“Smoked” to feature local chefs & cocktails at unique food event

Diana Brandt a.k.a Arizona Foodie is looking to blow your mind with “Smoked”, her food event on March 23rd. Bringing together local chefs and creative cocktails she wants people to hang out and enjoy what the local culinary scene has to offer.

“I wanted to create an event that captures the quality and talent of the Arizona Food scene but also keep it very intimate,” says Brandt. “There’s something primal about cooking with fire and it’ll be really cool for the guests to interact with the Chefs and watch them as they prepare distinctive dishes. It’s going to be lit. You will be amazed how creative these Chefs will get. I can’t wait to see what they come up with!”

Smoked foods

Chefs will be left to create whatever dishes they want as long as there is an element of smoke. Expect to taste dishes from these chefs scheduled to participate.

Matt Carter from The Mission, Zinc Bistro and Fat Ox

Stephen Jones from The Larder + The Delta

Aaron May from Malibu Burger, The Goodwood Tavern, The Lodge Sasquatch Kitchen and Over Easy

Jason Alford of Bulthaup Az

Walter Sterling from Ocotillo

Alex Levine from Starlite BBQ

Adam Allison of Handlebar Diner

Chef Dell from Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

Chef Paulo from Obon Sushi Bar Ramen

Justine Dachel of Jewel’s Bakery and Cafe

Smoked Cocktails

Ketel One, Seagram’s, Bulleit, Johnnie Walker and Union Mezcal are sponsoring the event and guests will be able to sip on their creative cocktails in the Bulleit Smoked Lounge.

They won’t just be creating cocktails but their own brand experience. Wander over to the Seagram’s Airstream trailer with a photo booth and dry ice cocktails. Ketel One Botanicals will decorate their space with fresh flowers and guests can created their own smoked candles. Johnnie Walker and Union will create their own fun experiences too.

Purchasing tickets

“I truly want the Smoked experience to be available to everyone. So I’m keeping this upscale event affordable so the ticket price doesn’t kill the budget,” says Brandt. “I’m hoping that this event will show many of the people that follow me how amazing our food scene is and get them out of their routines and into these restaurants.”

This is at 21+ over event. Tickets for the event are sure to sell out and are available at https://www.arizonafoodiemag.com/events/smoked-hosted-by-arizona-foodie . Tickets are $35 and get all food and drink samples with entry at 1 p.m. VIP tickets are $50 and gain entry at 12:00.

Smoked will be at Ocotillo Restaurant at 3243 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85012.

Tickets available for Tuscon’s SAVOR Food and Wine Festival

If you’re not familiar with the Tuscon food and wine scene now is a great opportunity to get to know it. This Saturday’s SAVOR Food and Wine Festival showcases southern Arizona’s restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries at the Tucson Botanical Garden. Over 60 participants will be offering tastes and sips of their food and drinks.

The 6th annual event promotes the region as a serious player on the national food scene. The festival is co-sponsored by the Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, Local First Arizona and Tuscon Botanical Garden. The three non-profits promote the cultural uniqueness that southern Arizona has to offer.

“The Savor Food and Wine Festival not only showcases the rich and delicious culture of the region, but highlights the importance of supporting these local food businesses in our daily lives,” said Kimber Lanning, Founder and Executive Director of Local First Arizona. “Much of Southern Arizona’s local economy is driven by those in the dining, culinary, and local foods industries. Without them, we wouldn’t have the diverse culture and economy that we see today in Tucson and beyond.”

Tastes and sips at SAVOR Food & Wine Festival

Festival goers can expect to taste delicious foods from new restaurants along with long time Tucson favorites. A few of the restaurants participating include…..

Pastiche Modern Eatery, Tohono Chul Garden Bistro, Omni Tuscon National, Merkin Vineyards Pizza Wagon, Casino Del Sol, El Cisne Cocina de Mexico and Brushfire BBQ.

Wineries, distilleries and breweries include….. Barrio Brewing, Caduceus Cellars, Pillsbury Wine Co. Whiskey Del Bac, Mother Road Brewing Co. and Adventurous Stills.

Guests will also enjoy educational food demonstrations, live music, unique art displays and a raffle. Admission includes Butterfly Magic and the “Out of the Woods” exhibit on tour from the New York Botanical Garden.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. with tickets costing $79. Tickets are available at https://www.saaca.org/

The Tuscon Botanical Garden is at 2150 N. Alveron Way.

 

2018 AZ Central Wine & Food experience welcomes Marcus Samuelsson and Aaron Sanchez

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.

Marcus Samuelsson
All photos courtesy of FleurCom Group

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.

Get your tickets

Tickets for the two day event are available at their website.

  • 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.

 

RnR re-opens today after 7 week rejuvenation with Grand Opening Party

Old town Scottsdale’s RnR restaurant is back starting today at 5p.m. after 7 weeks of refreshing and renovating. A Grand Opening party is tonight with a 1 cent hosted bar from 5-7 p.m., extended Happy Hour from 7-11 p.m. and 20% all food from 5-11 p.m.

Grand opening

New food menus of scratch made comfort classics will make their debut with new salads, sandwiches and old favorites. The popular weekend brunch returns Saturday’s & Sunday’s from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

A new Happy Hour menu with 10 items at $6 will is available Monday- Friday from 3 – 6 p.m. along with new weekly specials.

Exciting new cocktails were created including the Absolut Mega Mule that is 128 oz. and needs a minimum of 4 people to order. For weekend brunch guests can enjoy a new Mimosa Tower and Mimosa flights of guava, cranberry, orange and pineapple.

rnr

As part of the renovation new giant LED TVs were installed and are visible from any seat in the restaurant. A new 36 seat island bar is situated from the inside to the patio with new roll-up glass garage doors. New booths were added to the upstairs balcony for a view of Scottsdale Rd. great for people watching.

RnR is at 3737 N. Scottsdale Rd. Scottsdale 85251. 480-945-3353 https://www.rnrscottsdale.com/

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

 

Local restaurants entice Cactus League fans with food and drink specials

The games have begun for the month-long Cactus League season and Phoenix area restaurants are tempting baseball fans and locals to stop in with food and drink specials. Here are a few local restaurants to cheer your favorite team at before or after the game.

Cactuss League
Photo courtesy of Kassidy McDonald

Cactus League food specials

Fired Pie’s locations in the Phoenix area are offering game day ticket holders 10% off when they dine in after the game. To find a location near you check their website.

Thai Chili 2 Go is giving away a free dumpling appetizer at all 5 valley locations with purchase and a game day ticket stub. To find a location and hours check here.

Photo courtesy of Cider Corps

Mesa’s Cider Corps is extending their hours thru March 31st and offering a $1 off all pints when you bring in a same day ticket stub from Mesa’s Hohokam Stadium and Sloane Park. Hours are 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. Mon. – Sat. with food trucks on site Fri. & Sat. http://cidercorpsaz.com/

One of Tempe’s newest restaurants Quartiere welcomes baseball fans to come check out their community driven Italian restaurant.  Until April 1st fans can bring any 2018 Spring Training ticket stub for 1/2 off an appetizer or entrée when you purchase an entrée. Pizzas, pastas, salads and more are available at Quartiere

McFate Brewing is bringing fans attending games at Scottsdale Stadium a pop-up beer garden beyond the center field fence at The Clayton House. On game day the beer garden opens 90 minutes before game time with live music, food and of course beer.  No ticket necessary.  The Clayton House is at 3719 N. 75th St. Scottsdale.

 

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.

 

 

 

Mac & Cheese Festival coming in October to Scottsdale Waterfront

Here’s another food festival to add to your foodie calendar as Arizona’s 1st Mac & Cheese Festival arrives at the Scottsdale Waterfront on Saturday October 7th.

This Friday July 14th being National Mac & Cheese Day is a great time to “tease” yourself as tickets go on sale for this cheesy festival. Discounted General Admission tickets can be purchased all weekend when you use the promo code MacCheeselove

Local valley restaurants will prepare their unique style of this comfort food which will be washed down with libations from from local supplier.

Festival goers will enjoy cheesy goodness  from 12 noon -7 p.m.  and during those 7 hours foodies can take a  food break inside Game Central playing ping pong, Jenga and other games to burn off the calories. A craft beer exhibition will also open to pair with your tasty samples.

Want to learn the secrets of making mac & cheese then make sure you check out cooking demonstrations from from participating chefs. The schedule of demonstration will be released on August 1st.

 

 

Chompie’s on the Food Network’s “Ginormous Food” Fri. June 2nd.

Any national attention a local restaurant can get is always good for the Phoenix food community. Friday June 2nd, is when the family owned, N.Y. style deli Chompie’s will be seen by a national TV audience on Food Network’s “Ginormous Food” show.

The episode will feature Chompie’s “Bubbie’s Belly Buster” slider which weighs in at a GINORMOUS 10 pounds. Taking 48 hours to prepare, the slider is made with 4 lbs. of sliced brisket, 12 oz. of brown gravy, 12 slices of Monterrey Jack cheese and a 24 oz. potato pancake, all served on a 36 oz. Challah roll.

Getting hungry yet? Up for a challenge? If so you’re in luck as Chompie’s is preparing this meal that serves 8-10 people available for only $129.99 & 48 hour notice.

Too much food for you, say what! Then stop in to one of the 5 Phoenix area Chompie’s from June 2nd -18th and you can “Ginormous size” your order of Jewish sliders by doubling the size. The platter will include 3 sliders that will now be 6 in. wide for $29.99(regularly $44.97) twice the size of the usual 3 in. wide sliders.

This is not the first time Chompie’s and their sliders have made a nationwide TV appearance as the Tempe location was featured on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs Food” in 2010. On that episode show host Adam Richman tried to complete the “Ultimate Slider Challenge” in less than 30 minutes. Unfortunately the slider platter got the best of him and he failed the challenge.

The episode “Phoenix Finest Imports” will also feature El Palacio & Porkopolis, both in Chandler.

The episode premiers on Fri. June 2nd at 8 p.m. CST and will be repeated several times. To take the challenge or Ginormous Up find a Chompie’s near you at https://chompies.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.