We all won at Devour Culinary Classic

As the weekend is here and plans are being made for baseball games, food festivals and more I’m still reminiscing about last weekends Devour Culinary Classic . Moving to the Desert Botanical Garden for the first time it looked to me that all was good on Sunday when I got a chance to go.The great weather, spacious & pretty DBG,  great food and people made for a winning combination. There was also a little competitive spirit on both days as 8 judge’s walked through all 10 tasting zones tasting food from many if not all the restaurants participating.

Saturday’s winners

The judges picked these dishes as their winners on Saturday.

Excellence in Presentation 
  • Winner: Cibo
    • Arancini no.1 – Pan Fried rice balls with mozzarella and green peas
    • Arancini no. 2- Pam fried rice balls with mozzarella and lamb
  • Runner Up: Phoenix Public Market
    • Arizona Citrus Salad – goat cheese, pistachios, local dates, sweet shallot honey vinaigrette, micro greens
Excellence in Innovation
  • Winner: True Food Kitchen
    • Grilled Cauliflower Planks – black walnut pesto, truffle tahini, aleppo chili
  • Runner Up: Helio Basin Brewery
    • Venison Sausage
Excellence in Taste 
  • Winner: Gallo Blanco
    • Flapjacks with Plantains Foster
  • Runner Up: Dust Cutter
    • Huevos Rancheros / Sonoran Native Tepary Bean Chili, Ground bison, quail egg and chorizo espuma

      Differnt Pointe of View’s runner-up Muscovy Duck

Sunday’s winners

Good to see Sedona & Flagstaff restaurants Elote Cafe and Shift  catching the attention of the judge’s.

Excellence in Presentation 

  • Winner: Kai
    • Smoked Ocean Trout, Squash Escabeche, Huitlacoche Chumeth, Black Tepary Miso.
  • Runner Up: FnB / The Inbetweens
    • Fresh vegetable salad with sugar snap peas and country ham

Excellence in Innovation

  • Winner: Shift
    • Beef tongue Philly Cheese steak
  • Runner Up: The Dressing Room
    • Tako Yaki Hushpuppy with a Tomato Sriracha Jam

Excellence in Taste 

  • Winner: Elote Cafe
    • Spicy Anasazi beans with local heritage barley and mesquite corn bread
  • Runner Up: Different Point of View
    • Grain Mustard Soy Grilled Muscovy Duck; Sweet Corn Milk Griddle Cakes & Bliss Maple Drizzle , Kumquat Shallot Jam, Duck Cracklings, Basil Oil

Excellence in Distinction: FnB

Runner up: Kai

 

The who, what, where & when for the 2018 Devour Culinary Classic

Details are starting to emerge about one of the highly anticipated food festivals of the southwest as the 2018 Devour Culinary Classic is less than 7 months away.

This 2 day food event takes place on Saturday and Sunday March 3rd & 4th 2018 and moves this year to the Desert Botanical Garden on the Phoenix/Scottsdale border. Skip breakfast as this annual event opens its doors each day at 10:30 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.

“Just like all the participants in the Devour Culinary Classic, the Garden is proud to fly the ‘locally grown’ flag,” says Desert Botanical Garden Executive Director Ken Schutz. “We look forward to hosting the event in 2018.”

Local First Arizona started Devour Culinary Classic almost 10 years ago and has become a model food event around the country for supporting locally owned restaurants, wineries, brewers and more.

“Our main objective is to support the development and promotion of the culinary and extended local food community and culture in Arizona, bringing deserved local and national attention to our state’s food scene,” said Kimber Lanning, founder of the event and Executive Director of Local First Arizona. “We believe we’ll be even better suited to showcase Arizona’s one-of-a-kind culinary culture with Desert Botanical Garden as our host.”

Devour Culinary Classic chef talent

As of the end of August, over 30 chefs from around Arizona are confirmed to strut their stuff with the list continuing to grow. A few of the names you can expect to see are…..

Bernie Kantak The Gladly & Citizen Public House, Danielle Leoni The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, Kat and Brad Moore Short Leash Hot Dog, Jeff Smedstad Elote Cafe, Tamara Stanger Helio Basin Brewing Co. (Winner of last year’s Devour Excellence Award)

Ticket packages, Week of Experiences and more.

Before the Classic goes off there are two events leading up to the festive weekend. The Devour Classic Bartending Competition shakes things up on Fri. February 25th from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. and the Seven Chefs Singh Along prepare a meal under the stars on Wed. February 28th from 5:30- 8:30 p.m. More details can be found on event links.

Tickets go on sale for members of Local First Arizona localist program, Desert Botanical Garden and Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance to all events of November 1st, 2017 and to the public on November 13th, 2017. Tickets are limited to all events and non-members should consider membership to above groups for pre-sale tickets.

3 ticket packages are available for those that want to experience much of what the event has to offer. Early entry, Cooking demonstrations, access to wine and spirits tents, meet and greet with chefs and more are available. The single day packages are The Tasting Package $105The Connoisseur Package $165 and The VIP Package $205. See ticket link above for individual package perks.

As details continue to become available be sure to check the website for updates.

 

 

 

Beer dinners are all the rage as El Palacio pairs with Mudshark Brewing & Gertrude’s does dinner with Grand Canyon Brewing Co.

Beer pairing dinners are becoming more popular as people see how well beer pairs with food and how they can be a good value as compared to wine pairing dinners. Not to mention how well a cold beer goes down on a hot summer evening. Below are 2 dinners happening next Wednesday, July 17th in the Phoenix area.

Starting at 7 p.m. El Palacio www.epchandler.com in Chandler will be pairing beers from Mudshark Brewing Company out of Lake Havasu AZ. For only $20 you get 5 courses of gourmet dishes along with 5 hand crafted beers. The “off the menu” summer creations are listed below and give a great chance to the consumer how well beer pairs with food.

7 Layer Salsa—a Mexican salsa creation of epic proportions with layer upon layer of goodness including salsa fresco, salsa picante, beans, crème, guacamole, queso and rice paired with Mudshark Brewing Up River Lager.

Summer Salad of heirloom tomatoes and Oaxaca cheese with strawberry habanero dressing. This dish is paired with Scorpion Amber Ale.

Steamed Mahi Mahi Taco paired with Desert Magic IPA.

Mexican Kabob of shrimp, chicken and steak served with a beer infused salsa verde will pair perfectly with Belgian Style White Ale. Finish off this delicious summer spread with dessert!

Raspberry Beer Infused Flan and will be served with Mudshark Brewing Mudsberry Raspberry Wheat.

Reservations are recommended & can be made by calling El Palacio at (480) 802-5770 or RSVP on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/elpalaciochandler.

El Palacio is open Monday-Friday, 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and is located at 2950 E. Germann Road, Chandler, AZ 85249

Grand Canyon Brew logo
On the same evening at 6:30 p.m. Williams AZ’s Grand Canyon Brewing Company www.grandcanyonbrewery.com will be bring their new Flavor Bomb Brews to Gertrude’s, the new restaurant at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. This 4 course dinner is $50 plus tax and gratuity and the pairings are as follows…

Charred Dry Aged Beef Carpaccio paired with GCB Shaggy Bock

Grilled Spicy Quail with Blue Cheese paired with GCB Hop Bomber India Pale Ale

Roasted Swine with Crispy Fingerlings, Heirloom Tomato, Roasted Corn and Salsa Verde which will pair perfectly with GCB Sunset Amber Ale

Dime Store Banana Split paired with GCB Coffee Bean Stout

These Flavor Bomb beers should pair nicely with Gertrude’s farm to table ingredients and seating is limited. For reservations call 480-719-8600

Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. Visit www.gertrudesrestaurant.net for more information