Top Chef John Tesar coming to 2020 Nirvana Food & Wine Festival

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.

Top Chef

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.

Robert Sinskey Vineyards and Huss Brewing dinners coming to Quiessence

February is quick upon and social calendars are filling up. Quiessence at The Farm is hosting two special dinners’ pairings its seasonally grown vegetables, herbs and edible flowers with food friendly wine and beer. Chef’s Dustin Christofolo’s Tasting Menus pairs with wines from Robert Sinskey Vineyards followed a week later with beer from Huss Brewing Co. Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Robert Sinskey Vineyards dinner

Thursday January 30th at 6:00 p.m. the Napa Valley winery food driven wines will compliment Chef’s menu with much coming from the farms own Seed to Soil Garden. The five course meal is $95 per person plus tax & 20% gratuity.

First Course paired with 2016 Abraxas

Cauliflower Soup- Poached Scallops, Braised Greens, Currants

Second Course enjoyed with 2016 Vin Gris

Arizona Aged Beef Carpaccio -Bread Spoon, Parmesan Aioli, Pickled Shallots, Tempura Herbs

Third Course pairs 2014 Pinot Noir

Tortelli di Zucca- Rabbit Confit, Crushed Hazelnuts, Borage Flowers

Fourth Course paired with POV

Guinea Hen Roulade- Wrapped In Tessa, Crimson Lentils, Wild Mushrooms,  Grilled Daikon Radish, Red Pepper Jam, Fried Sage

Fifth Course paired with Pinot Gris Late Harvest  

“The Farm At South Mountain” Preserved Apple Pie- Vanilla Ice Cream, Lavender Honey Drizzle

Huss Brewing Co. beer pairing dinner

Huss Brewing’s Brewmaster Jeff Huss will join guests for this dinner on Thursday February 6th at 6:00 p.m. Starting on the patio with a beer cocktail and passed appetizers. The Arizona Beer Week celebration moves to the solarium for dinner. Limited seating is available for $85 per person plus tax & 20% gratuity.

1st Course Paired with Scottsdale Blonde

Wild Shrimp And Carrot Risotto- Roasted Carrots, Tomato Vinaigrette, Parsnip Chips, Chervil

2nd Course paired with Koffee Kolsch

Smoked Diver Sea Scallops Dusted With Espresso- Sunchoke Puree, Fingerling Potato Chips, Tempura Button Mushrooms, Koffee Kolsch Gastrique

3rd Course paired with Papago Desert Sage

Two Wash Ranch Chicken Fried Cornish Hen- Herb Aioli, Sous Vide Turnips, Preserved Farm Buddha Hand Citrus, Kale

4th Course paired With Copper State IPA

Artisanal Cheese Board- Nuts And Savory Jams Served With Grilled Noble Bread And Lavosh Crackers

Seats are limited for both dinners and can be reserved by calling (602)276-0601 or going to the Open Table links for the Sinskey dinner and for the dinner with Jeff Huss. Quiessence at The Farm is at 6106 S. 32nd St. Phoenix 85042.

 

Nobu Scottsdale opens Monday and is taking reservations

The new luxury wing at Scottsdale Fashion Square is buzzing with excitement as world renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa opens Nobu Scottsdale on Monday January 27, 2020. The sushi and Japanese cuisine restaurant has begun taking reservations for this highly anticipated opening. His first restaurant opened in New York City in 1994 with partners Robert DeNiro and Meir Teper, the trio now have restaurants on 6 continents.

“Scottsdale is a very special city, and a location we have been looking forward to opening for a very long time,” said Chef Matsuhisa. “Scottsdale is a truly unique destination for a special kind of luxury and Fashion Square is at the center of it all,” he said.

Chef Nobu made a name for himself in the 1990’s when he put his take on classic Japanese cuisine and sushi using new flavors and cooking techniques. He’s built a loyal following at over 40 restaurants and hotels around the world.

Nobu Scottsdale will have classic dishes such as Yellow Tail Sashimi and Black Cod with miso along with dishes only found in Scottsdale. Local ingredients will play a big role on the menu and cocktail program. The cocktail program continues to evolve as mixoligists from around the world continue to curate it.

“Each location has a unique menu that is influenced by global trends as well as the local scene,” says Nobu. “We look forward to bringing guests the signature dishes they have come to love, along with new dishes exclusive to Nobu Scottsdale.”

Nobu Scottsdale is taking reservations for dinner and can be made by calling 480-581-0055 or by visiting their website.

 

RKDA Kitchen hosting Malabar Spiced Liqeur Cocktail Dinner

Arcadia Lite’s RKDA Kitchen is hosting a dinner inspired by the spice route of India. Malabar Spiced Liqeur will be paired with a 5 course menu designed by Bob Tam. Wednesday, January 29th guests will a meal full of flavors as the exotic Malabar pairs with fish, duck and more.

Opening act
Yuzu Mint Raita & Crisp Papadums
amuse bouche
Crimson & Clover- Malabar, rum, lime, tamarind.

act 1
Tuna Tataki
heirloom tomato salsa
Sundown Aperitif – sparkling wine, Malabar, apple spiced, peychaud’s bitters, lemon, apple.

act 2
Tikka Marsala Moules Frites
pei mussels, butter, garlic, marsala, wine, tomato, ginger, basil, cilantro, yogurt, lemon, fries.

Coconut Conundrum- gin, Malabar, coconut, lime, curry, sugar.

Headliner
Smoked Malabar Duck
orange kecap glaze, many roots puree, braised greens.
Promisa De La Tierra- tequila, Malabar, lemon, egg white, beet, cinnamon, mint.

encore
White Chocolate Malabar Creme Brulee
seasonal fruit.
Wonderland- cacao nib washed Malabar, vodka, peche de vigne liqueur, almond milk.

RKDA Kitchen open quietly last year at the busy intersection of 40th St. and Indian School Rd. Featuring sandwiches, salads, creative signature cocktails from Trish Renehan Vodrazka and a sushi menu, RKDA Kitchen brings out your inner rock star with its music and decor.

The family style dinner starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $71 pp and include tax & gratuity. Limited seats are available and can be reserved at https://rkdamalabardinner.bpt.me/. RKDA Kitchen is at 3950 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.

Cock N’ Tails to rock the Uptown Phoenix restaurant scene

The popular 7th Street strip is packed with restaurants, some have survived the ups & downs and some replaced now shuttered eateries. Come mid-January, Cock N’ Tails will be the newest restaurant in the Uptown neighborhood. Taking over what was once Joe’s Midnight Run then another forgotten restaurant Cock N’ Tails brings a chef driven modern brasserie with its rock music theme.

Ahwatukee native and owner Kurt Johnson didn’t just come up with theme but lived it as a musician in L.A. I spent seven years in the music scene in LA working the Sunset Strip bar scene and recording music at my own studio in North Hollywood. Those years were some of the most amazing times in my life, I grew so much and really honed my craft,” says Johnson.

Executive Chef and friend Donna Sites is creating a chef driven menu of classic American fare and late night bites. Sites comes from Phoenix’s Kuber Hotels where she opened and operated several outlets for over a decade. Her menu will feature steaks, seafood, chicken pot pie, burgers and her version of pate and bone marrow.

“While I was in the studio recording I started thinking about the idea of opening a bar and how cool it would be to model that bar after what I was seeing and experiencing in the music scene. I wanted it to look and feel like being in the studio. That’s what I’m hoping people will take away from their experience at Cock N’ Tails”.

Cock N’ Tails is at Seventh Street and Bethany Home Road, 6101 N Seventh Street. For hours and more information check the website.

Bevan Cellars winemaker to host dinner at Keeler’s Steakhouse

Things tend to slow down a bit in California wine country during the winter. The “down time” gives winemakers the opportunity to leave the vineyard and visit customers throughout the country. Bevan Cellars winemaker and co-founder Russell Bevan will be leaving St. Helena as he heads to Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse for a January 9th dinner.

The 5- course dinner will have Chef Anthony Apolinar’s creative menu complimented by the wines of Bevan Cellars. During dinner Russell will share his story about how the winery got started, growing up in wine country and the wines themselves.

The pairing is as follows.

1st Course: Steelhead Crudo with arugula salad, cucumber and Meyer lemon oil paired with Dry Stack Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma County

2nd Course: Pan-Seared Monkfish with sautéed spinach, blistered tomatoes and balsamic reduction served with Ritchie Vineyard Chardonnay, Russian River Valley

3rd Course: Grilled Duroc Pork Chop with sweet potato puree and pinot noir reduction complemented by Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast

4th Course: Prime Petit Filet with adobo marinade, garlic mashed potatoes, Brussel chips and demi-glace paired with Tench Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Oakville

5th Course: “Berries and Cream” served with Ontogeny Red Wine, Napa Valley

The dinner starts at 6:30 and is $125 per person plus tax & gratuity. Seats are limited, to reserve your seat call 602-374-4784 or visit http://keelerssteakhouse.com/

Keeler’s Neighborhood Steakhouse is at 7212 E. Ho Hum Rd. Carefree AZ.

 

Pop Up Dinner as James Beard Foundation returns to Phoenix

A few months after The James Beard Foundation’s “Taste America” tour made a stop in Phoenix, they’re returning in 2020. Wednesday, February 26th a Phoenix Pop Up Dinner at the Wrigley Mansion will be hosted by Chef Christopher Gross as he welcomes Taste America Visiting All- Star Chef Kristen Kish. The two chefs will create a menu full of diverse flavors and cuisines that are found in American cooking. This is the tours seventh visit to Phoenix over the years showing their commitment to our food and restaurant community.

The “Taste America” tour is how the foundation helps to bring better food for all through fundraising and discussion of food related issues. The non-profits “Good Food for Good” platform focuses on food waste reduction, sustainability, inclusivity and chef advocacy. 20 cities are on the 2019/20 tour that lasts almost a year with Capital One partnering with the foundation.

Tickets for the Pop Up dinner start at $225. Want a more exclusive experience, a private dining room is available for $500 and an “in kitchen” dinner is $1,000. I’ve seen the new kitchen and it’s very impressive. For more information about the evening and to purchase tickets head to the foundations website.

 

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas” dinner at Match Restaurant & Lounge

Match Restaurant & Lounge’s Executive Chef Orlando Parker takes you on a trip to Whoville on Saturday December 7th when he and his culinary team create a five course dinner based on the Dr. Seuss classic Christmas film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. Guests will have a full stomach and a smile on their face when dinner concludes.  All courses will be paired with a specialty cocktail to complement each other.

1st Course: Whoville Treat — Cherry and Plum Bruschetta paired with The Green One cocktail

2nd Course: Grinch Greens — Creamy Spinach Soup with croutons served with The Stolen Christmas Tree cocktail

3rd Course: Cindy Lu Salad – Orange and Pomegranate Salad with buttermilk dressing complemented by Martha May’s Little Helper Cocktail

4th Course: Roast Beast – Rosemary Roast Beef and potatoes and carrots with horseradish crema served with the Lou Who Family Recipe Cocktail

5th Course:  Who-Pudding – Plum Pudding with crème anglaise topped with fresh raspberries paired with The Mean One Cocktail

The “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and is $96 plus tax per person and reservations can be made by heading to the Eventbrite page.

Match Restaurant & Lounge is in the Found:R.E. Phoenix Hotel at 1100 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85003.

Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse debuts new look and menu

After being on the Scottsdale steakhouse scene for more than 15 years Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse debuted a new look to the restaurant along with new Japanese beef dishes. The four month refresh was done after the restaurant was closed each night after dinner service. New lighting, art, flooring, furniture and live music area were updated and also included a new wine wall. The bar has a new bottle display above the bar and new lighting. The staff will don new uniforms and table side wine service is available. The fireplace on the patio received a new Mastro’s logo.

Mastro's City Hall Steakhouse
Wagyu & Kobe On A Stone

The new menu includes Japanese A5 Wagyu and Kobe beef. City Hall is one of two restaurants in Arizona to serve True Japanese Beef. The restaurant secured Kobe Association License to serve 100% Hyogo Prefecture Kobe Beef and A5 Kobe Beef from 100% Tajima Cattle, the most expansive beef in the world.

New dishes include Sliced A5 Japanese Wagyu and True Kobe Beef served on a Hot Stone, Wagyu Beef Sushi Roll, Spinalis Ribeye Gold Cap, Heart of the Rib Eye and Dover Sole.

Mastro's City Hall Steakhouse
Dover Sole

The restaurant expanded its wine list to include wines and spirits from around the world exclusively for Mastro’s City Hall.

Mastro’s City Hall Steakhouse is at 6991 E. Camelback Rd. Scottsdale 85251. For more information visit their website.

Fresh Millions promotes healthy eating & raises money to prevent cancer

According to the American Cancer Society over 4,800 people per day will be diagnosed with cancer in 2019. Research shows one of the ways to minimize the chances of getting the disease is to eat healthier. Fresh Millions promotes healthy eating with its protein rich meals and on Saturday December 7th will donate 50% of sales to the Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center for cancer research.

Many of us have been impacted by cancer personally as have members of the Fresh Millions family including Lydia Moore, local Director of Operations, Salesh Deo, Operator & Manager and mother of the founder Mrs. Sanghera.

“As a cancer survivor, I always remind myself not to let the disease define me,” said Moore, “Over the years, cancer remained in the back of my mind, but I didnt let it become my mindset. Doing a fundraiser like this allows us to help others who are in the middle of this fight. We chose Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center because of their significant presence and esteemed reputation in the East Valley. Fresh Millions is now a proud Community Champion for Banner Health.

Opened from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. the fundraiser will include free food samples, prize giveaways and cancer awareness education.

Fresh Millions Restaurant brand is proud to support the communities where we operate and giving back is an important part of our core philosophy,” added Moore. Our fundraisers generously give back 50 percent to beneficiaries. For the past five years that we’ve been in the East Valley, we have supported many schools and non-profit groupsCancer hits close to home for us and we are proud to say that our brand is led daily by survivors who wish to give back, too.” 

Fresh Millions is at 1515 N. Gilbert Rd., #105, Gilbert. To make an online donation visit http://give.bannerhealth.com/cancer