Tag Archives: things to do

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.

 

 

 

Let these restaurants host your Fantasy Football draft party

With a few pre-season NFL games already played Fantasy Football draft parties are being planned in the next few weeks. There’s no better way to draft your winning team than in a festive environment surrounded by big screen TV’s, food and beer.

Here are a few restaurants that are celebrating the start of football season and are ready to host your Fantasy Football draft party so let your league commissioner know where to go.

Thirsty Lion Fantasy Football draft party

The Phoenix area Thirsty Lion Gastropub and Grill’s are offering Happy Hour menu when you reserve a table for your draft party. $1 off pints of beer, $4.95 well drinks, wine & house margaritas will help you wash down wings, pizza and more  delicious food.

For more information about a Thirsty Lion near you in Scottsdale, Tempe or Gilbert visit http://www.thirstyliongastropub.com/

Twin Peaks free room and gift cards

Phoenix and Scottsdale’s Twin Peaks restaurants are offer a free room for your draft party along with a draft board to help organize your league.

In addition the commissioner gets a $50 gift card and each player gets a $10 gift card and gets entered into free Twin Peaks for a year.

Twin Peaks is located at 2135 E. Camelback Road in Phoenix and 8787 E. Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. in Scottsdale. http://www.twinpeaksrestaurant.com/

Uptown Alley’s free room rental

Surprise’s bowling alley and laser tag venue, Uptown Alley is offering a free room, AV equipment and a $5 game card when you book your draft party until Sept. 6th with a minimum of 10 people.

The new menu at their Red Embers Bar & Grill will be available with additions that include pulled pork potato skins, pizza rolls and sliders.

To make a reservation at Uptown Alley call 623-277-5867 or visit http://uptownalleysurprise.com/

 

2nd annual Rock the Guac comes to The Camby Hotel

Calendars are starting to fill up with food festivals and the like with another just announced as Rock the Guac is scheduled on National Guacamole Day on September 16th at The Camby Hotel in Phoenix. 12 Phoenix area chefs will create their version of guacamole for guests to sample and celebrate the delicious food.

Rock the Guac
Matt Carter at last years event. All photos courtesy of Rock the Guac

Rock the Guac chefs

Rock the Guac is brought to us by the same people who brings us Arizona Taco Festival in mid-October. The 12 valley chefs preparing their guacamole for the friendly competition are….

Forest Hamrick- La Hacienda – 2016 Rock The Guac winner

Dushyant Singh- Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar at The Camby Hotel

Richard Hinojosa- CRUjiente Tacos

Aaron Pool- Gadzooks Enchiladas & Soup

Alex Stratta- Match at The FOUND:RE Phoenix

Mel Mecinas- Private Chef

Aaron May- Goodwood Tavern, Malibu Burger Co.

Jennifer Russo- The Market by Jennifer’s

Fidencio Alatriste- Toro Latin Restaurant

Laura Gonzalez- Taqueria Centro

George Alatriste- The Mission

Beau MacMillan- Elements

Get Tickets

The event starts at 6p.m. and tickets are only available online for $40 in which each guest has unlimited guacamole, 2 drink tickets for margaritas and beer, a taco station hosted by The Camby.  If you’ve ever been to the Arizona Taco Festival then you know there will be plenty of fun and live entertainment on this lively evening. Tickets available here.

Part of the proceeds from Rock the Guac will be donated to Free Arts for Abused Children of Arizona, a non-profit which heals homeless and abused children thought art and expression.

 

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.

 

 

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

 

Rockin’ Taco Street Fest returns to Chandler September 16th

In this hectic world we live in some times its better to “Save the Date” if you’re looking to schedule your month of September.  With the return of cooler weather and food festivals circle Saturday September 16th on your calendar. The  6th Annual Rockin’ Taco Street Fest returns to the streets of downtown Chandler with eating competitions, midget wrestling, a tequila tasting, a low rider car show and of course tacos.

Rockin' Taco street fest
All photos of Rockin’ Street Taco Fest courtesy of HDE agency

Two dozen local restaurants will be preparing creative tacos made with fish, shrimp, carne asada, chicken, carnitas, vegetables and more. Chase your tacos down with a cold cerveza, aqua  fresca and margaritas. Make sure you save room for churros, elote and palettas.

Live entertainment and participating restaurants will be announced soon as final plans are being made.  To get updates you can check out http://www.rockintacoaz.com/

Rockin’ Taco Street Fest tickets

The festival starts at 12;00 p.m. and runs through 9:00 p.m. with General Admission tickets available in advance, online for $10 and $12 at the gate. Bring non-perishable food donation for the United food Bank and save $2 with purchase at the door. Food and drink sold separately.

A limited supply of VIP tickets are available on-line only for $75. VIP access include 6 alcoholic drink tickets, unlimited water and soft drinks, catered food from Chandler’s El Palacio Restaurant and Cantina, private seating and restrooms and more. VIP admission is only for 21 and over.

Donation to Downtown Chandler Community Partnership

Part of the proceeds from Rockin’ Taco Street Fest will go to the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership(DCCP), a non-profit corporation to help leadership and use of  resources to promote and market downtown Chandler as a regional hub for shopping, dining, living, culture and the arts.

The Fest will take place at Dr. AJ Chandler Park at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave.

 

Flanny’s gets their beer taps taken over by local distributor

Rarely do you know the names of the company’s that bring your favorite beers and wines to local restaurants. Mostly unknown beverage distributors deliver cases and kegs along with the marketing the brands locally. Flanny’s in Tempe is hosting one of their distributors, Quail Distributing to come out of the shadows and take over their taps with beers from their stable of brewers they represent.

Be at Flanny’s on June 15th

Thursday June 15th is when 11 brewers will be featured pouring 24 beers of various styles from around the country and the world.

A few of the brewers and beers include…..Prairie Artisan Ales (Birthday Bomb! and Apricot Funk), Destihl Brewery (Amra Mango IPA and Blueberry Gose), Clown Shoes (Crasher in the Rye and Bluegrass Billionaire), Knee Deep (Breaking Bud and Man Juice IPA), Almanac Beer Co. (Cherry Picker and Passion Project), Belching Beaver (North Park 4th and Anniversary Ale), Renegade, Black Market, High Water, North Mountain and Schilling Cider.

13 other beers will be announced.

Beers will range in price from $6-$14 depending on beer & glass size. Start time is 5 p.m.

Flanny’s is at 1805 E Elliot Rd #104, Tempe 85284 (480) 659-0870 http://flannys.com/