Ever want to have one of your homemade culinary creations on the menu at your favorite restaurant? Now’s your chance as you have until May 1st to submit your best milkshake recipe to Hotel Valley Ho’s “Battle Freak Shake” contest.
Once submitted online the Zuzu culinary team will review recipes & ingredients before picking the finalists on June 1st. The finalist will make their milk shake for them and the top shakes will go to “Battle Freak Shake”. The winner will….Have their shake featured as the Showstopper Shake in August, 3 night stay at hotel w/ upgraded guest room, Dinner for 2 at Zuzu and 2 90-minute VH Spa treatments. And of course bragging rights.
3 shakes will be featured at each of the hotel’s Chef + Farmer’s Market events. Guests and chef judges will vote for a winner who goes to the final market event of the summer to be crowned the winning shake.
Farmer’s markets have become very popular around Phoenix the last few years. It’s hard to not to find a farmer’s market in each of the valley’s communities. One of the longest running farmer’s markets is the Open Air Market at The Phoenix Public Market in downtown Phoenix. The Open Air Market happens every Saturday morning and on Saturday February 16th it will celebrate its 14th anniversary.
Drop by between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. to find local vendors offering seasonal fresh produce, foods and healthy products. Many of the vendors have been there from the beginning.
For the celebration there will be live music, a special anniversary raffle, giveaways and more. Kids can have their face painted, participate in a scavenger hunt and make kids crafts.
9 a.m. Native Seed/ SEARCH Workshop: Spring Gardening in the Desert. 10 a.m Yoga with Sutra Studios. 11 a.m. A cooking demonstration
The Open Air Market is a non-profit organization that creates a sense of community by supporting small farmers and business’s. They help strengthen the sustainable food systems and make healthy products available in the local community.
They’ve awarded vendor scholarships four times a year and work as a small business incubator. They’ve helped to support over a dozen local farms over the years.
The Market is at 721 N. Central Ave. (McKinley & Central) Phoenix 85004. For more information visit their website.
You probably tasted dishes Sacha Levine has prepared at restaurants FnB, Rancho Pinot Grille and Ocotillo and never knew it. Sacha is one of the most respected chefs in the Phoenix restaurant community that many have never heard of, until recently.
Levine runs the kitchen at Singh Meadows Cafe in Tempe where her locally sourced dishes available Friday, Saturday & Sunday’s from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
“I have been a huge proponent of local, seasonal, and vegetable-driven food for the bulk of my career,” said Levine. “Preservation has always been a staple for me. We keep the larder stocked with pickles, sauces, and ferments that are sold in the market as well as used in the kitchen.”
Dishes from Sacha Levine
Working alongside Levine in the kitchen is Carlos Carbajal and Kevin Dragos helping to prepare breakfast and lunch. The menu offers a variety of delicious meal attractive to vegetarians, vegans and those looking for gluten-free options.
When I was there one Saturday morning recently it was hard for me pass up the Smoked Brisket Breakfast sandwich.
All dishes are under $12 and include Kimchi Fried Rice with pork belly, Indian Breakfast Tacos and Huevos Rancheros. Taste of the Meadows offers ricotta, honeycomb, fresh fruit, dates, pistachios and grilled Noble Bread.
On my next visit I’m going to have to try the Jerk Turkey Tacos.
“Cooking at Singh Meadows is a sort of coming home for me,” added Levine. “Working at the farm as a young cook helped to define me in the kitchen today. I am close to the source of what I get most excited about in the kitchen – beautiful, local produce.”
In addition to the fresh flavor of Levine’s menu, Singh Meadows offers fresh pressed and squeezed juices and a coffee bar. Fresh produce from Singh Farms is available as is locally sourced foods.
With local farmer’s markets growing in popularity the last few years in Phoenix it comes as no surprise when it heats up many farmer’s markets take the summer off. Hotel Valley Ho’s executive chef Rusell LaCasce’s solution is to have an indoor farmer’s market and invite a few chef friends.
On Saturday June 23rd & 30th and July 14th & 21st guests can escape the heat at the hotels’ Sands event venue from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Farmer’s market chefs & vendors
Guests will enjoy small bites prepared by local chefs Matt Carter, Gio Osso and Beau Macmillan while they shop for produce and handcrafted goods. At the Zuzu booth Chef LaCasce and Pastry Chef Audrey Enriquez will be selling homemade pastries including pies, scones and other homemade treats.
Guests will also be able to sample cocktails, purchase drinks from the full bar and listen to live music from Trio Rio while they shop.
Local purveyors including MJ Bread, Crow’s Dairy, Twisted Infusion Farms and Ruze Cake House will be on hand with other Arizona purveyors.
A refrigerate bag check will be available for your purchases while you enjoy the morning.
Tickets for the farmer’s market are available on-line for $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Your ticket gets you chef’s bites, cocktail samples and a 25% off gift certificate at Zuzu. A $10 voucher for use at the market with a purchase of $20 or more is also included.
Hotel Valley Ho is at 6850 E. Main St. Scottsdale 85251.
I just got back from visiting the new Singh Meadows on the old Rio Salado Golf Course in Tempe where I got to meet and speak with Ken Singh farmer & owner of Singh Farms & Meadows. I first heard about this project a few years ago and have not heard anything until this week about its progress and phase 1. Ken has spent the last few years completely re-soiling the once toxic dirt from the golf course to new fresh, organic soil that will grow much of his fresh vegetables & where kids can roll down the hills free of toxic pesticides.
His new market inside the old club house is where visitors find his growings from his farm not far away. A coffee bar with coffee from Press Roasters & bake shop offers people to linger and enjoy all the green lush landscape that has been restored from recent years. After the rains of yesterday water flows out of sight as part of the Indian Bend Wash where it empties to Tempe Town Lake a little ways down. Ken hopes to incorporate a park like atmosphere with paths is already under way as golf cart paths are still in tact and softer wood chip paths have start to be landscaped taking you down to the running water.
The cafe which currently has grab n go items and pastries is being run by 3 experienced chefs Frank Belosic, Jay Bogsinske and Dan Melden. In the future the cafe will offer house made pizzas, pastas and more from scratch. Dinners and farm tours will be available down the road.
Ken has lots of ideas but not sure what he wants to do with all 72 acres he has to play with. Having farmed his family farm for over 40 years this has become a grand endeavor to leave his son, a future farmer. In listening to Ken he is the smartest person I know when it comes to soil, dirt and growing vegetables in it and listening to him I hear his passion in making sure we leave the earths resources it the right way for future generations.
The farmer’s market is open every weekend from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
I’m as excited as Ken Singh is to have this new farm & market community down the street near the Tempe/ Scottsdale border and look forward to helping keep Ken’s vision alive.