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.

 

Pomo Pizza serving Pinsa and more at Biltmore Fashion Park

The popular Pomo Pizzeria has opened a spin off to its award winning pizza at the Biltmore Fashion Park. Pomo Pizza specializes in Pinsa, Pizza Romana and classic styled pizza but won’t be serving the Neapolitan style that the Pizzeria serves.

“We are excited to introduce Pomo Pizzeria’s younger sister, Pomo Pizza, to the community,” owner Stefano Fabbri says. “There has been demand for quite some time to introduce a concept like this to the Biltmore and we are thrilled offer classic Italian cuisine to our guests in a casual atmosphere.”

Pomo Pizza

What is Pinsa and Pizza Romana at Pomo?

Pinsa Romana is a focaccia styled flatbread that was being made before pizza. Pomo Pizza is one of the only restaurants featuring this style of dough. The lighter and easily digested dough is leavened for 72 hours and offers a uniquely flavorful taste. Pizza Romana is a traditional thick focaccia pizza with a crisp bottom and airy middle. Pomo pizza will also serve a traditional round, hand tossed and oven baked dough for a thin and crispy pizza.

“The Pinsa Romana is a dish that is currently trending in Italy and is an old recipe passed down from Roman times,” Fabbri says. “The focaccia flatbread contains soy and rice flour, which is non-GMO and lowers its gluten content to provide for a light, airy taste and allows for the ingredients and sauce to really stand out. Our other new menu item, Pizza Romana, is a truly authentic Italian dish that is made with natural yeast and 48 hours of leavening-maturation.”

The restaurant will serve pizzas such as the Arcadia Meat Market Pinsa and the vegetarian Er Patata Pizza Romana. Pasta dishes, Italian appetizers, bruschetta, fresh salads and paninis are also being served.

The full service restaurant serves pizza from an open kitchen and has a full bar and pet friendly patio. Pomo Pizza is open 7 days a week opening at 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday thru Thursday and til 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy hour runs every day from 3 – 6 p.m. and offers 1/2 price on beer, wine and cocktails. Reverse happy hour is offered from 8 p.m. til closing on weekdays and 9 p.m. til closing on weekends.

For more information see their website and visit the restaurant at 2602 E. Camelback Rd. #148 A & B Phoenix 85016.

A drier Sunday at Devour Culinary Classic to end Devour Week 2020

Sunday brought out a mix of sun and clouds but no rain for the final event of Devour Week 2020. The second day of Devour Culinary Classic had a different line up of restaurants and resorts showing off their culinary expertise. Live art, DJs, a Mardi Gras Drum March and the natural beauty of the Desert Botanical Garden made sure the Devour Culinary Classic continues to be one of the best culinary festival in Arizona and throughout the southwest.

Enjoy the images and be sure to see more on my social media channels Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.  A few of Saturday’s many highlights can be found here.

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
foodies
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
foodies
Dust Cutter Restaurant’s confit pork belly, masa, chorizo & roasted poblano gremolata
foodies
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.

 

The Arizona Native Edible Experience is coming to Scottsdale

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.

Arizona Native edible experience
Photos by Haile Sutton
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.

Phoenix Convention Center to get its own brewpub

As downtown Phoenix continues to grow the city looks for more amenities for downtown residents and visitors. Dining out is popular downtown which is why Huss Brewing Co. has agreed to open brewpub at the Phoenix Convention Center. The two-story, street front brewery and restaurant will open in the fall on Monroe St. between 2nd and 3rd streets.

Huss Brewing Co. entered into a partnership with the city and convention center food & beverage provider Aventura Catering. “The Phoenix Convention Center is one of Downtown Phoenix’ most visible points of pride, and we are thrilled that they will now house a beloved local company with Huss Brewing Co.,” says Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “This new location will help further showcase the strength of our community’s craft beer industry to the millions of visitors who come to our city each year.”

Huss Brewing Co. will serve their award-winning beers along with a chef driven menu featuring locally sourced ingredients.

This has become a passion project for Huss Brewing co-owners Leah and Jeff Huss. “Jeff and I have been working on this project for more than a year and a half,” Leah says, “It has been a joy working with the Phoenix Convention Center, and Aramark (Aventura’s parent company) throughout the process of putting this dream together. Most important, we’re looking forward to being a part of the downtown Phoenix community and helping the revitalization of the area, especially bringing a vibrant nightlife back to downtown’s sports, arts and events community.”

12 West Brewing to open taproom in downtown Mesa

Gilbert’s 12 West Brewing will ring in 2020 in style when it opens its new taproom on New Year’s Eve. Finding 12 West Main Street should be easy as it’s the name and address of the taproom in downtown Mesa. The former event venue is owned by 12 West founder and Mesa native Bryan McCormick.

“12 West Brewing Company is crafted for the community. We know the bond formed when sharing a pint or sipping a cocktail at the bar–people meet, converse and make memories surrounded by good friends, tasty food, and great beer. We want to be a community space, where our guests are on their own time,” says owner Bryan McCormick, who also owns 12 West Brewing at Barnone in Gilbert. “I always wanted to put a brewery in here,” he said. “I waited for the light rail to get built and for Mesa’s time to come.” That time is now, he said, with downtown Mesa ready for growth. The 19,000 sq ft building has undergone extensive renovations recently, and there are plans to develop the basement into a music venue in the near future.

Beer, cocktails & food at 12 West

12 West Brewing beers will be poured along with beers it collaborates on with other brewers. Classic cocktails will use spirits of local distillers Arizona Distilling Company and Grand Canyon Brewing & Distilling. Chef David Linville has created a menu with small plates, flatbreads and salads. Signature dishes include the Bretzel, a Bavarian pretzel made with beer cheese with 12 West’s Wheat Beer. The Katsu Chicken sandwich is a Japanese style of fried chicken topped with Asian slaw. Linville sources ingredients locally and every aspect of the menu is made in house from fresh, whole foods.

12 West Main Street will be open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sun- Thurs. and 11 a.m. – midnight on Fri. and Sat.

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.