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

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

Arizona Restaurant Week starts tonight

You’ve probably heard about the Fall 2020 Arizona Restaurant Week starting tonight through next Sunday 9/27. Over 100 restaurants state wide serving 3 course unique menus for $33 or $44 per person. Dine in or take-out is available. For a list of participating restaurants visit the website.

Francine starts weekend brunch and weekday lunch

About a month ago Scottsdale’s newest restaurant Francine opened after afew months delay at Scottsdale Fashion Square. This weekend they start serving brunch and on Monday they start their lunch service.

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Garrison Brothers

Phoenix City Grille & Garrison Brothers pair a 5-course dinner

The central Phoenix restaurant and the distillery join forces Saturday September 26th for spirits pairing dinner. The occasion celebrates the release of Garrison Brothers Cowboy 2020 Bourbon. Chef Micah Wyzlic uses the bourbon in his dishes along with them sipped on with each course. Dinner is $125 per person ++ and the menu can be viewed at http://www.phoenixcitygrille.com/ with reservations made by calling 602-510-7174 or emailing Britnee Reed at Privatedining@phoenixcitygrille.com

Macayo’s popular Pumpkin Flan now available at all restaurants

It doesn’t feel like Autumn in Arizona yet but the Mexican restaurant has added the delicious dessert to the menu. Made with Fall spices, the dessert is $5.79 at all 7 locations around the valley.

24 Carrots shuts dining room to focus on take-out

Owner Sasha Raj has transformed her Tempe plant based restaurant for take out and now uses the dining room as a collection site for donations for the Navajo Nation. Donations can be dropped off every Wednesday. Raj regularly serves & donates meals and food to many other under served people and  non-profits.

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.

 

Epicuriad 2020 has 15 chefs cooking for children’s brain tumor research

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.

 

Verde Valley Wine Festival is back for its 5th year Mother’s Day weekend

Update: Re-scheduled for Nov. 6th & 7th.

There’s no better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with a glass of wine or two with dear old mom. You can purchase tickets for you and your mom for the 5th annual Verde Valley Wine Festival, Saturday May 9th 2020. Four Eight Wineworks presents the festival that will host 20 Arizona wineries along with local breweries, distilleries, food trucks and restaurants. The festival takes place at Clarkdale Town Park from 12 – 5 p.m. Each year the festival donates part of the proceeds to a local non-profit, this year’s festival benefits The Arizona Vignerons Alliance and the Arizona Winegrowers Association. Participating wineries, food trucks and other vendors is will be announced soon.

“Wine’s economic impact on our state demands more resources to defend, protect and grow this incredibly delicate, yet robust industry in Arizona,” said David Baird, festival director and co-owner of oDDity Wine Collective. “Guests fly in from all over the world to attend this festival. For many people, the first time they understand the depth of Arizona wine is at our festival. We’re honored to be a conduit for that magic.”

General Admission tickets for the Verde Valley Wine Festival are available on-line for $35 in advance and $45 at the festival. VIP tickets are $125 and get you early entry at 11 a.m., access to the VIP Lounge, additional tastings and a swag bag. Platinum VIP tickets are $199 and include dinner and live auction on Friday May 8th. Festival goers are encouraged to spend the night and accommodations for glamping are available on the website.

Clarkdale Town Park is at 1001 Main St. Clarkdale.

 

 

 

Koibito Poke heads to the west valley opening at Park West

Peoria’s Park West development has added another local restaurant as Koibito Poke opened its first west valley location. Its Grand Opening celebration is scheduled for Saturday, January 25th. This is the locally owned build-your-own-custom-poke-bowl concept’s sixth location.

“With the quick success of Koi Poke in Phoenix, Scottsdale and the East Valley, we knew Peoria was the next area we wanted to grow into and Park West serves as the ideal location,” says former Arizona Diamondback Pitcher Todd Stottlemyre and Koibito Founder. “We are thrilled that residents across the valley have responded so positively to our concept and we look forward to increasing the brand around the state — and the country.”

Starting Monday, January 20th all poke bowls are 50% off thru the 23th. On Friday, the 24th a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Arizona Friends of Foster Children. During the Grand Opening on the 25th the first 50 guests will receive a free bowl while supplies last.

Koibito Poke founded in 2017 by serving fresh seafood, chicken, rice & vegetable bowls where guest can choose proteins, toppings, sauces and add-ons. The restaurants pour wine, beer and sake to compliment the poke bowls. The company has recently announced plans to franchise locations outside of Arizona. To find a location near you check out their website. Photo by David Blakeman.

 

Pop Up Dinner as James Beard Foundation returns to Phoenix

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.

 

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

Pizzeria Bianco to donate profits on World Food Day

Critically acclaimed Pizzeria Bianco will be donating a part of its profits to Food for the Hungry on World Food Day, Wednesday October 16th. Guests can dine at either location at Heritage Square in downtown Phoenix and at Town & Country Center at 16th St. & Camelback Rd. to help raise money for the non-profit.

The Phoenix-based non-profit is an international relief and development organization is trying to establish a zero-hunger world and eliminate all forms of poverty.

“Currently, 821 million people suffer from chronic hunger and almost 15,000 children under the age of five die of malnutrition-related causes every day,” said Beth Allen, Senior Communications Manager of Food for the Hungry. “To combat this statistic, people around the world come together on World Food Day to promote awareness and action to eradicate hunger in our lifetime. We are so grateful to Pizzeria Bianco for joining us in our efforts to end hunger in some of the hardest areas of the world.”

Pizzeria Bianco’s two Phoenix locations at 623 E. Adams Street and 4743 N. 20th Street.

 

Dish It Out to raise money to fight childhood hunger

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.Dish It Out

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.

Arizona Coyotes partners with Grand Canyon Brewing Co. for new beer

When the puck drops Saturday night at the Arizona Coyotes home opener fans will have a new beer to sip on at Gila River Arena. The team has partnered with Grand Canyon Brewing Company for Kachina Throwback Ale. The lighter styled beer is available in 12 oz. 6-pack cans at Albersons, Safeway and Total Wine for the upcoming hockey season. Restaurants serving it on tap include Brass Tap, the Ice Den and Angry Crab locations and at the brewery’s taphouse and restaurant in Williams.

“We are very excited to partner with Grand Canyon Brewing Company to introduce Kachina Throwback Ale to our fans this season,” said Coyotes President and CEO, Ahron Cohen. “Kachina Throwback Ale tastes great and we’re confident that our fans will love this beer as much as they love our Kachina jerseys.”

The beer is inspired by the team’s classic jersey of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Arizona Coyotes Foundation, the team’s non-profit benefiting first responders, veterans and children’s charities.

Grand Canyon Brewing Company is the craft beer partner of the Arizona Coyotes with the team choosing them for their brand’s reputation and perfect for hockey fans.

“Here at Grand Canyon Brewing Company, we have been over the moon about our partnership with the Arizona Coyotes since it began in the 2018-2019 season,” said Alexander Phillips, Director of Sales and Marketing at Grand Canyon Brewing Company. “Their organization embodies many of the same principles as our own, with a focus on community involvement, education and the appreciation of our beautiful copper state.”