Hulu premiers “Baker’s Dozen” & a Scottsdale native is one of the winners

Scottsdale native Tess Levin was one of the recent winners on the new Hulu show “Baker’s Dozen” that premiered in early October. She wowed the judges on Episode 3 with her candy art to advance to round two where all remaining contestants made the identical signature dessert before narrowing it down to 3 people for the finals. The “culinary comedian” as Levin calls herself, won the coveted “Golden Rolling Pin” and cash by impressing the judges with her “Mermaid Under the Sea” themed macaron tower.

The 8-part Hulu series is hosted by Tamera Mowry- Housley of Sister, Sister fame and former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses. The 26 year old Levin currently lives in L.A. but grew up in Scottsdale attending Arcadia High School and makes frequent trips back to Arizona. You can see the trailer for the show here.

 

Firecreek Coffee Company opens first Phoenix location

Flagstaff’s Firecreek Coffee Company has opened its first Phoenix area location and fourth in the state, this week on Thomas Rd. and 46th St. It’s Founder’s Mike Funk’s second go round in the Phoenix coffee community after he opened Cafe Tech in downtown Phoenix in the early 1990s. He gained his coffee “know how” in the 1980s when he was in the coffee industry where else, in Seattle. He moved to Flagstaff to open his first location in 2008 with locations in Sedona and Cottonwood soon following.

“It’s extremely rewarding to be back in the Phoenix area and to be continuing the Firecreek Coffee legacy here in the Valley,” says Mike Funk, founder of Firecreek Coffee Company. “We can’t wait to introduce our unique culture to the Arcadia neighborhood and look forward to becoming a part of the community for years to come.”

Funk has been in every aspect of the coffee industry including building espresso carts, importing coffee machines, opening coffee bars and supplying hotels & restaurants with premium coffee. He plans to open other Phoenix area locations and a roasting facility at 16th St. & McDowell Rd. which will also double as event and concert venue. Firecreek Coffee Company

Firecreek offers small batch coffee, small bites and sweet treats made by pastry chefs in the morning and afternoon. Guests can enjoy quiche, toast options, salads, Paninis and pastries with their coffee drinks. Consumers have been buying whole beans at AJ’s Fine Foods and Whole Foods throughout Arizona and Firecreek supplies other coffee shops with their beans.

The Phoenix location is opened from 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. with plans for longer hours in the future to offer craft cocktails and more. For more information visit their website.

 

The Cheese Board offers artisan cheeses selected by Tracy Dempsey.

Tracy Dempsey Originals and ODV Wines now offers subscription based artisan cheeses from their newest concept, The Cheese Board. Every other month members will receive 4-5 cheeses from artisan cheesemakers around the world along with crackers, spreadables and more for only $50.

ODV Wines is expanding its selections for its members which can complement the tasty cheeses. For $50 every other month members get a bottle of red, white & a bottle of something else along with tasting notes and a special treat.

To subscribe and get more information about The Cheese Board and ODV Wines visit their website.

Beard Papa’s brings its cult like following to Scottsdale

Saturday February 27th bring the newest location of Beard Papa’s famous cream puffs to the Scottsdale Quarter.  Started in 1999 as small bakery in Osaka, Japan they’ve grown to over 400 locations in 15 countries and territories. Known for creating the “world’s best cream puffs”, guests customize their own cream puff with unique and traditional flavors.

Guest chooses from 8 cream puff shells that include Oreo cookie crumble eclair, green tea eclair and more. Then choose the fillings from seasonal to traditional flavors.

“The cream puffs are far from your traditional frozen puff found in the freezer aisle. The recipe is simply addicting. I’ve never met anyone that has tried Beard Papa’s that doesn’t crave it again the days following,” says Tucker Kaufman, a marketing representative for the franchise. “The product is unique in that there is nothing else like it on the market. From the high-quality ingredients used in the custard filling to the puff shells that are freshly baked throughout the day, the Beard Papa’s experience is unmatched.”

The first 100 people in line at Beard Papa’s on Saturday will receive a free swag bag and everybody gets a free cream puff with purchase. For more information visit their website.

 

Celebration of Summer at Four Seasons Resort at Troon North

Whether you want to enjoy a cocktail and light bites or a sit down dinner the Four Seasons Resort at Troon North have something to offer. My last post about Talavera Restaurant dining experiences offers an epicurean adventure to Spain and Latin America. The resorts other restaurants Proof, An American Canteen, Onyx Bar and Lounge as well as Talavera, offer culinary treats created in time for summer.

I had the pleasure of tasting all of the dishes and drinks below. All cocktails below are created by the resorts beverage director in conjunction with the chefs of each establishment. The dishes are light and offer seasonal ingredients and the drinks were refreshing and unique.

Onyx Bar & Lounge at Four Seasons Resort at Troon North

Just of the lobby with a beautiful view to the south you can enjoy these specially created bites and cocktails. Talavera Restaurant Sous Chef Samantha Sanz and her culinary team created the these three dishes.

Salmon Belly Tartare
Chistorra and Peppers Flatbread with charred chistorra, pipperada, caramelized onion and mustard sauce, cotija cheese.
Cheesy Arepa Bite
Salmon Belly Tartare
Illegal Anejo Mezcal Old Fashioned
Negroni Spritz
Ultimate Honeydew

Proof, An American Canteen

Everything served in this roadhouse styled restaurant is from the good ol’ U.S.A. Take a road trip around the country in June, July and August with the specially created dishes and drinks.

Prepared by chefs Dell Morris, Joey Cavaretta and Conrad Butler “Proof Across America”  along with Smokehouse Fridays where entrees are cooked low n slow in their outdoor smoker.

Four seasons Resort at Troon North
Texas BBQ Platter

June- Stone Crab Cake with sea urchin and Key lime remoulade

July– Texas BBQ Plate with beef brisket, smoky beer cheese sausage and house made BBQ sauce. Watermelon Panzanella Salad with Crow’s Dairy goat feta and mint. I love BBQ!

August- Crispy cactus fries with cotija cheese and avocado ranch.

Havasu Heat (with Ixa Tequila, pineapple and charred jalapeño)

Huss Arizona Light Lager

Le Cumbre Elevated IPA

Talavera Restaurant

The Spanish steakhouse serves tapas styled small plates, desserts and cocktails unique to the Spanish culture. More from sous chef Sanz and dessert by Pastry Chef Lance Whipple.

Four Seasons Resort at Troon North
Brazilian Carrot Cake

Pan con Tomate – Noble bread, roasted garlic, heirloom tomato and Spanish olive oil

Queen Creek Olives

Summer Corn and Tomato Tapa with summer corn, heirloom tomato with tomato butter cilantro and charred lime

Charred Tuna with grilled peach and salted marcona almonds

Summer Corn Paella with chorizo Bilbao, prawn, peas, mussels and clams, and chermoula verde

Brazilian Carrot Cake with chocolate brigadeiro icing, and summer carrot purée. This was a personal favorite, like no carrot cake you’ve had before.

Leche Frita with cajeta goat milk caramel and sherry blackberries

Rose Sangria with watermelon, tangerine and strawberry

Tarragon Gin Tonic- Did you see my Instagram video of Beverage Director Laura creating this cocktail?

The Four Seasons Resort at Troon North is at 10600 Crescent Moon Dr. 85262

Holy Cannoli! Maggiore’s to open The Sicilian Baker Cannoli Bar & Market

Maggiore’s family restaurants dates back to the late 1970’s in Phoenix. Tomaso led the way with his iconic restaurant Tomaso’s Italian Restaurant at Camelback and 32nd St. and his son Joey has learned how to open successful restaurants. In mid February, Joey & Christina Maggiore and partner Flora Tersigni introduce their newest concept The Sicilian Baker Cannoli Bar & Market.

All photos courtesy of Liz Lastra & Evolve Public Relations

The Sicilian Baker joins the groups Hash Kitchen and The Sicilian Butcher, favorites among Phoenix restaurants. The Sicilian Baker Cannoli Bar & Market will be located next door to The Sicilian Butcher in Phoenix.

Build-your-own- cannoli -bar

Sign me up for the build-your-own cannoli bar along with fresh pasta, meats and cheeses from the market. Master pastry chef Giovanni La Rosa, a cousin of Maggiore is working with them from Sicily to create specialized desserts and pastries.

The signature cannoli bar will feature 10 flavored creams for customers to choose from. Mix and match and choose your cannoli shell dipped or not we can have fun here. Small to foot long shells will be available.The Sicilan Baker

“This is definitely something one-of-a-kind in the United States,” said Maggiore. “We’re bringing Sicily to the footsteps of Phoenix with what we’re building next to the Tatum and Greenway location.”

The spacious restaurant designed by Cristina features black porcelain tile, sliding barn doors and colorful food cases. Smell and taste fresh cassattas, sfinci (Italian treats) from pastry chefs as you linger between the 2 concepts.

Expanding the Sicilian Baker

The Maggiore’s have their eyes on 2 additional locations for the Sicilian Baker. The will open next door to the Sicilian Butcher in Chandler and have eyes on the west valley.

The new bakeries are planning for a 2019 opening with more to follow throughout Arizona.

The Maggiore’s should open The Sicilian Butcher in Chandler(3151 W. Frye Rd.) in March 2019 with the bakery to follow.