Zach Hunter joins Pedal Haus Brewery as Culinary Director

Pedal Haus Brewery recently announced the hiring of Michelin starred Chef Zach Hunter as its new Culinary Director. Hunter is no stranger to the Phoenix restaurant scene as he attended Arizona Culinary Institute before working at restaurants in Spain, NYC and Austin. The Illinois native came to Pedal Haus from Fox Restaurant Concepts and had previously worked at Wildfish in Scottsdale.

One of Hunter’s first tasks was to update the brunch menu at the downtown Phoenix location with the Chandler and Tempe locations to see the updated menu in the next couple of months. He will also focus on updating the menus frequently, beer pairing dinners, using more seasonal & locally sourced ingredients and spend more time 1 on 1 & mentoring the other chefs at Pedal Haus. Guests will find new dishes such as PB&J Sticky Buns, Smoked Short Rib Hash, Fried Chicken & Belgian Liege Waffles and more on the new brunch menu.

“Zach is an incredible chef and brings an impressive amount of experience and expertise with him. We’re excited to have him join the Pedal Haus family,” said Julian Wright, founder and CEO of Pedal Haus Brewery. “We look forward to elevating our food menu to match our expertly crafted beers and offering something unexpected to our guests.”

The career of Zach Hunter

After graduating ACI, Zach worked at Mugaritz in Spain and Atera in New York City where both were awarded two Michelin stars. From there he headed back out west to Austin where he was part of the research and development teams at Chef Tyson Cole’s acclaimed Uchi and Uchiko restaurants, before working at the namesake restaurant of James Beard award winner Paul Qui. At Qui, he was an important part of creating the multi-course menu in the restaurant’s tasting room.

He then went to Ausin’s Brewer’s Table as executive chef and learned about pairing beer and food. He was named Rising Star Chef of the Year by CultureMap Austin and the restaurant was named Restaurant of the Year by Austin Monthly Magazine.

“I’m thrilled to join the Pedal Haus family and work closely with our amazing teams to evolve and elevate our culinary program,” said Hunter. “I’m so excited to dive in head-first with my passion for hospitality and cuisine that seamlessly connects food and beer!”

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Chef Hector Godinez rolls out seasonal dishes at Grimaldi’s

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria introduced several new dishes and cocktails featuring the new Fall season that is upon us. Corporate Chef Hector Godinez and his team have been working on the 5 new dishes and 2 new cocktails since early summer. Grimaldi’s rolls out new seasonal dishes every 3 months as the seasons change and seasonal ingredients become available.

Chef Hector Godinez takes inspiration from his years working in various restaurants in Phoenix and Ahwatukee including the last 10 years at Grimaldi’s and 6 as Corporate Chef.

New on the menu at all locations for a limited time are…..

Fallin’ Wedge Salad- Traditional ingredients but swap out the Iceberg lettuce for higher quality Romaine and toss the ingredients.

The Bridge Board- Grimaldi’s version of a charcuterie board that changes seasonally and named after the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

Buffalo Chicken Pizza- Chef Godinez’s take on Buffalo wings but with no fryer he puts all the ingredients including the crunchy celery on a pizza with Sweet Baby Ray’s hot sauce.

Pumpkin Cheesecake- Can’t have a Fall menu without a pumpkin spices.

Coco’nana Cheesecake– Godinez’s play on a childhood favorite, chocolate covered banana. Banana cheesecake with Oreo cookie crust and chocolate chips.

Italian Old Fashioned– Whiskey, Tiramisu syrup and bitters over ice with a Luxardo cherry and orange peel.

Amalfi Martini- Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Limoncello and lemon juice shaken and garnished with a lemon wheel and rosemary. 

Check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

 

 

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Z’Tejas new Fall menu launches Monday

Executive chef Diego Bolanos adds new seasonal dishes to the menu for a limited time. Pan Seared Dumplings ($11), Pumpkin Chicken Enchiladas ($17), Pasta with Poached Lobster ($25) and Pumpkin Cheesecake ($11) are a few available for lunch or dinner in Scottsdale and Chandler.

Barro’s Pizza teams up with Dr Pepper for tuition giveaway

One lucky student will win $10,000 for tuition during the 2022 Barro’s Pizza Dr Pepper Tuition Giveaway. Any Arizona resident 18 & over can submit an entry until December 19th. The winner can use the money for expenses, tuition or to pay of student loans with the winner picked at random. $95,000 has been awarded to students from the giveaway since 2012.

1/2 priced quesadilla’s at Jalapeño Inferno

Sunday, September 25th the local restaurant with 2 locations in north Scottsdale and one in Peoria is offering their Sonoran Grilled Quesadilla for National Quesadilla Day. The quesadilla comes with shredded Mexican cheeses, green chiles, sour cream, and guacamole.

National Chimichanga Day deal at Macayo’s

Who isn’t looking to save a couple of bucks every now and then, if that sounds like you then head down to one of the 8 Macayo’s locations on Monday, September 26th where their signature Original Chimichanga is only $10. Get it with shredded chicken or beef all day long with a side of rice or beans for $.76 each.

Get Oktoberfest food at Pedal Haus Brewery until the beer runs out

Brats, schnitzel, German style flammkuchen and more are on the menu at all 3 locations until their Oktoberfest beer runs out. Next Saturday, October 1st the local brewer celebrates with a festival with SanTan Brewing Co. in downtown Chandler.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Kitchen 602 debuts new cloud kitchen concepts

Two new food concepts have launched for delivery or pick-up from the new Kitchen 602 cloud kitchen. Tater Traderz and Rice D’light come from Highland Food Hub at 720 W. Highland in Phoenix which also doubles a test kitchen for new concepts.

Founder Sam Marrero has been in the global hospitality industry for over 30 years and played an important role during the Covid-19 pandemic consulting with restaurants on how to adapt take-out and to-go offerings. “We aim to offer our guests a high-quality dining experience with approachable food that appeals to the masses and can be completely customized,” says Marrero. “I’ve always felt it was important to do whatever it takes to ensure my guests have the best dining experience possible, and now I’m combining that goal with the to-go dining concept.”

Tater Traderz is the newest concept at Kitchen 602 and uses locally made Frites Street fries in a variety of delicious ways. You can get fries topped with chicken, the Cluck Off!, OG Chili Cheese Fries, Sweet Baby BBQ and more delivered from a third party delivery service or picked up at the Hub. Rice D’light Sweet Rice Creations features rice pudding bowls, Horchata and the Chai Chatta. Rice D’light was inspired by Marrero’s growing up in New York and working with Tokyo Disney.

A new Big Box is offered for tailgating and football parties exclusively during football season. The French fry fiesta serves 6-8 people and $40 gets 3 mix and match loaded fries options. For more information or to place orders visit their website.

 

Paloma Punchout bartending competition coming to the Esplanade

A nationwide bartending competition is coming to Phoenix bringing bartenders from around the country to see who makes the best Paloma. Arlene Magana from Platform 16 Bar will represent Phoenix in the Paloma Punchout Saturday, October 22nd at the Esplanade.

The Paloma is prepared by combining tequila, lime juice and grapefruit flavored soda and is the the most popular tequila based cocktail in Mexico. Not much is known how it got its start but some say it was named after a popular folk song “La Paloma”, The Dove. The cocktail debuted in Phoenix in 1938 when grapefruit soda was first used.

Each participant won a competition in their city to earn the chance to win the $10,000 cash prize. Another Round, Another Rally, a nonprofit offering emergency assistance and financial support to those in the hospitality in their time of need will be the beneficiary of the event. Mister Wallin’s Neighborhood, a global community of bartenders, mixologists and food & wine lovers, conducted a nationwide search of top bars to find the best Paloma cocktail. The cocktails will be scored on a weighted system on flavor, balance, appearance, and inspiration.

Tickets for the Paloma Punchout are available at Eventbrite for $50 and gets you seven cocktails from the local pop-up bars in attendance. The Esplanade is at 2501 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85016. The competition starts at 8 p.m.

Four Peaks Oktoberfest coming to Tempe Beach Park

Three days of live music, carnival rides, wiener dog races, a celebrity brat eating contest and more are scheduled for the return of Four Peaks Oktoberfest to downtown Tempe. The fun starts at 5 p.m. on Friday October 7th with happy hour and goes until Sunday afternoon at Tempe Beach Park.

Festival goers won’t be bored with entertainment from start to finishing that also includes watch parties for both ASU and Cardinal games on Saturday and Sunday. Bands such as Authority Zero, Wyves, The Black Moods, 2 Tone Lizard Kings, Voyager and SuperHero will entertain attendees on 2 stages. Denmark Foods will be featuring vegetarian and poblano chicken empanadas along with Island Noodles and German desserts. Four Peaks beers will be poured along with German style drafts, wine and cocktails.

Tickets for Pour Peaks Oktoberfest are $20 on Friday and Saturday with free admission on Sunday. Attendees under 20 years old are free all weekend and pre-sale tickets are available for discounts. For more information and to purchase tickets head to their website.

Sips & Bites: News from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips & bites of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant community, breweries and wineries.

Arizona Restaurant Week kicks off today

10 days (Sept. 16th -25th) filled with special multi-course menus at over 100 Arizona restaurants. The Arizona Restaurant Association’s twice annual celebration has meals at three price points $33, $44 & $55. I’m visiting restaurants I’ve never been to and can’t wait, see the full list of restaurants and menus at the ARW website, reservations highly suggested.

Third Tuesday dinner at Romeo’s

The popular downtown Gilbert restaurant hosts its monthly dinner coming next Tuesday September 20th. The 3 course menu starts with Char- Siu Pork Soba Noodle salad followed by Jägerschnitzel and Chocolate Carrot Cake Pops for dessert. $39++ includes wine pairings for each course with the dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. For reservations call 480-962-4224.

Still time to enjoy Serrano’s September specials

Early birds can head in starting at 3 p.m. for the Early Bird menu for $9.99. Available Tuesday – Thursday until 5 p.m. get an entree and more with 2 sides at all 4 locations. Get $10 off all to-go orders of $50 when you order take-out online, use promo code GET10. Food & drink specials include Fall Flight of margaritas including Passion-Fruit, Orange Cherry & Mango and Raspberry ($10.99). Ernie’s Pronto Burrito is filled with carne asada and all your favorite burrito fixings ($13.99). Save room for dessert and get a Snickerdoodle Delight for just $5.99.

Koibito Poke donating $2 of each Signature Bowl sold

If you’ve order a Signature Bowl in September you’ll be glad to know $2 went to the Arizona Cancer Foundation for Children. Its part of their promotion as September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Choose from 5 Signature Bowls at all 4 locations in Scottsdale, Phoenix (Arcadia) and Chandler until the end of the month to continue raising money.

Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers at Chase Field is now open

The newest location of the popular burger joint opened in downtown Phoenix in the left field of the ballpark. The new location will be open year round for lunch and dinner with guests able to enjoy all their favorite burgers, totchos, hot dogs and more. Exclusive at this location is The Big Unit, named after Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, the cheddar cheese filed Juicy Lucy burger comes with LTO and served between two grilled cheese sandwiches.

Don’t forget to check out my podcast Pulling Corks & Forks: The Podcast with Sandy Wasserman to hear from those in our community. Please subscribe, like & comment.

Mystical Pizza Festival launches this weekend in Sedona

Restaurateur and chef Lisa Dahl is celebrating the opening her Oak Creek Village location of Pisa Lisa in a mystical Sedona way. The new Mystical Pizza Festival starts this Friday, September 16th and goes all weekend long with a pizza dough ribbon cutting, flying saucer unveiling, a cookbook signing and more.

The festivities start Friday at 5 p.m. with Kick-Off party and a welcome from the Sedona Chamber of Commerce, a Dedication and Blessing ceremony by an Uqualla medicine man and Drumming Ceremony with Sabina Sandoval. Saturday and Sunday starting at 11 a.m. guests can enjoy sound therapy, a gelato tasting, astrology readers, doggie meatball tasting with Chef Lisa, animal massages and more.

The Mystical Pizza Festival goes until 5 p.m. and there is no cost to attend but some weekend events may have a cost. Guests are encouraged to wear mystical attire for the many photo opportunities. Pisa Lisa is at 6657 AZ-179 Ste D1, Sedona, AZ 86351

 

Scottsdale’s Taste of Italy arrives in October

The Scottsdale Waterfront will host Italian food, culture, opera singers and more when the Italian Association of Arizona hosts Scottsdale’s Taste of Italy on Saturday & Sunday October 15th & 16th. The 2 day festival will also feature two stages with live music including Michéal Castaldo considered the next Andrea Bocelli. Non-food vendors will be set up so you can shop off the calories.

Foodies will want to indulge in Italian cuisine from food trucks including L’Impasto along with pizzas, and Italian desserts cannoli, biscotti, gelato and more. Nothing goes better with Italian food than Italian wines and there will be wine tasting as well.

Tickets for Scottsdale’s Taste of Italy and Music Festival will be sold online for a limited time and can be purchased in advance for $10. Day of tickets are $20 and children under 12 are free. The festival starts at 11 a.m. both days and goes until 9 p.m. on Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sunday.

7th Annual Phoenix Pizza Festival returning to Downtown Phoenix

Tickets are now on-sale for what has become one of the most popular food festivals in all of Arizona, the Phoenix Pizza Festival. Over 8,000 pizza lovers came to Downtown Phoenix last year when the festival was the first to return to Margaret T. Hance Park after the pandemic that returns to the park on Saturday and Sunday November 12-13th.

Festival goers can expect much of the same as organizer have found the right recipe for success. 15-20 pizza makers, dessert food trucks, more food vendors, lawn games and live music are lined up for the two day event. The list of pizza makers is still being compiled but you can bet it will be some Arizona’s best. Thin crust, thick crust, NYC style, tavern style and more will be sold by the slice or by the pie. Last year had Lou Malnati’s, Hot Daisy, Sloth Pizza and D’Amico were just a few serving it up. Local craft beers will be available for purchase to go with your pizza.

More than 6 bands including The Sugar Thieves and Mississippi Nova will take the stage to entertain attendees. The Phoenix Pizza Festival has again partnered with Downtown Phoenix Inc. as beneficiary. DPI promotes the revitalization of downtown by supporting events and local businesses.

A limited amount of tickets are available each day and can only be purchased online for $16 with kids 5 and under free. Margaret T. Hance Park is easily accessible by light rail, car and those on bikes can have their bike checked by bike valet, Phoenix Spokes People. Hours are 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. – 4p.m. on Sunday. Margaret T. Hance Park is at 1202 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85004.

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