Tag Archives: things to do

17th annual St. Martin’s Sonoita AVA New Release Festival

One of the most anticipated times of year in the wine world is the annual release of new wines. After harvesting the grapes, fermenting the juice to wine and aging the wine,  drinkers get to see what each winery has been able to achieve for any give vintage.  It’s like giving birth to a new child and is worthy of a celebration and Saturday November 11th will be the 17th Annual St. Martin’s Sonoita AVA New Release Festival.

The festival will be host by Sonoita Vineyards and will also celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the Sonoita AVA.

St. Martin’s Sonoita AVA Festival wineries

15 wineries from the Sonoita AVA(American Viticulture Area) in southern Arizona will gather and pour their latest creation for festival goers. A few of the wineries pouring include Callaghan Vineyards, Dos Cabezas, Village of Elgin Winery, AZ Hops & Vines and more.

The festival kicks off bright and early at 10 a.m. and concludes after the sun goes down at 5 p.m. with the blessing of the new vintage at noon.

Things to do

In addition to tasting wine Sonoita Vineyards will offer barrel tastings of yet to be released wines, discussions with wine makers, winery tours and a free souvenir to the first 100 guests.

Vendors will be on hand for guest to purchase gifts and souvenirs, activities for children will be available and food can be purchased from Luke’s Pizza and The Steak Out.

Tickets for the festival are $35 and include 15 tasting tickets and a souvenir glass. Tickets can purchased in advance at http://www.sonoitavineyards.com/

Sonoita Vineyards is at 290 Elgin -Canelo Rd. in Elgin.

 

 

3rd Annual Phoenix Pizza Festival returns to Margaret T. Hance Park

Phoenix is known for its pizza reputation whether your prefer artisan brick oven pizza, Chicago deep dish or a slice of thin New York style. It’s no wonder we’ve seen national and regional pizza restaurants invade the Phoenix area in the last few years. There’s no better way to debate who makes the best pizza than tasting pizza from some of Phoenix’s favorite pizza makers at the 3rd Annual Phoenix Pizza Festival on Saturday, November 18th.

Pizza festival
Photos by Flargus

Previous Phoenix Pizza Festival pizza makers

At last years festival pizza aficionados had the chance to purchase slices,  pies and more from pizza makers like Fabio on Fire, La Piazza Al Forno PHX, Nello’s, Rosati’s and others.

Festival goers washed down their pizza with beer from local craft brewers such as Mother Bunch Brewing, O.H.S.O Nano- Brewery, Helio Basin and more. Those attending this years festival can expect much of the same.

In addition to pizza there will be dessert food trucks, food related vendors, live bands, lawn games and a kid’s zone because you can only eat so much pizza before you need a break.

Get your tickets

A limited amount of tickets for the Phoenix Pizza Festival are only available on-line for $10 with the festival going from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Margret T. Hance Park in downtown Phoenix.

The Phoenix Pizza festival partners with Downtown Phoenix Inc. as the charitable beneficiary of the event. The non-profit helps to promote the revitalization of  downtown Phoenix  by supporting local business’s and events.

 

 

 

Scottsdale League for the Arts to host The Brunch Club December 2nd

Who doesn’t like sipping on champagne while eating French toast, the smell of bacon while lounging at one of the newest resorts in the valley.  Not me, that’s why I’ll be joining The Scottsdale League for the Arts for their newest fundraiser, The Brunch Club on Saturday December 2nd at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley.

SCottsdale League for the Arts
Photos courtesy of Jen Pruett and Landon Evans

The Brunch Club will gather starting at 11:30 a.m. and members will spend the next three hours sipping on rose, Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s as local restaurants will serve up tasty bites to eat including savory quiche to sweet French toast.

In between sips and bites stroll the grounds of Mountain Shadows manicured grounds with Camelback Mountain serving as you backdrop.

The Brunch Club tickets

To become a member of The Brunch Club you must be over 21 years of age and can purchase you tickets online with General Admission ticket priced at $40 until 10/31. From 11/1-12/1  tickets will be $45 and $50 at the door while supplies last.

Want to get an early start while others are still waking up, early admission at 10:30 a.m. tickets are available for $65 until 10/31. From 11/1-12/1 for $70 and at the door for $75.

Scottsdale League for the Arts

All net proceeds raised will go to the non-profit Scottsdale League for the Arts which raises money to promote the arts and arts education organizations in the Phoenix area.

Money is raised through out the year by hosting fundraisers such as The Scottsdale Culinary Festival and The Friends of James Beard Dinner. They have donated over $4 million dollars since 2002 to organizations such as Childsplay, Ballet Arizona and Free arts of Arizona.

Mountain Shadows Resort is at 5445 E. Lincoln Dr. Paradise Valley 85253.

Art of Ice Cream Experience pop-up comes to Scottsdale

Most of us ice cream lovers get to experience its delicious taste for a few quick minutes a few times a month or however often we give in to the craving for the cold, sweet treat. With so many flavors and styles of ice cream we need more time to experience our love affair and for only 3 months starting Dec. 1st the Art of Ice Cream Experience is coming to Scottsdale.

This interactive pop-up exhibit will be housed in a 2 story building near Craftsman Court and 3rd Ave in old town Scottsdale and will offer visitors theme filled rooms such as the Push-Up Pop Room, the Banana Split Room  and the Sundae Room.  Visitors can schedule 60 minutes to explore the different rooms to learn about,  take photos and most importantly taste samples of ice cream that will tempt all 5 senses.

The Art of Ice Cream Experience is good for all ages especially millennials as the exhibits are social media friendly and photos and selfies are encouraged to remember ones tasty experience.

Ice cream lovers can scoop up their tickets now as a limited number of tickets will be available each day during the 3 month engagement. The Art of Ice Cream Experience will be open daily from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Group tickets are available and the pop-up can be used for corporate or holiday parties.

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.