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.
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.
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.
The Gladly and chef Bernie Kantak are teaming up with local artisan food & drink purveyors for a clam boil Sunday August 19th. Chula Seafood, Wren House Brewing Co. and Cutino Sauce Co. join the fun for the New England style clam boil.
Mussels, clams and shrimp will be steamed and served with sausage, corn on the cob and more for a family style dining experience. This one-day only event will offer two seating’s at 1 and 3 p.m.
Tickets for the clam boil are $40 all inclusive with beverage being sold separately.
Scotch dinner at The Gladly
If you can’t make it to the clam boil The Gladly will be hosting Glenfiddich and Balvenie scotch dinner on Saturday August. 25th. Chef Bernie’s innovative dishes will compliment the scotches for this multi-course dinner. The dinner starts at 7:00 p.m. and is $65++ per person. Reservations can be made by calling 602-759-8132.
With the resurgence of the neighborhood butcher, fish monger and doughnut maker popular local fish market Chula Seafood announced it will open a 2nd location at Uptown Plaza in central Phoenix in the fall.
Catching the fish
Jim Heflin founded Chula Seafood in 2009 and captains the San Diego based 68 foot F/V Chula which catches fresh fish in the cold waters of the Pacific. Chula uses a harpoon and hooks to catch fish as nets drag up anything in their path off the bottom of the ocean. The use of hooks and harpoon offers sustainability and is environmentally friendly.
Several times a week fresh fish is shipped to Phoenix in a refrigerated truck to Jim’s son Jon and Hogan Jamison who run the Scottsdale market and restaurant. The Scottsdale location opened to rave reviews for its quality and sustainable fishing methods in 2015.
If they don’t catch it they have fresh fish flown in weekly from sustainable sources. Chula Seafood is a favorite among local restaurateurs who purchase their fish for their menus from Chula Seafood.
Chula Seafood Uptown
When it opens, the new location will offer a fresh fish market and sit down restaurant like its first location in Scottsdale. The Phoenix location will be larger with 60 seats including a 6-seat bar. A larger menu overseen by executive chef Juan Zamora and implemented by Kyle Kent, formerly of Artizen at The Camby will be created.
Fried, sautéed, grilled fish are a few of the ways the fresh fish will be prepared and will also include raw shellfish, sashimi, salads and poke. The new location will also offer beer and wine and grab-n-go selections will also be available.
The Scottsdale location is at 8015 E. Roosevelt St. 85257. 480-621-5121. Check out their website for updates and information.
Chef Michael O’Dowd is making his way back to the valley’s restaurant scene running the kitchen of restaurateur Julian Wright’s(Pedal Haus Brewery and others) new restaurant Las Palmas Cantina in downtown Chandler. When the restaurant opens in May it will serve coastal cuisine with Yucatan inspiration that Wright found when traveling to Playa del Carmen and Tulum areas of Mexico.
O’Dowd returns to the valley after most recently working in Sedona at L’Auberge de Sedona as executive chef. When in Phoenix O’Dowd scored the coveted AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five Star Award while executive chef at Kai at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of downtown Chandler and to bringing one of my favorite regions of the world to this community,” said Wright. “ I love that Chandler is still very independent. Everyone is still very much your neighbor.”
Las Palmas Cantina menus
O’Dowd’s menu will highlight the “sand to table” concept with seafood from local fish monger Chula Seafood along with “high country” ingredients. Fish available will include Pompano, Triggerfish, Snapper and more for ceviche and other dishes.
Sweet & spice are tastes you’ll find at Las Palmas Cantina with your shared plates and lighter dishes that will include a jerk chicken Shaken Greens and Cochinta Pibil.
“I haven’t really seen anyone in Arizona exploring this type of cuisine or region,” said O’Dowd. “Being able to learn about the culture and history of the Mayans and create a way to pay homage to the past while creating new ideas, dishes and flavors is what I thrive on.”
Just in time for summer, Las Palmas Cantina’s beverage program will offer refreshing tropical specialty cocktails and Mexican inspired craft beers brewed exclusively for Las Palmas. A selection of tequilas, mezcals and agua frescas will be offered and used as ingredients in the cocktail program.
Need a job
The 5,000 square foot restaurant is currently hiring and those interested can apply in person at the restaurant at 95 W. Boston in downtown Chandler on online at their website.