Peoria’s Park West development has added another local restaurant as Koibito Poke opened its first west valley location. Its Grand Opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, January 25th. This is the locally owned build-your-own-custom-poke-bowl concept’s sixth location.
“With the quick success of Koi Poke in Phoenix, Scottsdale and the East Valley, we knew Peoria was the next area we wanted to grow into and Park West serves as the ideal location,” says former Arizona Diamondback Pitcher Todd Stottlemyre and Koibito Founder. “We are thrilled that residents across the valley have responded so positively to our concept and we look forward to increasing the brand around the state — and the country.”
Starting Monday, January 20th all poke bowls are 50% off thru the 23th. On Friday, the 24th a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Arizona Friends of Foster Children. During the Grand Opening on the 25th the first 50 guests will receive a free bowl while supplies last.
Koibito Poke founded in 2017 by serving fresh seafood, chicken, rice & vegetable bowls where guest can choose proteins, toppings, sauces and add-ons. The restaurants pour wine, beer and sake to compliment the poke bowls. The company has recently announced plans to franchise locations outside of Arizona. To find a location near you check out their website. Photo by David Blakeman.
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.
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 didn’t 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 groups. Cancer 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.”
Critically acclaimed Pizzeria Bianco will be donating a part of its profits to Food for the Hungry on World Food Day, Wednesday October 16th. Guests can dine at either location at Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix and at Town & Country Center at 16th St. & Camelback Rd. to help raise money for the non-profit.
The Phoenix-based non-profit is an international relief and development organization is trying to establish a zero-hunger world and eliminate all forms of poverty.
“Currently, 821 million people suffer from chronic hunger and almost 15,000 children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every day,” said Beth Allen, Senior Communications Manager of Food for the Hungry. “To combat this statistic, people around the world come together on World Food Day to promote awareness and action to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. We are so grateful to Pizzeria Bianco for joining us in our efforts to end hunger in some of the hardest areas of the world.”
Pizzeria Bianco’s two Phoenix locations at 623 E. Adams Street and 4743 N. 20th Street.
If your calendar is filling up like mine is you’ll want to save the date of Sunday November 17th. That afternoon is when food trucks will battle to see who makes the best slider at the popular Slider Throwdown at Kierland Commons. The annual family friendly event raises money for the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation (AFFCF).
“Our mission is to help foster children navigate the difficult and often unchartered waters of foster care by providing them with valuable resources as well as opportunities to participate in childhood activities that promote confidence and independence so they can grow into responsible, happy adults,” says Kris Jacober, executive director of the AFFCF. “With popular events like the Slider Throwdown we are thrilled and grateful to see the public aid in our mission to build up our community’s youth.”
Local food trucks Two Fat Guys Grilled Cheese, Food Diva and others will compete for “Best Slider”. Judge’s will look for creativity in the sliders and taste and attendees will vote for the “People’s Choice” award.
All proceeds will benefit AFFCF to help foster children have a “normal” childhood and prepare them for adulthood. Since 1983 AFFCF has raised over $10 million for foster care here in Arizona.
The Throwdown goes from 12 noon – 3p.m. and admission to the event is $35 per person. Included are samples of all sliders and 3 non-alcoholic drink tickets. There will be a silent auction to bid on with exciting packages and music by Lane Change. Tickets are available at https://www.affcf.org/sliderthrowdown/
Dressed in white under the stars people will gather on Saturday October 26th for the picnic styled Noche en Blanco. This is the 4th year the Hance Park Conservancy has held the fundraiser for downtown Phoenix’s popular gathering spot. The park is home to food festivals, music festivals and one of the last open spaces in downtown Phoenix.
Inspired by Paris’s “Dinner in White” guests are encouraged to dress in white for an evening of live entertainment and dancing under the stars. The evening ends with the highly anticipated grand carnavale parade with samba dancers.
Picnic tables will be draped in white with guests invited to decorate them with flowers, lights and more. Local brewer Huss Brewing and Action Wines will be pouring beer and wine and guests can pre-order a picnic from Conceptually Social.
The event will donate all proceeds to the Conservancy which is dedicated to the future of the park. The non-profit has been instrumental in developing the master plan of the park adopted by the city in 2014.
Tickets for Noche en Blanco
Tickets for this 21 and over event are now on sale at http://hanceparkconservancy.org./ Pre- sale tickets are available until September 26th for $30, table of 8 for $225 and a gourmet picnic for 2 is $75.
It’s now August which means the metro Phoenix food festival calendar is starting to fill up. One of the first festivals of the season on September 14th is the 8th Annual Rockin’ Taco Street Fest. Once again downtown Chandler’s Dr. A.J. Chandler Park hosts the day long event.
Over a dozen local restaurants and food trucks including Ghett Yo Taco, Taco Chiwas and Willie’s Taco Joint will be serving up tacos and more. Festival goers will enjoy cold beverages such beer Micheladas, margaritas and fresh fruit frescas.
“The Rockin’ Taco Street Fest is one of our most popular signature events that we produce,” said Landon Evans, owner of HDE Agency. “We strive to build our community style events to be the best Arizona has to offer with activations that enhance the attendee’s experience. We look to reach 15,000 at this year’s celebration.”
Live music, eating competitions, a car show, wrestling and more will keep festival goers entertained for the 9-hour event. The family friendly event goes from 12:00 – 9:00 p.m. and will have a Kid’s Zone. “While the food is a featured element at Rockin’ Taco Street Fest, we strive to create an experience for our attendees,” said Evans. “We have a bit of something for everyone whether it’s shopping, refreshing drinks, food aficionados, great entertainment and the list keeps going.”
Taco Street Fest donates and tickets
The 8th Annual Rockin’ Taco Street Fest will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Junior Achievement of Arizona. The local non-profit helps young people gain knowledge and skills to be an economic success as they plan for their future. They also help to educate them to make smart academic and financial decisions.
Tickets for the festival are available online. Starting today those looking to save money sponsors Food City and Basha’s are selling 50% off tickets until September 14th. Kids under 12 are FREE. Dr. A.J Chandler Park is at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. chandler.
One of my favorite summer treats is a root beer float and there’s no better way to cool off during a Phoenix summer than with a scoop of vanilla ice cream floating in a glass of cold root beer. With National Root Beer Float Day on Tuesday August 6th, Angry Crab Shack will donate $1 from each float sold to Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
The locally owned restaurant with 8 locations has donated over $100,000 to PCH since 2017 and expects to exceed their goal for 2019.
Visit any of these Angry Crab Shack locations for this summertime favorite and make your purchase count. For more information visit their website.
Phoenix is on the map of the James Beard Foundation hot off the recent win by FnB’s Charleen Badman’s for “Best Chef: Southwest”. It’s also on the map for the foundations “Taste America” tour scheduled for September 19th- 21st. Phoenix is one of 20 cities chosen to host the event.
Tickets went on sale this week for the three day event for the cross country culinary experience.
Taste America events
The weekend kicks off on Thursday September 19th with the “Raising the Bar” walk around reception at Seventh and Union. Guests will meet rising star chefs and mixologists while sipping on cocktails and tasting culinary creations. Kyla Dahl of Pigtails Cocktail Bar, Henry Whittaker of Century Grand and Matt Steward of Undertow are a few of the mixologists pouring cocktails.
Dom Ruggiero of Hush Public House, Juan Zamora of Chula Seafood and Tamara Stanger of Cotton & Copper along with others will show off their culinary talents.
Friday night is the “Gala Benefit Dinner” at The Royal Palms Resort & Spa. The cocktail and tasting reception starts at 7 p.m. with tastes created by local chefs Stephen Jones of The Larder & Delta, Cat Bunnag of Glai Baan and others. Guests will then be treated to a three- course dinner menu created by visiting chef Tiffany Derry of Plano’s Roots Chicken Shack, local all-star Danielle Leoni of The Breadfruit & Rum Bar and host chef Alexander Robinson.
A dessert reception with Danielle O’Day of Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop and Hollie Layman-Sanders of The Royal Palms ends the night.
A silent and live auction will be held during the evening. A portion of the proceeds from dinner and auctions will go to the foundations scholarship programs.
The weekend concludes with the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Program, Owning It. The workshop will bring together 60 women who are in the idea or growth phase of a food related business. A few women will pitch local investors for funding for their project and all will learn how to advance in the culinary industry.
Do your friends and family tell you that you make delicious salsa or margaritas? If so then you may want to enter My Nana’s Best Tasting Salsa Challenge or the Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix-Off. All entrants have until March 20th to to sign up for the April 13th event at Sloan Field in Mesa.
Not only could you win money with the best recipe but you’ll help to raise money for the Arizona Hemophilia Association. This is the 35th annual fundraiser for the organization.
My Nana’s Best Tasting Salsa Challenge
Anybody can win a piece of the $3,500 in prizes awarded to winner, first runner-up, second runner-up and third runner-up by the judges. You also have the chance to win Arizona Diamondbacks tickets. Individuals, non-profits and restaurants/business will compete for the winning salsa in three categories…Hot, Mild and Anything Goes.
Professional and celebrity judges will pick the winners in a double-blind tastings based on color, taste, after taste and more.
Jose Cuervo Margarita Mix-Off
At 12:30 bartenders from across the area will shake things up to win the $500 grand prize for best margarita. Audience members can bid on the winning margaritas with proceeds going to the hemophilia association. They will also be able to bid on vacation packages, sports memorabilia and more.