Sips & Bites: News you can use from the Phoenix restaurant community

Quick sips of news about what’s going on around the Phoenix restaurant, beer & wine community.

20% off your at OHSO Brewery Arcadia donated to AAWL

To celebrate Oktoberfest the brew pub with dog friendly patio will donated 20% of sales from 4-8 p.m. Sunday October 18th to the Arizona Animal Welfare League. AAWL is the state’s largest & oldest no-kill shelter saving thousands of lives.

Local pumpkins sourced for Los Sombreros dishes

Abby Lee Farms and Crooked Sky Farms have provided all three of the Mexican restaurants with pumpkins for 2 seasonal dishes. Pumpkin Soup ($10) and Pumpkin Flan ($8) will be available until October 31st. The feature is part of the restaurants Los Local Love program helping to support Arizona farms and foods.

Fall weather brings seasonal food to Trapp Haus BBQ

With the return of cool weather the popular downtown Phoenix BBQ joint has brought back its popular Texas Burnt End Chili. $6.99 gets you cup and $9.99 gets you a bowl of the juicy & tender beef brisket ends. Wash it down with a Wicked Caramel Apple Cider cocktail for $10. The Fall favorite is made with cinnamon whiskey, apple cider and a caramel drizzle.

Burnt End Chili

Chase’s Diner dishes out Pumpkin Pancakes in October

If pumpkin spice your seasonal favorite head to the Chandler diner who is serving up stacks of their pancakes made with the ingredient. The rich & fluffy pancakes are dusted with powdered sugar and served with real whipped cream sweet butter and maple syrup. A short stack of 3 is $8.79 and a combo plate with 2 pancakes, 2 eggs and bacon or sausage is $8.39.

Twin Peaks Restaurant is raising money for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Donate by putting a name of someone on a pink ribbon to be put on the dining room wall of the 3 locations around Phoenix. All money collected in October will be donated locally to the Phoenix chapter of the American Cancer Society. On October 24th the restaurants participates in Strides Ride for Phoenix.

 

Farm fresh produce available from Castle Hot Springs

The historic Castle Hot Springs is closed until September 3rd 2020 but has plenty of farm fresh produce grown on site. What do they do with it, they box it up and sell it with all proceeds going to St. Vincent de Paul. Resident Agronomist Ian Beger grows over 150 seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs on their one acre farm.

Subscription boxes start at $25/week for the “Just Greens” (1lb. of lettuce greens and one 8oz clamshell of Micro-Greens) package. For $75/week the “Farmers Pick” includes Just Greens + farmers pick of the best root vegetables, culinary herbs, tomatoes, fruit, specialty vegetables and edible flowers. The “Executive” option is $250/ week and consists of includes greens, vegetables, herbs, tomatoes, fruit, edible flowers, coffee beans, preserves, seeds for your garden, recipes for produce, and a bunch of farm-fresh flowers.

Christopher Brugman and Ian Beger

Subscribers will be contacted the week of for payment and can pick up their boxes every Friday at 6926 E. Main Street, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251 or at the resort.

For more information or to order your box head to their website.

2020 Arizona Food & Farm Forum hopes to go off as scheduled

With current events planning a festival or other culinary events is hard not knowing how the coronavirus will affect future events. I’m hoping the 2020 Arizona Food & Farm Forum goes off as planned on April 28th & 29th 2020. The two day conference of farmers, local food advocates and food entrepreneurs will be held at the Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds in Laveen.

Organized by Local First Arizona the forum helps build and strengthen relationships aimed at collaborations between the Arizona food and farm industry. Arizona’s farming future will be discussed among the more than 200 food entrepreneurs and advocates.

“Phoenix is committed to achieving a healthy, sustainable, equitable, and thriving food system and has recently completed a 2025 Food Action Plan that includes various strategies and actions that address food insecurity, urban agriculture, land use, job creation, and the contribution of the entire food system to our local economy,” said city of Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego.

She added, “We are excited to host the Arizona Food & Farm Forum in South Phoenix to showcase the rich agricultural history of the area, its assets, and value to the development of a resilient food system for future generations.”

Arizona Food & Farm Forum line-up

The 2020 Arizona Food & Farm Forum will have farm tours, workshops and networking opportunities for all to participate in. Keynote speakers include Nephi Craig, Founder of the Native American Culinary Association, Lilian Hill, Executive Director of the Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute and Sara Dolan, Owner of Blue Sky Organic Farms.

“From strategizing local opportunities for farmland conservation to exploring food as medicine, the 2020 agenda is focused on ensuring Arizona can thrive as a delicious and nutritious place to live,” said Kate Radosevic, Local First Arizona Food & Farm Initiatives Manager.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Heritage and Planning for the Future” with sub-themes….. Planning for the Future is centered around policy and systemic changes, including strategy sessions on Agriculture Workforce Development, Urban Farmland Conservation, and Funding Community Food Systems.

Indigenous Foodways will provide a space for tribal members and allies to explore Decolonization Through Food, learn from the American Indian Farmers’ Panel, and explore Food as Medicine.

Growing a Food Business will offer technical assistance in Building Your Brand; Protecting Yourself & Your Workers in a Hotter, Drier Climate; and Strategies for Diversifying Farm Revenue Streams.

Tickets for the 2020 Arizona Food & Farm Forum are $99 for 2 days & $59 for 1 day. Students, ranchers and young farmers are $40 for 2 days and $20 for 1 day. Local First Arizona members will save 10% when you use the promo code “LOCALFIRST”. For more information and to purchase tickets head to the website.

 

Billy Ray Cyrus and award winning chefs headline Sunset Sessions

Update: Sunset Sessions concerts & culinary festival cancelled due to flooding. Car auction proceeding as planned.

A new culinary experience comes to town along with Billy Ray Cyrus when the Mecum Collector Car Auction parks at State Farm Stadium. The Sunset Sessions are during the evening of Friday & Saturday, March 13th and 14th and will feature Phoenix chef Anthony Serrano enlisting celebrity chefs to prepare delicious dishes for the 2 two night event.

The theme for Friday is “The Melody of Sonoran Flavors” that will feature farm to table dishes native to Arizona. Saturday you’ll be “Rock ‘n’ Tacos” feasting on unique tacos and sliders made with American Wagyu beef from Hassell Cattle. Joining chef Serrano will be Derek Upton who has worked with Chef Justin Beckett and cooked for celebrity clients. David Duarte has cooked in Italy and professional BBQ’r Josh Dae will be cooking. Chefs Suzanne Clark and Pete Sivano, editor and publisher of Girls Can Grill chef Christie Vanover and Kita Roberts a.k.a. Girl Carnivore round out the culinary team.

Billy Ray Cyrus
Chef Anthony Serrano

“Partnering with the best collector car auction company in the world and creating this exclusive culinary and music event is a can’t-miss opportunity for the Phoenix area community,” said Jim Freudenberg, Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at the Innovative Group, which is partnering with Mecum Auctions to produce this new event. “We are bringing the world’s top culinary event to the Valley of the Sun and providing the finest unlimited menu of food, libations and music.”

Billy Ray Cyrus and how to get tickets

Billboard Award winning band Lifehouse will take the stage Friday night and country music star Billy Ray Cyrus on Saturday. Gates open at 6 p.m. with live music starting at 6:15 and the headliners on stage at 7:30.

Tickets are $150-$350 and include entrance to the auction and unlimited food and drinks. VIP experience with private suites and personal chef interactions are available. State Farm Stadium is at 1 Cardinals Dr. Glendale 85305.

 

Foodies don’t care about a little rain at Day 1 of Devour Culinary Classic

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.

Here are a few of the many highlights of day 1. Be sure to check back for sunnier day 2 and for more images and commentary check my Instagram @SandyWass  Facebook page & Twitter @SandyWasserman

Bar Magic serving up Hurricane Cocktail in the VIP Lounge with Mardi Gras theme
foodies
Prep & Pastry Churro Cronut & Blueberry Scone
foodies
Scandinavian Sushi coming to Scottsdale later this year from Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey
foodies
AZ Wilderness PB & J Burger
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A leaky tent didn’t dampen the spirits of L’Auberge de Sedona Chef Morgan serving her delicious dessert
foodies
T. Cooks Arcadia Orange Bombe- white chocolate, Grande Marnier mouss, hazelnut & citrus curd
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Dust Cutter Restaurant’s confit pork belly, masa, chorizo & roasted poblano gremolata
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Lincoln Steakhouse Surf & turf- Lobster Escargot & Beef Tongue Popover
Love seeing all the color exhibits and art at the Desert Botanical Garden

MIXT brings fast casual farm to table healthy food to Scottsdale Quarter

California based MIXT is almost ready to open its newest restaurant on March 7th at the new wing of Scottsdale Quarter. It will be the fast casual farm to table concept’s first restaurant in Arizona and the 16th since the company was founded in 2005 by Leslie and David Silverglide. The other 15 locations are in California and Texas.

“We’re beyond excited to bring MIXT’s delicious, sustainable, healthy food to Scottsdale,” says MIXT CEO Leslie Silverglide. “We’re looking forward to serving the growing number of Arizonans looking for fresh, delicious, and fulfilling meals that fit a health-conscious lifestyle.”

The high quality sourcing of ingredients translates into healthy grain bowls, salads, sandwiches and protein plates. MIXT tries to source as much as possible locally for its scratch made dishes. The menu changes when the seasons change with the availability of produce. Salads are customized to your liking with over 75 ingredients to choose from. MIXT Market Plates include herb roasted grilled chicken and Steelhead trout that are paired with house-made sauces.

Kombucha on tap, house made iced teas & lemonade, local beers and boutique wines are offered with lunch and dinner. MIXT

MIXT Salet

No miss-spelling, MIXT offers a Salad Valet for those on the go who place orders on their app or on-line. You won’t need to leave your car as the Salet will bring your order right to you when you pull up to the “take-out zone”. Looking to stay, MIXT has an inviting modern look to dine inside or out to enjoy your chef created meals.

With its sustainable business practices MIXT is the first multi-unit concept to become a Certified B Corporation. Not only is the food good for you, it’s good for the community as well.

MIXT will be open daily from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Check out their website for more information or to fill out an application as they are hiring 50 staffers.

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.

 

Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen to open in March from famed chef

James Beard award winning chef Alex Stratta is preparing to open his new healthy concept restaurant in Scottsdale early in 2020. When Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen opens it will serve dishes that he prepared to overcome colon cancer and lose over 100 pounds. Natural and seasonal whole foods will be on the menu with an emphasis on Mediterranean styled diet.

“My passions have always been found and developed in the kitchen,” says Stratta. “This new concept is so personal to me and I am thrilled to once again share my passions with our local and visiting diners who have come to expect, and deserve, an elevated yet wholesome meal in a quick-casual atmosphere.”

Healthy eating at Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen

The popular quick serve concept will let customers dine-in or take out, a departure for Stratta from his upscale dining days at The Phoenician and in Las Vegas. The menu will appeal to all diets and will include gluten-free, naturally dairy free and vegetarian dishes.  The menu will offer five sections including “To Share or Not to Share”, “Greens”, “Grains”, “Proteins” and “Sweets”.

“To Share or Not to Share” will include Vegetable and Potato Frittata, Baked Artichoke, Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip and more.

“Greens” include Beets and Apples with Arugula, goat cheese cracker, pistachios and balsamic crunch and more salad based dishes. “Grains” offers Vegetable Pistou Soup and Terra with wild mushrooms, green lentils, spinach, Brussel sprouts, asparagus and purple yams.

“Proteins” allows guests to choose from Alaskan Sterling Salmon, Free Range Chicken, Char-Grilled Strip Steak, Grilled King Trumpet Mushroom and more. “Proteins” can be customized with sauces including Moroccan Spice Tahini, Chimichurri and Balsamic Honey Vinaigrette.

Indulge in healthy desserts with “Sweets” including Goat Cheese and Honey Panna Cotta, Warm Walnut Date Cake and Pistachio Baklava.

Stratta Lifestyle Kitchen will be at 8260 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale.

OEB Breakfast Co. to open first U.S. location in Scottsdale

Italian-Canadian chef Mauro Martina is bringing his eclectic breakfast concept to north Scottsdale in November. When OEB Breakfast Co. opens it will give the classic breakfast staples an upscale twist from the north. At almost 3,000 square feet, the open kitchen restaurant seats over 100 people in the dining room and on the patio.

“Breakfast means so much more to me than just the first meal of the day,” said Martina, owner and founder of OEB. “It’s about elevating the whole breakfast experience. That’s what OEB is all about.”

Light blue and yellow painted walls give a clean look to the restaurant and guests will notice wood beams throughout with the focal point being the Terrazo bar.

The classically trained Martina learned his skills in Europe before moving to Canada in 1992. At the age of 21 he was already an executive chef and has worked in Michelin Star restaurants since then. He opened the first OEB in 2009 and sources much of his ingredients from local farmers. “We care about where the food comes from and what happens to it before it hits the table,” said Martina.

Photos courtesy of Liz Lastra at Evolve Marketing

The menu at OEB Breakfast Co.

Martina’s eclectic menu will take guests on a culinary journey and will include Holy Crab Eggs Benny, Nutella French Toast and Hog & Scallop Poutine. The restaurant will serve hand-crafted cocktails, craft beer and Frizzante on tap from the full service bar. Martina’s philosophy is to raise the bar during the breakfast experience through its cuisine.

“There are not too many places out there that have truffles on the menu or sturgeon caviar and duck and scallops,” said Martina. “Some think fine dining but I think people can have all of that for breakfast.”

The restaurant is currently looking to hire 50 people for all positions. Those interested can send a resume to chaunceylane@eatoeb.com

OEB Breakfast Co. is at 17757 N. Scottsdale Rd. (Scottsdale & Chauncey Lane) 85255. For updates about the opening and more information visit their website.

 

Castle Hot Springs re-opens with Harvest, serving crop driven cuisine

Arizona’s first luxury resort, Castle Hot Springs has re-opened for its first full season. Originally opened in 1896, the 210 acre property will be opened from October til late June offering guests the opportunity to detach from the digital world while rejuvenating and healing in the resorts 120 degrees thermal hot springs. Hiking, horseback riding, foraging and star gazing are a few of the many activities guests can enjoy at the iconic resort and its surrounding desert and mountains.

Harvest, Castle Hot Springs signature restaurant

Castle Hot Springs is home to Harvest, the signature restaurant and farm offering crop driven cuisine. Executive chef Christopher Brugman’s menu rotates daily based on what’s available at the resorts one acre farm. The farm and greenhouse are overseen by resident agronomist Ian Berger. He oversees over 150 fruits and vegetables native to the desert along with the properties groves that are home to 36 types of citrus trees. Included in the farm are over 35 varieties of heirloom tomatoes.

Working together Brugman and Berger choose ripe fruit and vegetables for each days menu. What they don’t grow they  get from local vendors to fill in the gaps. Harvest also adheres to zero waste and sustainable guidelines. Guests can participate in daily foraging and learn about “flavor farming” that covers the sweet and savory tastes through a foods color. Dishes such as Coconut Carrot Bisque and Tandoori Octopus Grilled over Juniper Wood have been on the menu. The culinary team also has an in-house pickling program and creates concoctions such as Brugman’s Onion Ash.

Food & Beverage Manager and Sommelier Thomas Burris has created a beverage program to complement Brugman’s cuisine. Signature cocktails such as the Trade Secret and Lady & The Tramp also use ingredients sourced from the property. Trade Secret is made with rosemary infused vodka, Elderflower and pink grapefruit. The savory Lady & The Tramp combine Pecorino Romano infused vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup and fresh basil leaves. Castle Springs Lithium Lager is made exclusively for Harvest and uses natural elements of the resorts hot springs.

The resort is at 5050 E. Castle Hot Springs Rd. Castle Hot Springs AZ. 85342. For more information and to make a reservation head to their website.