Many of Saturday’s events around Phoenix were cancelled but don’t mess with foodies and our food festivals but that’s what the weather gods did on day 1 of Devour Culinary Classic. A rainy morning forced Desert Botanical Garden staff, Local First Arizona and purveyors to scramble to but it didn’t deter those in attendance. Umbrella, tents and raincoats were busted out to minimize the rain and puddles.
A bowl of spicy chili, a shot of bourbon and a cold beer to wash it down sounds pretty good. Enjoy all three at the 3rd annual KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival when it returns to downtown Chandler on Saturday February 29th. The festival at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park invites home cooks to the chili cook-off to see how they stack up against local restaurants.
A dozen top shelf bourbons, cocktails and craft beer will be featured along with a day’s worth of live music. Southbound, Western Fusion Band & Jim Bachman and the Day Drinkers are a few bands filling their air with country music. Life size lawn games and cornbread, chili dog and Frito pie eating contests will keep the day fun and festive.
“The event is a great combination of favor and flair,” said Landon Evans creative director of HDE Agency, the event’s producer. “From mild to unbearably hot chili offerings and over a dozen of top shelf bourbons you’re likely not to try – we welcome all to indulge, experience and engage with the variety of bourbons, beers and bands.”
A portion of the proceeds from the KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival will be donated to the Greater Cause Foundation. The non-profit gives back to communities greater causes including a children’s welfare, anti-bullying, hunger, animal abuse and more.
Tickets for the festival that starts at 12 noon are available at the festival’s website. Dr A.J. Chandler Park is at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler.
Update: Rescheduled to October. Purchased tickets good then, details to come.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa has announced the dates and schedule of events for the fourth annual Nirvana Food & Wine Festival. April 16th -19th Chef and Nirvana host Beau MacMillan welcomes celebrity chef’s Robert Irvine, Scott Contant and Bravo Network’s “Top Chef” winner John Tesar. Celebrities including Rob Riggle and The Bella Twins and other chefs will be hosting and having fun with guests along with chefs and mixologists from around Arizona.
“This event is one that is so near and dear to my heart,” said MacMillan. “Having the opportunity to celebrate outstanding culinary talent, mixology, music and more alongside some of my closest friends and fellow foodies is a true privilege. Nirvana really offers something for everyone and that’s a big part of what makes the festival such a special experience.”
The annual festival celebrates food, wine, music and spirits in a most luxurious resort in the valley and has become a very popular festival in only three years.
Tickets for the five headlining events are available with additional events and after parties still may be added to the weekend’s festivities.
Thursday, April 16- Wood, Wine & Wagyu presented by Far Niente
The 2020 festival kicks off with this ever-popular event, featuring superstar culinary talent from across North America preparing Snake River Farms American Wagyu cooked over open-wood flames while celebrity mixologists craft whisky-based cocktails utilizing Woodford Reserve. Guests will then be invited to take their places at the table for an intimate, family style dinner with wines hand selected by Far Niente. Country music superstars D. Vincent Williams, Dillon Dixon and Joe Diffy will provide musical accompaniment. Tickets start at $350.
Friday, April 17- Flutes & Coops
Experience the ultimate Champagne campaign and fried chicken feast headlined by DJ Miss Mixx, Fosterson and 17 of the Valley’s best chefs preparing their best fried chicken recipes. This indoor/outdoor event will feature full bars and cocktails shaken by some of the Valley’s best mixologists with one chef being crowned king of Flutes & Coops by popular vote. Tickets start at $150.
Saturday, April 18- Tequila & Tortillas
Grab the salt and limes! Held at the iconic Hotel Valley Ho, this year’s Dia de los Muertos-themed Tequila & Tortillas event will feature nearly 20 locally and nationally recognized chefs cooking up the best of the best in southwestern fare. Since no fiesta is complete without tequila, several of the Valley’s top cocktailers will be on-site mixing up delicious tequila-based cocktails.
This year’s event also features a team “taco takedown” competition, tequila luges and a stunning art presentation by the renowned Gennaro Garcia. Tickets start at $125.
Saturday, April 18- Best of the West
The biggest event of the weekend, Best of the West will be hosted by Scott Conant and Tony Abou-Ganim and will offer 20 live-action stations showcasing cuisine from the most talented chefs of the Valley and greater Arizona. Set to the backdrop of the stunning Camelback Mountain, this not-to-miss event will also offer live musical performances from Double D and the Nashville Allstars to close out the night. Tickets start at $175
Sunday, April 19- Rosé Parté
The star-studded rosé-all-day trend continues with Rosé Parté, co-hosted by Robert Irvine and the Bella Twins. Guests will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the Valley’s top culinary talent as well as taste two-dozen different rosé wines. This brunch-style party will also include craft cocktails, ice carvings, a raw bar and beats by DJ Miss Mixx. Giving new meaning to the term “Sunday Funday,” this is a not-to-miss closing experience. Tickets start at $150.
Arizona’s Native American tribes will be showcasing foods and culture at the Arizona Native Edible Experience. The cocktail style tasting on Saturday February 8th will be at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West from 6-8 p.m. The annual event is hosted by the Arizona American Indian Tourism Association (AAITA)and will feature native art and a silent auction in addition to food tastings.
Those farmer’s markets that took the summer off have re-opened for our cooler months. One of the more popular markets that is back is The Camelback Market at Vincent’s on Camelback. The opened air market with European flare runs through early May from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Saturday.
Customers can wander by local produce vendors along with imported exotic fruits and vegetables, warm & crusty breads, buttery croissants, fresh pasta, homemade jams, imported cheeses and more.
Enjoy made to order omelets, crepes, wood fired pizzas, meat & seafood paella and other delicacies from Vincent. Relax with a glass of wine and watch the crowds go by. It’s also a great opportunity to pick up gifts for the holidays imported from the south of France.
The Camelback Market is held in the parking lot of Vincent’s at 3030 E. Camelback Rd. Phoenix 85018. For more information visit their website.
When Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa resumes its Lunch & Learn series on Sunday November 17th their doing with a celebrity chef. The resorts own celebrity chef Beau McMillan will welcome his friend Aaron Sanchez for the interactive culinary demonstration. Sanchez is co-host of the Food Network’s “Chopped” and a judge and co-host of Fox’s “MasterChef”.
MacMillan and Sanchez will host 125 guests for the 3-course lunch inspired by Sanchez’s latest best-selling memoir, “Where I Came From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef”. Guests will receive a signed copy of the book at the end of the event. In addition to his TV work Sanchez is chef and owner of New Orlean’s popular restaurant “Johnny Sanchez”. He’s considered to be America’s most prominent Latino chef and when he’s not working on TV he’s donating his time and money to worthy causes.
Lunch & Learn with Aaron Sanchez starts at 11 a.m. and tickets are $135 per person and are all inclusive. Reservations are needed and can be made by calling 855-318-9009. Seats are limited so guests are encouraged to make their reservations early.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa is at 5700 E. McDonald Dr. Paradise Valley 85253.
With the arrival of Fall and people on the go AZ Food Crafters offers prepared meals that are fresh and delicious. With the availability of Hatch Chiles the Chandler based food kitchen is offering Green Chile Pork Stew with other meals coming soon. The seasonal pork stew is made with pork shoulder, onions, green Hatch Chiles and homemade green chile sauce. A 16 oz. container is $7.
Other meals soon to be available include…..
New Mexico Red Chile Pork aka Pork Adovada — Slow cooked pork shoulder in New Mexico red chile mixed with seasonings and love. $16 for a 24-ounce container
Red Chile Beef Hand Pies — Red chile-braised grass fed beef in a savory homemade crust. Frozen three-pack, $12
Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese — Available beginning Friday, September 13, this dish features squash cheese sauce, roasted squash and sage. $10 for a 20-ounce
Shepherds’ Pie Entree – Gluten-free beef, onion, carrot, celery, butternut squash, and sage in butter sauce, topped with mashed gold potatoes. $14 for a 24-ounce container
Chicken Pot Pie – Enjoy chicken pot pie in a variety of ways! The hand pies offer a hand-held version of this comfort food favorite (frozen three-pack, $12) or enjoy a single serving pie-tin with homemade crust topping for $8.
Prepared meals are available until the end of October in limited quantities at their Chandler store or at farmers markets below.
Roadrunner Park Farmers’ Market 3502 E. Cactus Rd., Phoenix. Saturday’s from 7:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. through September; 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. beginning October.
Gilbert Farmers’ Market 222 N. Ash St., Gilbert. Saturday’s from 7:00 a.m.-11a.m. through September; 8:00 a.m.-noon beginning October.
Ahwatukee Farmers’ Market 4700 E. Warner Rd., Phoenix. Sunday’s from 8:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. through September; 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. beginning October.
AZ Food Crafters 961 W. Ray Rd., #1, Chandler 85225. You can pre-order by calling 480-264-2532. Pick up hours are Tuesday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Saturday 8:00 a.m.-3:00p.m.
The culinary stars shine bright on southern California when the 9th Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine festival launches for four days in August. Celebrity chefs and local food icons show off the coastal cuisine of southern California cooking. Jerimiah Tower and Nancy Silverton are two of the chefs cooking for guests at diners, cooking demonstrations and more.
The four days start with a series of dinners Thursday evening at restaurants around the city before shifting to the Barker Hangar at the Santa Monica airport for the weekend.
Los Angeles Food & Wine festival events
14 culinary events will span the weekend including…..
The Legends Dinner at Chi SPACCA: The widely credited father of California cuisine Jeremiah Tower joins queen of the Mozza-Plex Nancy Silverton at her white-hot Chi SPACCA. This epic, one-night-only pairing promises a lifetime of bragging rights to the 40 festival-goers fortunate enough to snag a ticket.
Dinner at Otium: Fans of Netflix’s “The Final Table” can pull up a chair to watch 2018 season winner Tim Hollingsworth share the spotlight with rising star chef Travis Swikard at Hollingsworth’s downtown masterpiece, The Broad museum-adjacent Otium.
The Epic Burger Throwdown with Alvin Cailan: In a city known for great burgers, the best are going bun to bun to win the coveted LAFW Golden Burger Show Trophy. Host Alvin Cailan, of YouTube’s “The Burger Show,” joins celebrity judges Seth Rogen, Tiffani Thiessen and Adam Richman in this juicy battle of the beef.
LA’s Faves & Craves: In one short stroll, festival-goers can take in the breathtaking diversity of L.A.’s culinary landscape as the city’s own Jet Tila hosts a showcase of the most crave-worthy dishes of 25 local chefs. L.A’s finest tacos, pizza, hot dogs, donuts, fried chicken and Asian-inspired specialties will share one location for one afternoon.
Meat Me at LAFW’s Great Steak-out & BBQ: Meat master Curtis Stone of Gwen Butcher Shop & Restaurant and 25 other great tamers of the flame are bringing their A+ game to LAFW. Surf, sides, caviar and Big Cabs will complement the slabs at this event evoking the nation’s greatest steakhouses and BBQ joints.
Sunday Brunch So Hard: Those lucky enough to score one of the very limited VIP tickets to LAFW’s grand finale enjoy rare pre-event access to Jeremiah Tower, the illustrious self-taught chef dubbed “The Last Magnificent” by Anthony Bourdain. Standard tickets are anything but shabby, too, at the culinary legend’s brunch-to-end-all-brunches.
To see a full list of events, more information and to purchase tickets visit their website.
Earlier in the year Macayo’s Mexican Restaurants made available a limited amount of recipe boxes and they sold out quickly. I’m glad to report the custom-made wood boxes filled with family recipes are available and will again sell out quickly. If you haven’t bought presents for your favorite foodie or home chef these would make a perfect gift.
Friday December 14th at 9:00 a.m. they will go on sale on-line and at their Mesa, Phoenix and Glendale locations. Each Recipe Box includes 72 family recipes including Spinach Con Queso, Green Chile Pork Stew and Cilantro Lime Chicken Salad.
Each Recipe Box is $35 plus tax with a limit to 2 per person. Macayo’s will donate $5 of each sale to Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-Cap).
The three locations where the boxes will be available are…..
Mesa- 1920 S. Dobson Rd. 85202 (480)820-0237
Glendale- 6012 W. Bell Rd. 85308 (602)298-8080
Phoenix- 3815 N. Central Ave. 85012 (602)264-6141
Class is back in session at Marcellino Ristorante with new themes and recipes for his monthly cooking class. Limited seating is available at the Chef’s Island where Marcellino will share his secrets to making his hand-crafted Italian cuisine.
Class participants will enjoy lunch following class that includes the main dish from the cooking demonstration along with a salad and dessert.
Saturday, September 22
Cost: $35/per person
Menu: Chef’s fresh pasta and sauce featuring Italian Brocoli di Rape and Salsiccia (sausage)
Saturday, October 20
Cost: $40+/per person
Menu: Ravioli filled with fresh spinach and creamy ricotta cheese
Saturday, November 17
Cost: $40/per person
Menu: Pollo Saporito — humanely raised chicken breast sautéed with pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and tomato
Saturday, December 15
Cost: $35/per person
Menu: “Christmas Eve in Italy” featuring Scialatielli alle Vongolle — handcrafted pasta sautéed with Manila clams, olive oil, garlic, white wine and red pepper flakes.
Marcellino Ristorante is at 7114 E. Stetson Dr. Scottsdale 85251. http://marcellinoristorante.com/