks.

A few events are planned for the month of July at LDV………

Wine Appreciation – Wine + Chocolate- Drop in to LDV Winery on Sunday July 9th for a wine and chocolate themed wine appreciation gathering. This event is part of a monthly series of fun, interactive get-together to discuss “All About Wine.” Attendance includes expert-led discussions, little bites and wine, and take-away materials. 5-6:30 p.m. $35 per person or $65 per couple.

Vineyard to Table Supper Club- On Tuesday July 11th Kurt & Peggy will host and cook dinner for their Vineyard to Table Supper Club. This is a wine inspired casual dining experience that celebrates the vineyard to table journey. It includes courses paired with three LDV wines with recipes and great conversations. Space is limited to 20. Cost is $65 ++ per person and payment is required prior to the dinner.

Summer Vacation – Corks, Crafts, & Wine- A few days later on Saturday, July 15th is LDV’s  Corks, Crafts, & Wine Summer Vacation gathering. Bring your glue guns and glue sticks to create wine cork crafts. Sip wine, nibble on snacks and create wine cork crafts. $10 and includes a glass of wine.

To register for any of these events call the Wine Gallery at 480-664-4822 LDV Wine Gallery is at 6951 E. 1st St. Scottsdale 85251. http://www.ldvwinery.com/

 

 

Southern Rail and Beckett’s Table treat moms right on Mother’s Day

Are you scrambling trying to figure out where to take mom for Mother’s Day on Sunday? No sweat as Southern Rail & Beckett’s Table is offering a laid back atmosphere for mom and the family. To help put her in a relaxing mood they will be offering a complimentary glass of bubbly to the hardest working member of the family.

Mother’s Day Scottish Salmon at Southern Rail

Mother’s Day specials

In addition to the bubbly for mom, both restaurants will be serving their seasonal menus and 1/2 price bottles of Arizona wines for the whole family.

Southern Rail will be serving up a gluten-free special of Organic Scottish Salmon served a top a bed of roasted cauliflower, spinach with a dill caper roasted garlic butter for $24.

Beckett’s Table will be offering a Mother’s Day special of Pan Seared Scallops alongside of green beans, potatoes, Chorizo, spinach, almonds and a creme fraiche for $28.

Beckett’s Table will open an hour earlier at 4p.m. and Southern Rail’s Brunch starts at 11 a.m. with reservations recommended for both restaurants. Call Southern Rail at 602-200-0085 http://southernrailaz.com/ and Beckett’s Table 602-954-1700 http://beckettstable.com/

 

 

Beer for Brains Foundation EPICURIAD returns Sat. April 29th

Food truck chefs get out of their comfort zone on Saturday April 29th for a good cause as the Beer for Brains Foundation raises money for brain cancer research and awareness with its EPICURIAD Spring 2017 Food, Craft Beers & Wine Pairings Event.

12 food truck chefs including Left Coast Burrito Co., Saffron Jak and Electric Sliders will leave their trucks for a full and modern kitchen experience at Allstate Appliances in north Scottsdale to compete against each other to create a new dish for the gourmet pairing competition.

The night begins at 6:30 p.m. with VIP attendees getting a chance to see a 2 chef face off between executive chef Jordan Murray of Rock A Belly, Food Network’s “Street Eats” Season 5 vs Chef Tim Cobb of United Lunchadores, Street Food Chef of the Year in 2015. The chefs will flip a coin to see if they will be cooking with beer or wine in addition to the ingredients provided with 35 minutes to create a dish before the main event.

At 7:30 p.m. main event begins where attendees will be able to sample gourmet food, craft beers and wine. They will have the chance to vote for “Best Pairing” to see if beer or wine is the preferred pairing and “Best Entree” based on taste and presentation. Gold, Silver & Bronze medals will be awarded to the Top 3 winning chefs who will the go head to head with restaurant chefs at the Fall 2017 EPICURIAD event.

The event is one of Beer for Brains Foundation multiple events around the country where the partner with breweries, medical facilities, and other partners to raise money and support ground breaking research at GBM Agile Tempe headquarters on the campus of Arizona State University.

Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.thebeerforbrainsfoundation.org/ for $95 per or $150 VIP with proceeds going to Brain Cancer Research with GBM Agile.

Allstate Appliances is at 15250 N. Hayden Rd in Scottsdale.

LDV Wine Gallery offers Tuesday night Supper Club

Tuesday is often considered one of the slowest, least productive days of the week, 2 days from the previous weekend and 3 days til the next still climbing the hump to get over the hump that is Wednesday. LDV Wine Gallery is helping to break up the monotony with its monthly Supper Club, the first Tuesday of the month.

Photos courtesy of LDV Wine Gallery

Hosted by LDV owner Peggy Fiadaca and owner & winemaker Kurt Dunham the wine inspired menu will transport you to the vineyards via your palate and imagination.

Unless it falls on a holiday the dinners are scheduled for May 2, June 6, July 11, August 1, September 12, October 3, November 7 and December 5. With previous dinners having sold out and seating for 20 people reservations are required for these 3 course dinners paired with 3 LDV wines.

The casual atmosphere will allow guests to learn the recipes for the dinner, get a chance to socialize with other guests and understand the vineyard to table journey.

Below is a sample menu from a previous dinner and will change on a monthly basis as seasonal ingredients become available.

Starters

Beef Barley Soup with Crusty Noble Bread

2013 Syrah

 

Thai Spicy Noodles with Shrimp

2013 Sky Island Viognier

 

Entrées

Mesquite Grilled Rack of Lamb Provence with Rosemary Potatoes and

Mixed Squash Matchsticks

2012 Petite Sirah

 

Mesquite Grilled Marinated Beef Tri Tip with Southwestern Corn Relish and Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic Vinegar Glaze

2013 Sky Island Petite Sirah

 

Desserts

Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberries

2012 “The Signature” Petite Sirah

 

Decadent Espresso Cheesecake

2013 Grenache

 

To make a reservation for the Supper Club you can call 602-320-1485 or 480-664-4822 or email info@LDVWinery.com

LDV Wine Gallery is at 6951 E. 1st St. Scottsdale 85251 http://www.ldvwinegallery.com/

 

Foodie “Nirvana” coming to Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa

When we hear the word “Nirvana” we automatically think of the “grunge rock” band of the 1990’s. Definitions of the word slightly vary but many consider it the “ultimate state of happiness” which is what the culinary and marketing team at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa are hoping for as they were brainstorming for a name of their new culinary festival.

Chef Todd English. All photos Courtesy of Eric Mower & Associates

An exciting 4 days is planned from April 27th- 30th as festival goers will be able to mix & mingle with celebrity chefs Todd English, Robert Irvine and Sanctuary’s own Beau MacMillan as they team up with other visiting chefs and Phoenix area chefs, wine makers and mixologists for themed dinners, tastings and a golf tournament.

With our beautiful weather and sunsets you may want to turn the festival into a vacation and stay at Sanctuary in one of their suites, casitas or a private home. A 2 night minimum is required and rooms start $479 per night plus tax & resort fee.

Sanctuary on Camelback infinity pool courtesy of Eric Mower & Associates

Tickets for the festival can be purchased at http://www.nirvanafoodandwine.com/ with the schedule of events below. Part of the proceeds from the festival will benefit HopeKids, an organization that provides events and support for families with a child who has cancer or other life threatening diseases.

Torch

Hosted by celebrity chef and television personality Robert Irvine and local celebrity mixologist Jason Asher, owner of Counter Intuitive and Undertow

Thursday, April 27, 7-10 p.m.; Infinity Pool and Lawn; $125 per person

Torch will kick-off the festival with a poolside Polynesian fantasy. Mixologists will compete at eight stations, as guests rub shoulders with an esteemed panel of judges to select winners of the Judge’s Choice and People’s Choice awards.

Birds and Bubbles

Hosted by chef, restaurateur, author and television personality Todd English

Friday, April 28, 7-10 p.m.; The Views Ballroom, Lawn; $135 per person, $225 VIP

Fried chicken and Champagne come together in an inspired pairing as guest chefs put their own spin on the southern specialty, complete with side dishes and bubbly. The all-star local line-up includes Stephen Jones (The Larder + The Delta and Homeboy’s Hotsauce), Cullen Campbell (Crudo and Okra), Justin Beckett (Southern Rail), Jeremy Pacheco (LON’s at The Hermosa Inn), Gio Osso (Virtù at The Bespoke Inn) and Beau MacMillan. They will be joined by visiting chefs from Palm Beach, Fla.: Clay Conley (Buccan and Grato) and Lindsay Autry (The Regional Kitchen & Public House). Festival-goers who book VIP admission enjoy personal time for 45 minutes with their favorite chefs.

American country singer/songwriter D. Vincent Williams & the Nashville Allstars, whose “Just Got Started Lovin’ You,” sung by Otto James, topped the country charts in 2008, will provide live entertainment throughout the evening. His songs have also been recorded by major artists like Randy Travis, Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs, and Rascal Flatts (“I’m Movin’ On”).

Master of Taste honoring Chuck Wagner

Friday, April 28, 7-10 p.m.; Casa Seven; $350 per person; limited availability

Chuck Wagner, owner and winemaker of Caymus Vineyards, and scion of the legendary Napa Valley vintner family, will be the guest of honor at an intimate dinner at one of Sanctuary’s elegant private estate homes.  The evening will showcase the exceptional vintages of the Wagner Family of Wine and three generations of winemaking talent. Preparing the feast will be local chefs Christopher Gross (Christopher’s and Crush), Matt Carter (Fat Ox and The Mission), Mark Tarbell (Tarbell’s and Tarbell’s Tavern), and Beau MacMillan.

Golf Tournament

Saturday, April 29, 10:30 a.m. registration and 12 noon tee; Mountain Shadows; $400 per player

Each foursome will be paired with a renowned chef, star mixologist or notable sports figure at this fun-filled celebrity golf tournament being played at the long-awaited Mountain Shadows course at the base of Camelback Mountain. Plenty of food, beer and spirits will round out an unforgettable day on the links.

Best of the West

Hosted by chef/restauranteur (Mora Italian) and Chopped judge Scott Conant

Saturday, April 29, 7-10 p.m.; Praying Monk and elements restaurant; $145 per person, $225 VIP

Sanctuary’s signature restaurant, elements, and its indoor/outdoor Praying Monk venue will be the setting for Nirvana’s final evening event. More than a dozen elegant restaurant stations will be manned by celebrated chefs from throughout the West, including James Porter (Terra Farm + Manor), Samantha Sanz (Talavera at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Troon North), Sean Currid (Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails) and Beau MacMillan. VIP attendees gain early access and extra time with the chefs.

New Orleans Jazz & Bourbon Brunch

Sunday, April 30, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; elements; $85 per person

Nirvana will come to a rousing finale with a N’Awlins-style jazz brunch complete with live music and a Bourbon twist, serving up everything from étouffée to feather-light beignets at this fun sit-down event.

 

 

The 6th annual Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival returns April 22nd & 23rd

The Arizona wine industry continues to gain respect and popularity by showcasing wines from the unique terroir the Arizona desert has to offer. There is no better way to experience wines from a particular region or AVA (American Viticulture Area) than going right to the region to taste the wine and feel the soil which influence the way the grapes are grown and wines taste. The weekend of April 22nd & 23rd is the weekend that wine drinkers will gather in Elgin to celebrate the 6th Annual Southeast Arizona Wine Growers Festival at Kief-Joshua Vineyards.

Southeast Arizona Wine Festivals photos courtesy of Janelle Bonifield

The 2 day event will be a great opportunity for festival goers to not only taste the wines from the region but to also learn about what makes Southeast Arizona wines unique from other regions of Arizona, U.S.A and the world. The opportunity to spend the weekend in Arizona wine country among the vineyards and with wine growers and wine makers can make for a lifetime of memories.

Over 15 acclaimed wineries will be pouring new releases including Burning Tree, Pillsbury Wine Co., Callaghan Vineyards and Arizona Stronghold as the AVA celebrates its 33rd anniversary as Arizona’s first and only AVA and one of the 1st wine regions in the country to be given AVA status.

The exciting Southeast Arizona (AVA) was named one of the 10 Best Wine Trails in the United States by USA Today.

“We are once again bringing together wine makers from all across Arizona. This year we want to celebrate that on October 26, 1984 the Sonoita/Elgin Wine Growing Region was granted AVA status, making it one of oldest federal government granted viticulture areas in the United States.” – Kief Manning, Winemaker, Kief-Joshua Vineyards

When you’re not sipping on wine or speaking with wine makers, festival goers will be able to taste food from food vendors while listening to live music. The Chili Appreciation Society (CASI) will also be holding a regional two-day professional cook off  with attendees casting their vote in the People’s Choice Competition with proceeds to benefit Rotary International.

The festival goes from 11a.m. -5p.m. both days at Kief-Joshua Vineyards 370 Elgin Rd. Elgin AZ. 85611 with tickets on sale for $20-$40 at https://www.winegrowers.eventbrite.com/