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.

The Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest returns for its 6th year

Downtown Chandler will feel a bit like New Orleans’s French Quarter for a few hours on Saturday, February 15th 2020. This is when fans of Cajun food and culture can expect to party into the night at the 6th Annual Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest.

AJ Chandler Park will again host over a dozen restaurants including Angry Crab Shack, Bayou Bistro and Honey Bears Cajun BBQ Cuisine serving up gumbo, crawfish, Po’boys and more. Abita beers such as Purple Haze, Hop On and more will be on draft.

“Angry Crab Shack is excited to team up with HDE Agency and bring a Mardi Gras party to the East Valley while benefiting one of our partners in Phoenix Children’s Hospital,” said Andrew Diamond, president of Angry Crab Franchise. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

HooDoo Coasters, Bluesman Mike, NolAz Band and Souled Out Jazz Band will perform live throughout the 9 hour festival. Food eating contest, lawn games, flame throwers and a Kid’s Zone will entertain festival goers.

A portion of the proceeds will go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital as they plan to expand into the east valley. The festivities start at noon and ticket options including veteran’s discounts, general admission and the Big Easy Lounge are available. To purchase tickets for the Angry Crab Shack Southwest Cajun Fest and get more information head to their website.

AJ Chandler Park is at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler

Local chefs on board for RS Gala for Phoenix Children’s Hospital

When Russo & Steele Collector Automobile Auctions rolls in to town in January they’ll be celebrating their 20th anniversary in Scottsdale. One of the highlights of the annual week long auction at Scottsdale Rd. north of Loop 101 is the RS Gala. Local chefs from Phoenix and northern Arizona will prepare hors d’ ouvres for attendees while sipping on festive cocktails. Russo & Steele has partnered with Phoenix’ Children’s Hospital as benefactors of the gala.

“Phoenix Children’s is an incredible organization and we believe in their mission,” said co-owner of Russo and Steele, Josephine Alcazar. “Giving back to our community is what we are all about here at Russo and Steele and we couldn’t be more excited to host this event.”

The evening will also include dancing, live music, a silent & live auction on Wednesday, January 15th.

Local chefs in attendance are…..

Eddie Matney of Forest Highlands

Beau MacMillan of Elements at Sanctuary

Justin Beckett of Beckett’s Table and Southern Rail

James Porter of Terra Farm & Manor

Marcellino Verizino of Marcellino Ristorante

Dee Dee Maza of Volanti

Ryan McBride of Dorian

Lisa Dahl of Cucina Rustica, Dahl & Di Ristorante

Mediterra Bakery

“Arizona becomes the center of the car world during this one week and Russo and Steele is hands down the most exciting auction,” said Steve Schnall, senior vice president and chief development officer at Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We are grateful to Drew and Josephine for helping raise funds for Phoenix Children’s and couldn’t be more excited to partner once again for this gala.”

Tickets for individuals and tables are available at https://russoandsteele.regfox.com/russo-and-steele-20th-anniversary-celebration

Donuts and pizza are in good supply this weekend in downtown Phoenix

It’s going to be a busy weekend in downtown Phoenix for fans of pizza and donuts. Tickets are still available on-line for both festivals at Margaret T. Hance Park. Click on the link for information about Saturday’s Phoenix Pizza Festival and below is what I know about this Sunday’s Downtown Donut Festival.

About 4,000 festival goers are expected on each day and Sunday’s donut festival will have 20 donut vendors give or take. Hurt’s Donuts, Alien Donut’s, The Beignet Babe and The Local Donut are a few of the local donut shops showing off their sweetened fried dough. Arizona Wilderness Brewing will be pouring their beers all weekend along with wines from Acrobat. Donut festival goers can sip on specialty coffee drinks and Mimosas. Lawn games, live music, a kid’s zone and a marketplace with local vendors will be part of the festivals.

Donut samples will be a $1 each and the festival will benefit the Downtown Phoenix Inc. DPI promotes the re-development of downtown Phoenix by supporting events and local businesses.

The donut festival starts 10 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 and $8 for entry after 12 noon. Tickets can be purchased only on-line at http://www.downtowndonutfest.com/

Maragret T. Hance Park is at 1202 N. 3rd St. Phoenix 85004.

Fried Chicken & Beer at the 1st annual Chimac Festival

Food and drink pairings work the best when you can wash down your food a beverage to compliment your food. A favorite pairing is fried chicken and beer and the first annual Chimac festival is serving up both. Chimac is Korean for the pairing and the festival will be Sunday December 15th. Downtown Phoenix’s The Pressroom will host 12 local fried chicken businesses from 12 – 4 p.m.

The Asian inspired festival will offer several styles of fried chicken including Korean and Nashville hot chicken.

Food and drinks will be available for purchase with each vendors offering at least menu item for under $5. The outdoor event will offer a marketplace with local artists and free games to play. Desserts and Boba will be available to offer a sweet treat after the savory and spicy main dishes.

Tickets are purchased separate from food and drink. Early admission at 10:30 a.m. is $13, General Admission is $8. Children ages 7- 14 are $4 and children 6 and under are free. To purchase tickets head to Ticket Tailor and for more information check out their Facebook page. Cash and credit cards will be accepted by vendors.

The Pressroom is at 441 W. Madison. Phoenix 85003.

AZ Barrels Bottles & Brews returns for year two at Salt River Fields

Over 30 of Arizona’s favorite breweries, wineries and distillers return to the concourse at Salt River Fields for the 2nd annual AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews festival. Fans can taste samples of Arizona producers who continue to gain national recognition and pile up awards on Saturday November 23rd from 2-5 p.m. Arizona Craft Brewers Guild is co-hosting this year’s event in its continued efforts to promote Arizona’s craft beer industry.

A few of those pouring their products include…

  • Wren House Brewing Co.
  • Arizona Wilderness Brewing CO.
  • Grand Canyon (beer & spirits)
  • OHSO (beer & spirits)
  • San Tan (beer & spirits)
  • Elgin Distillery (wine & spirits)
  • Superstition Meadery (spirits)
  • Cider Corp (wine)
  • Page Springs Cellars (wine)
  • Wild Tonic Hard Jun Kombucha

Local food trucks will be on hand providing food for purchase and lawn games are on hand to play in between sips and bites.

A limited amount of tickets are on sale at the AZ Barrels, Bottles & Brews website. General Admission tickets are $50 and include 12 sample tickets. Need an extra hour (1 p.m. entry) to taste you favorites then pick up a VIP ticket for $65. Designated Driver tickets are $19 and get you a swag bag and entry to win Spring Training tickets.

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is at 7555 N. Pima Rd. Scottsdale

 

 

 

 

Dia de los Muertos 4 day celebration at Ghett’ Yo’ Taco

Hispanics around the world honor deceased family and friends every year with Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. The festive holiday includes candle lighting vigils, traditional decorations and more. Downtown Chandler’s Ghett’ Yo’ Taco is showing their respect for the colorful holiday with a four day festival. The inaugural Dia de los Muertos event will benefit the Los Diablos ASU Alumni Chapter.Dia de los Muertos

“We are extremely excited to be hosting this Dia de los Muertos celebration for the first time,” said Wally Ansari, owner of Ghett’ Yo’ Taco’. “With four days of activities we’ve made sure that there is something fun for all ages. We are also very pleased to partner with Los Diablos for this event and support their mission to assist outstanding Latin college students at ASU. We look forward to bringing the Chandler community together to celebrate our departed loved ones.”

Dia de los Muertos events

Here is the schedule of events.

Thursday, October 31 – Halloween bar crawl will take place from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. and will include stops at Chandler establishments The Local, Perch, Sleepy Whale and Quart Haus. The night will continue at Ghett’ Yo’ Taco with a costume contest for cash prizes and a candle lighting vigil. Guests are encouraged to bring candles and photos of their departed loved ones. Each bar will have drink specials and live music. Tickets for Thursday are available online at GhettYoTaco.com.

Friday, November 1 – From 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. attendees can enjoy a live DJ and patio expansion for guests to bring candles and/or pictures of deceased family members for a candle lighting vigil. Candles will be available on site for purchase. This event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, November 2 – Dia de los Muertos celebration will take place all day from 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. Guests will be able to fully embrace Hispanic culture and experience a traditional celebration honoring departed loved ones. The day will consist of live musical performances, traditional Hispanic food, piñatas and sugar skull painting. Tickets for Saturday are available online at GhettYoTaco.com.

Sunday, November 3 – Celebrate Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Guests of all ages can enjoy music, food, drinks, a bouncy house and kid’s activities. This event is free and open to the public.

Los Diablos raises funds for scholarships and financial assistance for students in Arizona. The organization is committed to mentorship and community service as well.

Ghett’ Yo’ Taco is at 241 S. Oregon St. Chandler 85225.

 

Schedule of events for Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships

Last month I post about the food offerings at the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, here is a line-up of the schedule of events for the weekend.

Thursday, October 31st Player’s Reception for all ticket purchasers at Legacy Gallery at 6:00pm during the Thursday night Scottsdale Art Walk. Then head to Riot House and Wasted Grain for their Halloween Night Parties

Friday, Nov. 1st (Polo Eve) High-end ticket purchasers and sponsors are invited to Molina Fine Jewelers for a VIP players and sponsors reception 6pm – 8pm.

Saturday, November 2nd gates open at WestWorld of Scottsdale at 10:00 a.m.

• General George S. Patton, Jr. Tournament (military match) featuring the U.S. Air Force vs U.S. Marines, made possible by Safeway Albertson’s starts at 10:15am

• An acoustic guitar showcase runs all day in the Sanderson Lincoln Black Label Lounge starting at 10:30am.

• 11:00am the Phoenix Symphony begins with a special oboe performance

• World’s Longest Cat Walk Fashion Show, presented by Phoenix Fashion Week begins at 11:45am

• That’s followed by all-time fan favorite Ricky Cooper and the Centtrip Wales Polo Team, take on the Arizona Polo Club for the first time at 12:15pm.

• Enjoy a one-of-a-kind performance of “Hip-Hopera” at 12:45pm

• See your first glimpse of America’s most intriguing and important new musical, “Americano” hitting the stage at the Phoenix Theatre in January 2020 at 1:05pm.

• Canine Couture: A Dog Fashion Show Like No Other, Presented by Lugari Pet Salon returns with cash prizes and ribbons at 1:45pm. Free to ticket purchasers

• Featured Match of the Day: Nacho Figueras and the Aspen Valley Polo Club (Defending Champs) take on Royal County Berkshire Polo Club from England at 2:15pm.

• Field-side Tango starts at 3:00pm adjacent to the polo tent near the Molina Tent

• See a Rugby’s Sevens Match featuring local favorite ASU at 3:45pm.

• The Polo Party’s First Charity Match featuring Southwest Wildlife and Arizona Equine Rescue begins at 4:15pm. Sponsored by EPR Polo LLC, $10,000 purse will go to the winning charity

• ASU’s Lacrosse Team will take on a rival at 4:25pm.

• Post-Match After Party until 6pm.

Sunday, November 3rd from 12 to 2pm enjoy a polo clinic by the Arizona Polo Club on the fields of WestWorld of Scottsdale where the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championship: Presented by Talking Stick Resort takes place. Learning how to play polo is a bucket list item for many. Here’s your chance.

Tickets for the Polo Party can be found on their website.

Celebrity chef Aaron Sanchez to appear at Sanctuary on Camelback

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.

Polo, Champagne and French Fries make for an interesting trio

When the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships comes to WestWorld of Scottsdale next month your taste buds will be in overdrive. “The World’s Greatest Polo Party” will be the place to “see and be seen” on Saturday November 2nd when the gates open at 10 a.m.

In the “Barrett Jackson Champagne and Jazz Lounge” you’ll not only sip on champagne and Bottomless Mimosas you’ll get to snack on M Culinary’s signature French fries, an interesting yet tasty combination. The complimentary snack will be served with Chandon Aluminum Rose and Sweet Star and cocktails made with Ketel One Botanicals. Tickets for the lounge are $65 in advance, $75 at the door.

All photos courtesy of Rose + Moser + Allyn Public Relations

“We are always looking for ways to enhance the guest experience at the Bentley Scottsdale Polo Championships, and what’s better than champagne and complimentary French fries while watching some the greatest polo played in Scottsdale,” said Chef Michael DeMaria, Co-founder of M Culinary Concepts. “We know this is going to be a tasty addition to Barrett-Jackson’s Champagne and Jazz Lounge.”

All attendees can feast on fried chicken and champagne from the Fried & Fizzy food truck in the general admission area. A VIP experience in the Prime: Luxury Tent Experience by Steak 44 ($275 in advance, $285 at the door) is available. Riot Hospitality Group, owners of Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row and Riot House will have DJs spinning tunes in their party tents.

All photos courtesy of Rose + Moser + Allyn Public Relations

General Admission tickets are $30 and $40 at the door. To purchase tickets and tables head to their website. WestWorld of Scottsdale is at 16601 N. Pima Rd. 85260.