As culinary events and food festivals get postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus a new festival is moving forward as planned. The first ever Rib Fest Showdown debuts April 25th & 26th 2020 in Surprise at Mark Coronado Park. The Throwdown pits Kansas City vs. Texas pitmasters to see who makes the best smokes meats. With the aroma of burning wood in the air festival goers will taste ribs and other smoked meats.
The city of Surprise was chosen as co-host of the event as it’s the Spring Training home of both Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals & Texas Rangers.
“We are thrilled to partner with the City of Surprise to launch this exciting event,” said Landon Evans owner of HDE Agency. “Supporting the economic growth and working together to build a cornerstone event for the city that will come to be recognized as an annual program is both rewarding and awesome.”
LDE Agency is also producing the KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival on March 28th in Chandler and is taking every per-caution to make sure both festivals are safe, clean and happen as planned.
The family friendly festival also features a ‘Battle of the Bands” with local and national performers, a kid’s zone, food eating contests and more.
The Rib Fest Showdown goes from 12 – 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are on sale with 2 for $16, 4 for $30 or 6 for $40. Walk -up tickets the day of will be $10 each. VIP tickets and a Stay & Play overnight packages are available. A portion of the proceeds from the Rib Fest Throwdown will be donated to Mighty Change of Heart, a local non-profit that provides support for foster children.
Chef and new culinary director at the Hyatt Phoenix Brandon Drummond is no stranger to hotel life having worked for Hyatt Hotels around the country for the past 15 years. He come from the Hyatt in Greenwich, Connecticut to run the culinary team at Compass Lounge & Restaurant, Arizona’s only revolving rooftop restaurant.
The downtown hotel is finishing a multi-million dollar facelift and they’ve hired Drummond to re-vamp the menu at their signature restaurant. He brings his experience working in culinary management in the Hyatt family in Washington D.C., Bonita Springs Fla., New Orleans and San Antonio to his new role.
Both the lounge and restaurant will see new dishes including fresh seafood and regional ingredients. In the lounge guest will have the chance to order Buttermilk Fried Quail, a Charcuterie Board and more. The new menu includes Quick Cured Duck and Elk Chops in addition to other new dishes and longtime favorites.
New cocktails include the Strawberry Blonde made with Meyer lemon vodka, house made simple syrup and strawberries. The Bramble Rose mixes Maker’s Mark bourbon with house made rosemary simple syrup and blueberries.
Meet Chef Drummond when he participates in Plated and Staged at the Herberger Theater on Sunday March 29th. The annual fundraiser benefits for the theatre’s youth outreach program. The program exposes youths to culinary programs and the performing arts.
The Compass Lounge & Restaurant the Hyatt Phoenix is at 122 N. 2nd St. Phoenix 85004. Visit their website for more information.
Billed as where “Top Chefs Vie for Food-Pairing Glory”, Epicuriad 2020 will have more than 15 local chefs competing to win the coveted Epicurean chefs jacket while raising money for the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation. Harley Davidson of Scottsdale will host the 8th annual event on Saturday May 2nd at 6 p.m.
Each chef will be tasked with creating a dish that will pair well with a specific beer and wine. Attendees will vote for ” Best Plate” and “Best Pairing” crowning a winner. Money raised will benefit research and programs for brain tumor and patients put on by the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation.
Tickets for Epicuriad 2020 are limited and can be purchased at their website. General Admission tickets are $85 and VIP is $100. Harley Davidson of Scottsdale is at 15656 N. Hayden Rd. Scottsdale 85260.
Arizona’s Native American tribes will be showcasing foods and culture at the Arizona Native Edible Experience. The cocktail style tasting on Saturday February 8th will be at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West from 6-8 p.m. The annual event is hosted by the Arizona American Indian Tourism Association (AAITA)and will feature native art and a silent auction in addition to food tastings.
“This event gives us an opportunity to showcase the dynamic Native communities and multitude of tribes thriving here in Scottsdale today and also allows us to educate the residents and visitors of Scottsdale about these tribes and their important role in the City’s rich heritage,” said Geri Hongeva, President of the AAITA. “We are proud to represent such a vibrant group of peoples and share their stories that have shaped the past.
Native chef tasting stations will offer traditional foods as well as modern tastes and cocktails. Featured chefs and guests include San Carlos Apache forager & Ancestral Food Archivist Twila Cassadore, Brian Yazzie aka “Yazzie the Chef”, Renetto – Mario Etsitty and Andrew Humeyumptewa.
The Experience is part of Scottsdale’s Western Week and the Arizona American Indian Festival 2020 being held over the weekend. Tickets for the Arizona Native Edible Experience are $25 and can be purchased at http://www.arizonanativeexperience.com. The Museum of the West is at 3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale 85251.
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.
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
“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.”
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.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix raises money for various causes through annual events. One of those causes is the fight against childhood hunger and their annual Dish It Out culinary event will do just that. Sunday October 20th from 5 -8 p.m. over 35 local restaurants will be at High. St. serving up samples for this year’s event. Last year the popular fund raising event was named “Best Event” in the valley by Arizona Foothills magazine.
Attendees of the 21 and over event will taste samples from Lou Malnati’s pizzeria, Ocean Prime, Fogo de Chao and other restaurants. Craft beers from Ballast Point, SanTan Brewing and Laguintas are just a few beers to sample. Local bands will entertain throughout the evening and Mix 96.9’s Matthew Blades and Pricilla Ornelas will host the upscale event. Deep Eddy Vodka will pour specialty cocktails from their tricked out 1946 Spartan Trailer in the VIP lounge. Lady La and her Mahalo Made food truck will be in attendance.
Proceeds from the event helps BGCMP serve over 330,000 healthy meals and 336,000 healthy snacks to children in the Phoenix area.
General admission tickets for Dish It Out are $75 and VIP tickets are $200. VIP guests get early access with a glass of champagne, preferred packing, access to VIP lounge with exclusive restaurants, wine and more. The event is dressy casual with comfortable shoes recommended for walking. Tickets can be purchased on their website along with more information. High St. is at 5415 E. High St. Phoenix 85054.
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.
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.