Alice Cooper’s non-profit & Ailoi Burgers team up for teen burger contest

Culinary inspired teens aged 12-20 have until October 16th to submit their burger and or shake recipe to win gift cards and bragging rights. Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers will benefit from the winning recipes and partners with Aioli Gourmet Burgers as host and chef Tommy D’Ambrosio as mentor.

“I can’t wait to see what fresh new ideas the kids come up with and I’m very excited to partner with Alice Cooper’s Teen Centers. I was once a culinary student too, so I know how fun it can be to have opportunities like this. Plus, we’re thrilled to support a great organization that offers free arts programs for teens,” said Tommy D’Ambrosio, Chef, Aioli Gourmet Burgers.

3 winners will be announced on October 19th based on emailed recipes to info@aioliburger.com. Online public voting takes place October 20-28th with winners announced October 29th during a live concert at Ailoi’s 32nd St & Shea location. The winning burger and shake will be featured on the menu at all 3 Aioli locations in November with 10% of sales donated to Alice Cooper’s Rock Solid Teen Centers.

“Experiences like this are so valuable and vital for teenagers in the community” said Randy Spencer, Partnerships and Development, Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers. “We love providing unique opportunities like this for the youth we serve with great brands like Aioli Gourmet Burgers. Alice and Sheryl Cooper, our staff and board members are excited to try the burger and shake that the winning teens create!”

First place winners win a $200 gift card, cook with Tommy and menu feature. Second and third place winners will win a $100 and $50 gift card. For more information visit their website.

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.

September brings the return of Arizona Restaurant Week

One of the most popular events among the Arizona restaurant community is Arizona Restaurant Week. The 10 day culinary event returns Friday September 18th – Sunday the 27th around the state. Like the June event participating restaurants will offer dine-in or take-out 3 course meals along with liquor to-go. According to the Arizona Restaurant Association almost 80 restaurants have already signed up to participate.

“We feel not only gratitude but also great pride in the fact that the local dining community has showed up again and again in support of our industry since closures and limited re-opening mandates,” says Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “We are thrilled to see that dining out — whether that means in-restaurant or getting take-out — is still such an important part of people’s lives.”

The modified event started to include take-out options due to the uncertainty of 2020’s Covid – 19 pandemic. Restaurants create 3-course menus for $33 or $44 per person for the September event with wine at an additional cost. Reservations are recommended for those looking to visit a new restaurant or return to a favorite one.

To see participating restaurants and menus head to the Arizona Restaurant Association’s website. The website is updated as new restaurants sign up.

Social distancing “parking lot picnic” at Liberty Station Terravita

We’re all going a little stir crazy by now with all this social distancing and staying home unless necessary. The Terravita location of Liberty Station American Tavern & Smokehouse is hosting a “parking lot picnic” Saturday, April 25th for those looking to get out for a bit. From 3 – 6 p.m. call in & pick up your order, park the car, roll down the windows or lower the tailgate and enjoy your delicious meal.

Popular local musician Jaty Edwards will be playing live music while you enjoy your dinner and social distancing. The restaurant is open daily from 12 – 7 p.m. for pick up & delivery and offers 50% off all alcohol with any takeout order.

To place an order call 480-595-9930 or visit their website. Liberty Station American Tavern and Smokehouse ­- Terravita is at 34522 N. Scottsdale Rd., #180, Scottsdale 85266.

Dedicated healthcare workers receiving food from local restaurants

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are putting the community first as they are trying to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The dedicated men and women risk getting the virus and barely get time off to eat or sleep. Scottsdale restaurants Steak 44 and PHX Beer Co. are feeding those workers with warm and delicious meals.

Chicago Cub’s first baseman Anthony Rizzo is donating 50 meals from Steak 44 to workers in the emergency room at Phoenix Children’s Hospital on Thursday April 2nd. The meals are donated by the Rizzo Family Foundation which has paid for 2,000 meals to healthcare workers around the country. It comes at a good time as many hospital cafeterias have been closed down.

“We have worked with the owners of Steak 44 in Chicago on a number of charitable endeavors over the years and we are huge fans of their incredible steaks and seafood,” said Rizzo. “Now thanks to our generous friends around the country we are able to partner with Steak 44 and provide these 50 much needed meals to our bravest working on the front-lines at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.”

Steak 44, Dominick’s Steakhouse and Ocean 44 are open from 12 noon – 9 p.m. for white glove curbside service. The restaurants are offering their full menus and all bottles of wine to take home.

“We can’t thank the Rizzo Family Foundation enough,” said Oliver Badgio of Steak 44. “Not only are they providing healthcare workers a warm meal as a way say thank you for everything their doing, but they are also supporting restaurants like ours around the country with a little extra revenue during these tough economic times.” healthcare

PHX Beer Co. donating to healthcare workersSc

Starting Friday April 3rd at PHX. Beer Co.’s Scottsdale location when you buy a 14″ pizza you can purchase a 2nd pizza at 1/2 price to be donated to healthcare workers at HonorHealth Hospitals. Choose from their signature pizzas or build your own pie. This promotion will run for 2 weeks until April 17th. To order call 480-571-8645 and follow them for updates on Facebook and Instagram. PHX Beer Co. is at 8300 N. Hayden Road in Scottsdale.

Arizona Restaurant Association responds with Arizona Takeout Week

In a response to closing all restaurants ordered by Governor Ducey to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the Arizona Restaurant Association announces the start of an ongoing Arizona Takeout Week. Effective today restaurants can only serve food for takeout and delivery along with beer & wine. Some restaurants had already closed their dining rooms to focus on takeout and delivery.

The ARA thought up the idea as they organize the popular bi-annual Arizona Restaurant Week.

“We appreciate and thank Governor Ducey for his efforts in working with the restaurant industry to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus,” says Arizona Restaurant Association President and CEO Steve Chucri. “The Arizona restaurant family appreciates his work and that of all elected leaders in our state during this unparalleled time in our history.”

There are more than 200,000 jobs in the restaurant industry in Arizona and with locals ordering take out it’s the only way these restaurants can stay in business.

“At the end of the day, we are the industry of ‘happy’ — that is what the hospitality industry represents. We hope to bring a bit of happiness to Arizonans during this extremely difficult time through Arizona Takeout Week while keeping our employees and restaurants afloat,” Chucri says.

I’ve have 2 posts about restaurants around Arizona who are serving food and wine for takeout. Below are additional restaurants serving takeout meals around Arizona. For more information visit the Arizona Restaurant Association website and for any restaurants looking to participate in Arizona Takeout Week email them at takeout@azrestaurant.org

Federal Pizza
Rusconi’s American Kitchen
Phoenix City Grille
Jewell’s Bakery and Café
Pita Jungle
Little Woody
Wildflower Tucson
S&V Urban Italian
Blanco

Koibito Poke
Liberty Station
Provision
Trapp Haus BBQ
Original Breakfast House
Urban Margarita

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
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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
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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

Mardi Gras fun with a jazz brunch at The Boulders Resort

Bananas Foster, beads and beignets are part of Mardi Gras parties and you can celebrate the festive day at The Boulder Resort’s Mardi Gras Jazz Brunch. Sunday February 23rd on the outdoor terrace at the resort’s Grill Kitchen & Bar guests will revel in the sounds of Louisiana along with New Orleans and French Creole cuisine from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Sip on New Orlean’s Hurricane cocktails or Mimosas from the cart while enjoying Classic Cajun Gumbo, Egg Sardou Benedict, Shrimp Grits and more. Take in the breathtaking desert views while grooving to live jazz music.Mardi Gras

Tickets are $75 per person plus tax & gratuity. Reservations and more information can be had by calling 480-488-9020 or visiting https://www.theboulders.com/. The Boulders is at 34631 N. Tom Darlington Dr. Carefree AZ. 85377.

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.

 

RKDA Kitchen hosting Malabar Spiced Liqeur Cocktail Dinner

Arcadia Lite’s RKDA Kitchen is hosting a dinner inspired by the spice route of India. Malabar Spiced Liqeur will be paired with a 5 course menu designed by Bob Tam. Wednesday, January 29th guests will a meal full of flavors as the exotic Malabar pairs with fish, duck and more.

Opening act
Yuzu Mint Raita & Crisp Papadums
amuse bouche
Crimson & Clover- Malabar, rum, lime, tamarind.

act 1
Tuna Tataki
heirloom tomato salsa
Sundown Aperitif – sparkling wine, Malabar, apple spiced, peychaud’s bitters, lemon, apple.

act 2
Tikka Marsala Moules Frites
pei mussels, butter, garlic, marsala, wine, tomato, ginger, basil, cilantro, yogurt, lemon, fries.

Coconut Conundrum- gin, Malabar, coconut, lime, curry, sugar.

Headliner
Smoked Malabar Duck
orange kecap glaze, many roots puree, braised greens.
Promisa De La Tierra- tequila, Malabar, lemon, egg white, beet, cinnamon, mint.

encore
White Chocolate Malabar Creme Brulee
seasonal fruit.
Wonderland- cacao nib washed Malabar, vodka, peche de vigne liqueur, almond milk.

RKDA Kitchen open quietly last year at the busy intersection of 40th St. and Indian School Rd. Featuring sandwiches, salads, creative signature cocktails from Trish Renehan Vodrazka and a sushi menu, RKDA Kitchen brings out your inner rock star with its music and decor.

The family style dinner starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $71 pp and include tax & gratuity. Limited seats are available and can be reserved at https://rkdamalabardinner.bpt.me/. RKDA Kitchen is at 3950 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.