Tag Archives: restaurants

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.

 

 

 

Over Easy opening in Biltmore neighborhood

One of Arizona’s favorite breakfast and lunch spots continues to expand as Over Easy will be opening in the Biltmore Center II at 24th St. & Camelback Rd. in September.

Know for its Chicken Fried Steak and Nut Banana French Toast. The restaurant and its chef & owner Aaron May are a favorite on The Food Network and on the national culinary scene.

The 3,000 sq. ft restaurant will be the fifth Over Easy in the Phoenix area along with locations in Washington and Florida. When it opens the Biltmore location will serve scratch made classic breakfast and lunch fare like the other locations have been doing since 2008.

Over Easy at the Biltmore will be at 2398. E Camelback Rd. (NW corner) Phoenix 85016.

 

Save the Date: AZCentral.Com’s Food & Wine Experience is back on Nov. 4th & 5th at Salt River Fields

As the Fall 2017 food festival calendar is starting to come together save the weekend of Nov. 4th & 5th for the 3rd annual AZCentral.com Food & Wine Experience. As of now there are 30 local chefs set to participate at Salt River Fields with more to be added to the line up.

Kerry Dunne of R Entertainment says  “All together with sponsors, restaurants and industry purveyors, we have created in Scottsdale an event that inspired an entire series of Food & Wine Experiences in USA Today markets from Detroit to Ventura.  For years, we worked with our compatriots here to create this signature event and it’s inspired the country.”

Featured Events

The 2  day festival features sampling of foods from local and guest chefs along with other opportunities for seminars, a wine tasting and meet and greets. Tickets can be purchased at http://foodandwine.azcentral.com/  with subscribers receiving $15 off at this link  http://www.azcentral.com/insider Here are the featured events and costs of tickets

  • Grand Tasting.  Tickets in advance are $85 and offer unlimited sampling of chef creations; access to chef demonstrations and panels; and tastings of fine wines, craft beers and distinctive spirits. Saturday or Sunday
  • VIP Grand Tasting.  Tickets in advance are $120 and guests enjoy all the benefits of the Grand Tasting, plus entry at noon, access to the VIP Lounge, and private tastings from wineries and distillers. Preferred parking and VIP restrooms
  • The Cellar.  A $20 upgrade to any ticket above, the wine seminar offers special tastings and an insider’s knowledge of wines sampled; led by the winemaker or wine ambassador.
  • The Chef’s Package.  A $180 ticket, a private meet & greet with a special guest chef of national renown.  Details coming soon
  • Private Dining ‘Experiences.’ A schedule of separately ticketed private dining Experiences created by popular chefs and restaurateurs will be announced soon.  Experiences can occur within the event footprint or at participating restaurants.
All photos courtesy of Fleur Com Group

Local chefs at Salt River Fields

Many familiar names will be cooking up their delicious bites to attendees to enjoy at the Grand Tasting. Check the website for updated participating chefs.

  • Jacques Qualin, J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician Resort
  • Bernie Kantak, The Gladly and Citizen Public House
  • Alex Stratta, multiple award-winning chef
  • Chrysa Robertson, Rancho Pinot
  • Gio Osso, Virtù Honest Craft and Nico’s Heirloom Kitchen
  • Stephen Jones, The Larder + The Delta
  • Jennifer Russo, The Market by Jennifer Russo
  • Aaron Poole, Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup
  • Paul Haworth, Cartel Coffee Lab
  • Charles Wiley, Hearth `61 at Mountain Shadows Resort
  • Russell LaCasce, ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho
  • George Frasher, Frasher’s Smokehouse
  • Chef Joshua James “Chef J” Amonson, Bourbon & Bones Chophouse | Bar
  • Matthew Hobbs, Match: Cuisine & Cocktails at FOUND:RE Phoenix
  • Doug Robson, Otro Café
  • Dustin Christofolo, Quiessence at The Farm
  • Tommy Plato, restaurateur, Second Story Liquor Bar
  • Raveen Arora, restaurateur, The Dhaba
  • Scott Holmes, Little Miss BBQ, in a rare appearance in the Grand Tasting
  • Anthony DeMuro of Different Pointe of View at Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs
  • Talavera at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale
  • Dushyant Singh, Artizen at The Camby
  • Paulina Martinez, El Panzón & Frida
  • Tonya Saidi, Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole
  • Helen Yung, Sweet Republic
  • Nekter

Salt River Fields is at 7555 N. Pima Rd. Scottsdale 85258 (480)270-5000

 

Bartenders mix it up for Bar Brawl at Jade Bar

A little friendly competition is always good to keep us on our toes and even more so in the Phoenix restaurant community as we find ways to make the summer go by quicker. Jade Bar at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa will host a friendly Bar Brawl for 8 local bartenders to show off what they do best….make delicious cocktails.

Every Sunday at 8 p.m. from July 16th – August 6th two bartenders will go head to head to see who will advance to the Semi-Finals on August 13th & 20th with the two winners advancing to the Championship on August 27th where the new “Bar Brawl  Champion’ will be crowned.

Bar brawl

Each weeks head to head competition will use specific spirits and ingredients for cocktails that will be judged by a panel of local judges.

Eddie Aces, Jade Bar’s Head Mixologist will emcee the event each week with locals and resort guest invited to cheer on the bartenders while DJ Hybrid will be providing entertainment. A special menu of “Bar Brawl Bites” will be available for purchase for happy hour prices during each weeks competition. There is no cost to attend the Bar Brawl.

The Bar Brawl Champion will be awarded a fun-filled trip to Austin City Limits. Previous winners have included Kyle Mason of Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia and Keifer Gilbert of Crudo and Counter Intuitive.

The 8 bartenders competing will be

  • Piroose Hajizadeh-Amini, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
  • Kyle Landry, Crudo
  • Liza Loewenhagen, Cobra Arcade Bar
  • Alex Knight, Culinary Dropout
  • William Luddington, The Ostrich
  • Gavin Pena, The Clever Ko
  • Rando Shields, Shady’s Fine Ale’s and Cocktails
  • Sam Penton, Counter Intuitive

and their head to head competition will be

  • July 16 – Pena vs. Hajizadeh-Amini
  • July 23 – Lowenhagen vs. Knight
  • July 30 –  Shields vs. Luddington
  • Aug.  6 –  Landry vs. Penton

 

 

 

 

 

New summer inspired sandwiches on the menu at Zookz

Central Phoenix’s Zookz Sandwiches added three new sandwiches to their menu this week with the hot summer months and lighter eating in mind. Whether you’ll be enjoying them for breakfast or lunch owner Carole Meyer’s goal is to please their loyal customers through their taste buds.

Zookz Egg white frittata sandwich. All photos courtesy of Carole Meyer

Zookz new sandwiches

The toasted and round sandwiches offer customers a mix of poultry, vegetables and dairy and flavors that are sweet, savory and spicy. The three new are….

Parmesan cheese topped with chicken marinated in honey balsamic vinaigrette and tossed with black beans, sweet corn, feta cheese and sunflower seeds. $8.50 (includes a side salad)

Parmesan cheese, egg white frittata topped with tomatoes, avocados and kale tossed in Zookz zinger sauce. $5.75

Zookz crunchy chicken salad with apples, cranberries and roasted almonds in Zookz sweet heat mustard sauce. $8.50 (includes a side salad)

Simple summer salads

Sandwiches aren’t the only menu items that are healthy and light made for summer eating. Their side salads are a fresh and tasty addition to each of the sandwiches, customers can choose from Garbanzo Bean salad with feta, roasted red peppers, green onion in a lemon zest yogurt dressing or Potato salad with black beans, green onion, corn and chipotle sauce. Even better is when you have both side salads as you meal to get maximum flavors.

Craving a sweet to end your meal try the new Caribbean Beet Cake. Yes beets, giving you a unique tropical flavor.

Zookz is in Uptown Plaza 100 E. Camelback Rd. (Camelback & Central Ave.) Phoenix 85012 and is open Mon. – Fri. 7 a.m. -4 p.m. and Sat. & Sun. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. https:/zookzsandwiches.com

 

A Decade of Delicious as Arizona Restaurant Week returns in May

What started out 10 years ago with 93 restaurants has blossomed in to a twice yearly foodie event that is Arizona Restaurant Week. Mark your calendars for the week of May 19th – 28th when the 2017 Spring Arizona Restaurant Week returns with over 150 planned to participate.

Nook Kitchen’s Lamb Shank

The Arizona Restaurant Association started sponsoring the state wide event in the Fall of 2008 to help promote the states restaurant industry and increasing awareness of Arizona restaurants. Diners will have the opportunity visit new restaurants along with favorites who will offer unique 3 course prix-fixe menus for $33 or $44 per person.

Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri said, “Arizona Restaurant Week has remained a strong culinary driver to many local chefs and restaurant owners as well as a treasured memory maker for diners. It’s hard to go wrong, and we are delighted to be celebrating ten years of making folks happy.”

Match Cuisine’s Whole Roasted Sea Bream for Arizona Restaurant Week

Arizona Restaurant Week has helped local restaurants become a dining destination for foodies from around the country and the world. Since the 1st Arizona Restaurant Week it has expanded to a Spring foodie extravaganza in 2011 and a Arizona Breakfast Weekend was added a few years later. 2017 Fall Restaurant Week is planned for September 15th – 24th and Arizona Breakfast Weekend will take place from July 27th – 30th will more details to come about the 10 year anniversary celebration in September.

10 restaurants including Don and Charlie’s, Cowboy Ciao, Lon’s at The Hermosa Inn and Roaring Fork have participated in all 10 years.

With a variety of restaurants like Match Cuisine & Cocktails, Mancuso’s, Nook Kitchen, Salty Sow, White Chocolate Grill and all 4 Ajo Al’s Mexican Cafe’s to choose from foodies can expect reservations to fill up quickly so planning ahead is essential. Check http://arizonarestaurtweek.com for participating restaurants and updates of those being added to the growing list.

 

 

Hopdoddy Burger Bar to roll out new seasonal menu items this week.

You already know that Hopdoddy Burger Bar serves good burgers but did you know they also serve handcrafted milkshakes and cocktails at their full service bar. All 3 of these components are part of Hopdoddy’s success and on April 5 they will be introducing a seasonal burger, milkshake and cocktail.

For a limited time guests will be able to order the Double Stack Burger and Purple Rain Shake until April 18th and High + Rye Cocktail until May 2nd.

The Double Stack Burger ($10) will be made with two freshly ground Angus beef and onion patties topped with melted Swiss and cheddar, sassy sauce and tangy chipotle ketchup, proving two patties are better than one.

The Purple Rain Shake ($6) features house made blueberry compote swirled to perfection with toasted hazelnuts, vanilla spiced ice cream and a touch of sea salt, this naturally purple shake pays homage to the beloved rock star, Prince, in both color and name.

The High + Rye is made with local rye bourbon, house made ginger syrup, honey water, fresh squeezed lime juice, and topped with a piece of sweet and spicy candied ginger.

To taste these seasonal menu items or any of the other burgers, shakes and more hurry down to the 2 Phoenix area Hopdoddy’s in Scottsdale on Scottsdale Rd. north of Shea Blvd. and at 20th St. & Camelback Rd. in Phoenix. There are also plenty of Hopdoddy Burger Bar’s in Texas and southern California. http://www.hopdoddy.com/