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.

 

Save the date: 2019 Slider Throwdown is returning to Kierland Commons

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/

 

Gayle’s Chocolates & Carlson Creek Vineyards plan Vortex Crunch Event

Arizona isn’t just home to many great restaurants, it also is home to many small artisan food producers. One of those is the newly re-located Gayle’s Chocolates in Cottonwood. Gayle’s started in Michigan in 1979 but was recently sold to Sedona residents, Michael and Andrea Portnoy. Friday September 20th will have the Portnoy’s introducing their chocolates at one of their first events, Vortex Crunch Event.

“Six years ago, when we tried Gayle’s we knew it was love at first bite. Now we are taking her creations and bringing them to the southwest. Taking inspiration from the Sedona Vortex’s our newest treat, the Vortex Crunch is sure to be a sweet and salty spiritual experience,” said Co-owner Michael Portnoy.

Carlson Creek Vineyards is partnering with Gayle’s Chocolates for the first of what hopes to be an annual event. Vortex Crunch is the newest addition to the line of homemade chocolates. Loaded with rice krispies, Michigan cherries, almonds, cashews, toffee, glazed orange peel, toasted coconut and a layer of semisweet chocolate. All ingredients combing for a sweet and salty taste.

Carlson Creek will pair their 2014 Rule of Three red blend and 2017 Muscat with the chocolates.

The Vortex Crunch Event will from 12 – 3 p.m. at Gayle’s Chocolates Willy Wonka like factory in their flagship store at 541 N. Main St. Cottonwood 86326. For more information visit their website.

 

Downtown Mesa to host 2nd annual Southwest Cider Festival

Over 300 cider enthusiasts including myself made their way to downtown Mesa last year for the inaugural Southwest Cider Festival. I’m happy to announce that tickets are on sale for the 2nd Southwest Cider Festival on Saturday October 19th at Cider Corps. Refreshing samples of local and out of state ciders will be poured along with live music, food trucks and more. People are still discovering this new and unique beverage according to Cider Corps co-owner Josh Duren.

“Craft cider is so different from mass produced drinks and even from traditional European ciders,” Duren explained. “We’re experimenting with flavor profiles and techniques that make this a really unique beverage without artificial flavoring or added sugars. The festival is a chance to sample the variety out there and really support the craft cider community.”

The festival goes from 4-8 p.m. and General Admission tickets are $35. Tickets include 15 sample tickets and a commemorative glass. VIP tickets are $50 and get early entry at 3 p.m., a t-shirt, 20 sample tickets and commemorative glass. Tickets can be purchased online at Eventbrite.

The event will be outside at Cider Corps in downtown Mesa at 31 S. Robson St.  85210. For updates check out the Facebook page.

Birdgang Travel Club partners with BBQ Island for tailgate cooking lessons

Football season is here and tailgaters are saving their parking spots for cooking and pre-game partying. The Birdgang Travel Club will be out and about psyching up Cardinals fans up for 2019 season. The NFL team has high hopes after drafting first taking QB Kyler Murray. One of the Birdgang’s first event is at BBQ Island in Tempe for a “Tailgating 101” cooking class.

Saturday August 24th the class will teach fans to cook brisket stuffed jalapeño poppers, smoked chicken wings and more.Birdgang Travel Club

“We started Birdgang Travel Club as a way to show our dedication to the Red Sea across the great state and beyond. It’s been so much fun putting events together, celebrating with friends and making new ones each season,” said Tyler Vasquez, Co-Founder, Birdgang Travel Club.

Space is limited for “Tailgating 101” that goes from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the BBQ Island Tempe 1715 W. Ruby Dr. #105 85284. Tickets need to be pre- purchased for $50 or $45 for 2 or more.

More Birdgang Travel Club events

The die hard Cardinals fans are planning to hit the road with the team a couple of times this season. Reservations are being taken for road trips to Oct. 24-28 to New Orleans and Nov. 7-11 in Tampa Bay vs former head coach Bruce Arians.

Home games they huddle up at Majerle’s Sports Bar in Chandler before busing out to Glendale. The safe ride option offers breakfast buffet, a tailgate lunch and a ride to & from the stadium for $65. Tickets to the game and alcohol are not included. Fans are welcome to bring beer and alcohol for the ride over to the game. Tickets need to be pre-purchased.

“We started out as a small group of friends that would travel to away games but found it to be very expensive in small groups and quickly realized that by traveling in larger groups we could save a ton of money and have a lot more fun! So, we started Birdgang Travel Club as a way to take some of the work and expense out of individual travel planning. Now, after four years of traveling as a group, we are booking 200-300 fans at a time and are able to pass along an amazing experience and savings to our members,” continued Vasquez.

Downtown Chandler gettin’ ready to host 8th Annual Rockin’ Taco Street Fest

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.

taco street fest
All photos courtesy of Claire Natale at Evolve Public Relations

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.

Customers and staff help Liberty Market create 31 unique burgers

When you wake up tomorrow it will be August 1st or as Gilbert’s Liberty Market calls it “Burger Days”. For 31 days in August the restaurant serves a unique burger for their annual celebration of the American comfort food. For this years event executive chef David Traina created the list of burgers with input from loyal customers and staff.

Customers ordering a burger on a given day may find other than locally raised beef between the buns. Bison, elk and a veggie burger will be served and all will have unique flavor profiles and toppings. All burgers are a 1/2 pound and many will have an international spin.

Miso Sticky burger. All photos courtesy of Sarah Roberson

Customers save your receipts

Save your receipts from each burger visit as you will be rewarded with gift cards. A $50 Liberty Market gift card will be given to customers who eat 10 different burgers. If you stop by for all 31 burgers a $250 gift card is yours. Customers will have until the end of the first week of September to redeem their gift cards.

Here is the list of 31 burgers.

1- Short Rib – AZ raised beef patty, blue cheese sauce, roasted onion and arugula on onion bun.

2- Carne Asada – AZ raised beef patty, drunken beans, grilled green onions, cotija cheese, and guacamole on onion bun.

3- Buffalo Blue Cheese Fry* – bison patty, curly fries, buffalo cheese sauce, blue cheese, and chives on a pretzel bun.

4- French Onion – AZ raised beef patty, sherry caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese, fresh garlic aioli, and au jus, on a Ciabatta bun.

5- Philly Cheese Steak – AZ raised beef patty, Cheese Whizz, roasted peppers, provolone cheese and onions on Ciabatta bun.

6- Torta Style – AZ raised beef patty, topped with adobo braised pork, beans, jalapeño salsa, crema, cotija cheese, avocado, and cabbage slaw, on a bollio bun.

7- The Issac – AZ raised beef patty, pesto aioli, fried fresh mozzarella, bacon, and tomato on an Italian rosemary bun.

8- Chicken Katsu – AZ raised beef patty, fried chicken, jalapeño aioli slaw, and Katsu sauce on a sesame bun.

9- Cajun Shrimp – AZ raised beef patty, roasted red bell peppers and onions, and Tabasco aioli on a Ciabatta bun.

10- Breakfast Nduja – AZ raised beef patty, sunny side up egg, grain mustard, Seahive cheese, and arugula on ciabatta round.

11- Anti-Pasto – AZ raised beef patty, fried mozzarella, salami, marinated artichoke, roasted red peppers, pesto, and arugula on a Kalamata olive bun.

12- Korean BBQ – AZ raised beef patty, Korean bbq sauce, cabbage nauc cham slaw, sesame seeds, rice wine cucumbers, on a brioche bun.

13- Whiskey Onion – AZ raised beef patty, BBQ sauce, bacon, cheddar cheese, and whiskey onions on fried cheddar cheese as the bun.

14- Hatch-Frito – AZ raised beef patty, brisket patty, pepper jack cheese, chipotle bbq aioli, and Fritos on a chili cheese bun.

15- Bourbon BLT – AZ raised beef patty, bourbon brown sugar bacon, oven dried tomato aioli, and butter lettuce on onion bun.

customers
Buffalo Blue Cheese burger

16- Piggly Wiggly* – AZ raised beef patty, hatch cheddar, pulled pork, sliced ham, fried onion straws, yellow BBQ sauce, and chicharrones on an onion bun.

17- Crab Salad – AZ raised beef patty, marinated crab salad, cambozola cheese, Tabasco aioli, and butter lettuce on a brioche bun with 9 grain topping.

18- Burrata Burger – AZ raised beef patty, truffle dressed arugula, bacon, tomato, and black pepper aioli on Italian olive oil bun.

19- Miso Sticky* – AZ raised beef patty, miso and maple glazed pork belly, pickled cucumber and carrots, red onion, thin jalapeño slices, butter lettuce, sesame seeds, and gochujang aioli, on a bollio bun.

20- Pepper Jack Sausage – AZ raised beef patty, Beehive Barely Buzzed cheese, roasted onions, cajun aioli on a ciabatta roll.

21- Ma’s Meatloaf – AZ raised beef patty bacon meatloaf, arugula, roasted garlic onion and horseradish aioli on a brioche bun.

22- Cuban Mojo –  house blend patty (orange, lime zest, garlic cumin oregano, cilantro, Fresno chiles) Manchego cheese, grilled yellow onions and Anaheim chiles, avocado, and tequila-lime aioli, on an onion bun.

23- Cheesy Tot* – AZ raised beef patty, onion dip ranch, tater tots, hatch chile cheese curds on an onion bun.

24- Crispy Carmen – AZ raised beef patty, chilaquiles, sunny side up egg, tomatillo salsa, cotija cheese, on a ciabatta bun.

25- Mac Daddy* – AZ raised beef patty, jalapeño bacon mac and cheese, BBQ short rib, grilled red onion, cheddar cheese, and sriracha aioli on a jalapeño Ciabatta bun.

26- Pastrami Style – AZ raised beef patty, sauerkraut, and 1000 Island dressing on marble rye.

27-Veggie – house made red bean and rice patty, Cajun tofu, and cashew butter on rustic bun.

28- Far East – AZ raised beef patty, topped with greens, wontons, hoisin aioli, tamarind-ginger glaze on seeded Kaiser roll.

29- Green Goddess – AZ raised beef patty, Green Goddess dressing, fried zucchini, roasted portobello mushrooms, lemon ricotta, and arugula on a rustic bun.

30- Lobster-Prosciutto* –  AZ raised beef patty, brie, Boston lettuce, classic aioli on a french bun.

31- Elk Burger – AZ raised beef patty, speck, peppadews, Gruyere cheese, spring mix, and whole grain mustard sauce on a garlic bun. 

Liberty Market is at 230 N. Gilbert Rd. Gilbert.

Downtown Tempe Brunch Crawl is back with more restaurants

Saturday August 10th is the return of the Downtown Tempe Brunch Crawl and it’s bigger and better than last year. The self-guided crawl goes from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m. and has 14 restaurants serving up food and drinks. $5 Event Ticket gets you $7 food and drink options at all restaurants, FREE parking & sunglasses.  Check-in on the southwest corner of 5th & Mill and your on your way.

Tickets are selling quickly and can be purchased here and more information can be found on the website.

The 14 participating restaurants in the Downtown Tempe Brunch Crawl are……

  • Americana Burgers & Beer
  • Caffe Boa Bistro and Wine Bar
  • Daily Jam
  • Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row
  • El Hefe Super Macho Taqueria
  • Morning Squeeze
  • Nékter Juice Bar
  • Original ChopShop Tempe
  • Pedal Haus Brewery
  • Pita Jungle
  • Rula Bula Irish Pub
  • Snakes & Lattes Tempe
  • Spinelli’s Pizza
  • Varsity Tavern

 

Mark your calendars for 2019 Fall Arizona Restaurant Week

Hot off the heels of 2019 Spring Arizona Restaurant Week the Arizona Restaurant Association announces dates for Fall 2019. Foodies and foodies in training mark your calendars for Friday September 20th- 29th for 10 days of culinary discovery.

Arizona Restaurant Week showcases local restaurants creating special menus that offer 3 or 4 course prie-fixe menus. For $33 or $44 per person guests can visit restaurants  for dishes not served during the rest of the year. Wine pairing are extra.

“Consumer demand for restaurants in Arizona has been the highest it’s ever been and that’s why we see such support each year during both Spring and Fall Restaurant Week,” says Arizona Restaurant Association president and CEO Steve Chucri. “We are proud to be leading the charge in an initiative that helps diners discover some of the best local, chef-driven restaurants as well as support some of the most well-known restaurants in the state.”

This is the 12th anniversary of the twice yearly event with the list of participating restaurants growing every year. Over 70 restaurants around Arizona are confirmed to participate in 2019 Fall Arizona Restaurant Week. To see the list of restaurants participating & menus go to https://arizonarestaurantweek.com/. Restaurants are being added weekly so check back for updates. Photo courtesy of David Blakeman