Calendars are starting to fill up with food festivals and the like with another just announced as Rock the Guac is scheduled on National Guacamole Day on September 16th at The Camby Hotel in Phoenix. 12 Phoenix area chefs will create their version of guacamole for guests to sample and celebrate the delicious food.
Rock the Guac chefs
Rock the Guac is brought to us by the same people who brings us Arizona Taco Festival in mid-October. The 12 valley chefs preparing their guacamole for the friendly competition are….
Forest Hamrick- La Hacienda – 2016 Rock The Guac winner
Dushyant Singh- Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar at The Camby Hotel
Richard Hinojosa- CRUjiente Tacos
Aaron Pool- Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup
Alex Stratta- Match at The FOUND:RE Phoenix
Mel Mecinas- Private Chef
Aaron May- Goodwood Tavern, Malibu Burger Co.
Jennifer Russo- The Market by Jennifer’s
Fidencio Alatriste- Toro Latin Restaurant
Laura Gonzalez- Taqueria Centro
George Alatriste- The Mission
Beau MacMillan- Elements
The event starts at 6p.m. and tickets are only available online for $40 in which each guest has unlimited guacamole, 2 drink tickets for margaritas and beer, a taco station hosted by The Camby. If you’ve ever been to the Arizona Taco Festival then you know there will be plenty of fun and live entertainment on this lively evening. Tickets available here.
In less than 2 years, Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill has raised over $150,000 for local charities with its Cornbread for a Cause fundraising campaign. Its current cause is to give proceeds of the popular cornbread to the United Phoenix Firefighter Charities through June 31st at all 5 Phoenix area locations.
To bring attention to this partnership firefighters will be pulling shifts serving the warm cornbread and pouring drinks to guests at 3 Z’Tejas locations around Phoenix in coming weeks. Thurs. April 27th at the Chandler location is the first of the 3 visits by the guest bartenders followed by Thurs. May 18th at the Shea & Tatum location in Phoenix and the final opportunity is on Wed. June 14th at the downtown Tempe location. All 3 shifts will be from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
“Firefighters do extraordinary work as first responders and through the community support they provide,” said Gary Manley general partner at Z’Tejas Restaurants. “We at Z’Tejas are inspired by their commitment and the work they do. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to contributing to the charity’s work.”
Money raised will help UPFC continue to serve local communities by installing pool fences and smoke detectors, host food and coat drives and support children with neuromuscular disease by sending them to camp in the summer. They also help with the cost of medical supplies and research for kids affected by neuromuscular disease. To find out more about UPFC go to http://phxffcharities.org/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Scottsdale League of the Arts annual Burger Battle returns this Thursday March 9th with more burgers, beers and fun to its new location at the Scottsdale Waterfront at 7 p.m.
The Burger Battle is one of the non-profits more popular events which helps raise money for artists, art programs and art education through several fund-raising events throughout the year.
This years Burger Battle will be emcee’d by local sports writer and sports talk show host Dan Bickley. Burgers will be served from local restaurants such as Hand Cut Burgers, Aioli Gourmet Burgers and Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company.
In between tasting burgers, side dishes and desserts attendees will be able to play lawn games and dance to the sounds of The Groove Merchants.
After tasting burgers patrons will be able to cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award for Best Burger while 5 judges will be selecting the Judge’s Choice Award. 2 winners will then compete in the World Food Championships in November.
Tickets for the competition are $65 when purchased in advance or $75 at the door. VIP tickets are available for $85 and include early entry at 6 p.m., a VIP gift and access to a private lounge. This is a 21 and over event. Tickets can be purchased at http://scottsdalefest.org/
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.
As we are about to close the book on a memorable 2016, we turn the page to start to look at what 2017 will have to offer the sunny and warm Phoenix area in coming months. As the Barrett Jackson Auto Auction, The Waste Management Phoenix Open & the NCAA Final Four bring out of town guests to our desert, we look for more intimate and local inspired events. After our holiday hangover wears off we look forward to 7th Annual Grape Arizona Wine Event on Sun. January 29th at downtown Phoenix’s Heritage Square.
This years event has 16 Arizona wineries paired with bites of food from 10 local restaurants all raising money for the Phoenix Rotary Club Charity Youth Programs. A few of the wineries and restaurants include Dektown Cellars, LDV Vineyards, Pillsbury Wine Co., Leoni’s Foccacia, Urban Table, The Herb Box and Vincent’s.
“This is a great opportunity for wine lovers to taste the best of what Arizona wineries have to offer — all in one place, while supporting a great cause,” says Barbara Katz, the event’s co-chairperson.
Money raised will go to the Rotary’s initiatives that support youth leadership and Interact Service Club and Rotary youth Exchange.
The Grape Arizona Wine Event runs from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm with early bird tickets on sale for $55 & include 20 wine tasting tickets, food samples, a silent auction, raffles with thousands of dollar of prizes and purchase wine related merchandise. Tickets are available at http://www.grapearizonawineevent.com/
Gilbert is the home of the 3rd branch of locally owned fine casual My Pie with its Grand Opening event today starting at 11a.m. Located at Crossroads Towne Center on Gilbert Rd. at Loop 202. My Pie specializes in custom made pizzas($7.95 & $8.95), calzones, salads, pie-inis and appetizers.
Today’s events will include free samples of their delicious Garlic Knots, kid’s activities, live entertainment and giveaways until the close tonight.
My Pie uses fresh & locally sourced ingredients for its family recipes with sauces & dough made daily. Favorite pizzas I tasted recently were the Pesto My Chicken, Spicy Butcher and the Margherita. All pizzas are made New York fast in a 800 degree oven in 2 minutes. Gluten free and whole wheat dough are also available.
According to Ryan Mitchell, vice president of operations for My Pie, “I’m thrilled to open our third Arizona installment of My Pie. This has truly been a labor of love and an amazing dream realized for myself and my team. We have our sights set on continuing to grow this awesome concept through a love for our customers, friends and community. Our goal is to become your neighborhood pizzeria at each of our locations. It all starts with giving back and we can’t wait to develop strong relationships in the east valley,”
Wanting to take an increased role as part of the Gilbert community and express one of My Pie’s core values, they offer local charities to apply for “2 Minutes 2 Charity” fundraising events. Part of sales from today will be donated to “A Broader Approach”, a Gilbert organization that assists parents in researching biomedical treatment for their children with autism. http://www.abroaderapproach.org/
My Pie Gilbert is located at 3765 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert, AZ 85297 and is open daily from 11a.m. – 9 p.m. with extended hours on Friday and Saturday until 9:30 p.m http://www.pizzayourway.com/