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.

 

The largest BBQ event west of Texas moves to Tumbleweed Park

Update: Postponed, no new date set!

When the 11th annual KNIX BBQ & Beer Festival opens the gates at 12 noon on Saturday March 28th it will be at new location. The BBQ event has moved to the larger Tumbleweed Park in Chandler with 50,000 people expected to attend.

The festival is attracting pit-masters from around Arizona and the country for what’s been awarded “outstanding event of the year”. Over 12 cocktails and beers will be showcased to wash down your spicy, sweet & tangy smoked meats and more. Local BBQ joints include Bobby Q’s, Can’t Stop Smokin’ BBQ, Farm Boy Foods and Tom’s BBQ.BBQ event

Lee Brice and Craig Morgan will co-headline the event presented by iHeart Media and 102.5 KNIX. Country music fans will enjoy non-stop music from multiple stages throughout the 10 hour event. Country superstars Locash and Caylee Hammack will perform along with local talent Jim Bachman & the Day Drinkers, Blaine Long, Drew Cooper and Jacob Morris. Festival goers can enjoy the “For the Love of BBQ” Lounge, VIP tent, Kid Kick Back Zone or other areas.

“This is an incredible musical line-up,” said Landon Evans, owner of HDE Agency. “We are thrilled to partner with iHeart and KNIX to be able to bring this star-studded festival to Chandler for one of our largest events of the year.”

Tickets are on sale now and range in price from $15 for General Admission up to $150 for VIP. To purchase tickets or get more information for the largest BBQ event west of Texas head to their website. Tumbleweed Park is 745 E. Germann Rd. in Chandler.

Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival is back March 21st and 22nd

Downtown Camp Verde is getting ready for people of all ages for the 20th annual Camp Verde Pecan & Wine Festival co-hosted by the Verde Valley Wine Consortium and the town on Saturday and Sunday March 21st & 22nd. The festival draws people from around Arizona that will feature 15 local wineries along with a variety of pecans. Festival goers can enter a Pecan pie eating contest, enjoy a cold beer in the beer garden, dance to live music, visit local artists and purchase food from local food trucks. It’s one of the festivals coming up that feature Arizona wines.

“What started as a great way to celebrate two local products of the region has turned into an annual tradition that now draws thousands of attendees to our town,” said Michael Marshall, Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Manager. “We now have more wineries than ever, our famous Pecan Pie contest, live music throughout each day and more food and craft vendors – which means we are also expecting our biggest crowds in the festival’s 20-year history.”

 A few of the wineries pouring wine include Burning Tree Cellars, Carlson Creek Vineyards and Page Spring Cellars. The festival is FREE for all ages to attend but those looking to taste wine need to purchase tickets. Early bird tickets are $20 on-line and $25 at the door. Included are a commemorative glass and 6 tasting tickets. Additional tasting tickets can be purchased.

Saturday the festival goes from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 75 E. Hollamon St. Camp Verde 86322. For more information visit their website.

Cave Creek Craft Beer Festival leaps on to the festival scene.

Saturday February 29th 2020 a.k.a. Leap Day brings us the first annual Cave Creek Craft Beer Festival at the town’s Stagecoach Village. After years in the making over 30 local brewers make their way to the western town to pour beer and speak with town folk and craft beer lovers. The festival starts at 1 p.m. and goes until 5 p.m. Not a beer fan, kombucha and mead will also be poured.

Lindsey Vogt will entertain with live music and food will be available for purchase. General admission tickets are $45 and get you a sampling mug and 20 drink tickets. VIP tickets are $60 and get you early entry at 12, mug, 25 drink tickets and $7.00 food voucher. Tickets for the Cave Creek Craft Beer Festival can only be purchased online at Eventbrite.

Stagecoach Village is at 7100 E. Cave Creek Rd. with parking and shuttles from Outlaws at 6705 E. Cave Creek Rd. from 12-5:30. For more information and list of participating brewers visit their website.

 

Pedal Haus Brewery to start tapping beers in downtown Chandler

Tempe’s award-winning Pedal Haus Brewery is getting ready to tap the first beer at its new location in downtown Chandler later this month. It’s the 2nd location of the brewery that started making craft beer on Mill Ave. in downtown Tempe in 2015. Beers will be brewed in Tempe and will be delivered daily to the Chandler location. Pedal Haus Brewery

“We love the community in downtown Chandler and felt this was a great fit,” said Wright. “Chandler has been very welcoming, and we are excited for our first expansion beyond our Tempe location.” says owner Julian Wright.

Once opened guests can expect signature dishes such as smoked wings and smoked salmon found at the Tempe location. A limited released Salted Nut Brown Ale will be tapped at opening with all proceeds donated to the Chandler Compadres. The Chandler based charity donates time, money & resources to Chandler and east valley families and children in need.

Brewmaster Derek Osborne will oversee both locations line-ups of rotating beers that has won over 32 awards and medals.

A grand opening is scheduled for March 7th with half of food and beverage sales between 2-6 p.m. going to the Compadres. Customers will be given a raffle ticket for every $10 spent dining in for a Pedal Haus bike on Sunday.

Pedal Haus Brewery is at 95 W. Boston St. Chandler

Devour the World kicks off Devour Week 2020 in Peoria

Local First Arizona’s popular Devour Week 2020 kicks off the celebration of Arizona restaurants with its first event in Peoria. Devour the World makes its west valley debut on Saturday February 15th at Peoria City Hall’s Centennial Plaza. Devour the World showcases the international cuisines, music and cultures found around Phoenix.

“From flavors that can only be found on the islands of Jamaica to the great vistas of the Navajo Nation, this is the perfect event to explore the rich diversity that makes Arizona so special and share it with friends, family, and community,” says, Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona Founder.Devour the World

The four hour event starts at 11 a.m. and is a partnership of the City of Peoria, Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance and Local First Arizona. Beers of the world will be poured in the beverage garden and over 24 restaurants and food trucks will be offer foods from over 12 countries. Music and dancing from different countries will be performed with cultural activities and workshops with local ambassadors are also featured.

A few of the restaurants participating include….

Cool Vybz Jamaican Restaurant- Chef Kelso Raymond

Everest Momo- Chef Subash Yadav

Salvadoreño Restaurant- Chef Yesenia Ramirez

Happy Buns- Chef Jay Kwan

“Peoria’s events scene continues to get better and better, and I am thrilled to have this multicultural, culinary experience coming to the heart of our city,” says Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat. “I can’t wait for family and friends to gather as they ‘Devour the World’ together.”

Tickets for Devour the World are $55 and include food samples and libations. Tickets can be purchased along with more information about other events at the Devour Phoenix website. Peoria City Hall is at 9875 N. 85th Ave. Peoria 85345.

Arizona Beer Week sees new collaboration beer at SanTan Brewing Co.

Celebrating 10th years of friendship and the craft beer scene Arizona Beer Week returns February 6th, 2020. Through the 15th SanTan Brewing Co. has scheduled a week’s worth of events for beer fans. The highlight is the Brewer’s Round Table that features a new collaborative beer from SanTan and other downtown Chandler brewers. The Wee Heavy Scottish Ale “Wee Heavy, Get In My Belly” was brewed on January 16th at nearby Flix Brewhouse.

Beer fans will be able to get a first taste of Wee Heavy at the Strong Beer Festival February 8th before getting tapped at SanTan on February 13th. Tim Caggiano of SanTan Brewing, Derek “Doc” Osborne of the soon to open Pedal Haus Brewery, Marissa Bernal of Flix Brewhouse and Jake Hredzak of The Perch Pub & Brewery all collaborated on the beer.

“We chose to create a Wee Heavy Scottish Ale for this collaboration. This style plays to a strength of our host brewer, Marisa; who has made award winning Scottish Ales at Flix Brewhouse, “said Tim Caggiano, Brewer, SanTan Brewing Company, “Collaboration brews are super fun because everyone brings their own technique and I always learn something new.”Arizona Beer Week

Arizona Beer Week Brewers Round Table dinner

Wee Heavy will be on tap at each brewer’s taprooms for Arizona Beer Week and will be featured at the annual Brewers Round Table dinner on the 13th. The four- course dinner will pair beers from the downtown Chandler brewers while guests ask questions and hear from the brewers while enjoying the menu below.

Asparagus + Goat Cheese Ravioli– Spent Grain Pasta, Charred Asparagus, Chevre, Lemon Cream, Pecanwood Bacon, Chive + Garlic Micros

Venison Mini Chimi– Venison Sirlon, Hatch Chile, Oxoaca, Cilantro Rice, Chile Con Queso, Pickled Red Onion, Avocado

Lamb Chop – Herb Crusted Smoked Lamb, Mushroom + Brie Polenta, Beernaise, Charred Leek

Wee Bit Of Bread Pudding– Wee Heavy Bread Pudding, Whiskey Fudge, Bing Cherry Compote, Vanilla Meringue, Burnt Orange

“Hanging out with other brewers is always a great time. Being able to collaborate with them is even better. Doc, Tim, and Jake all brought new knowledge for me to learn and incorporate in my future brew days,” Marisa Bernal, Head Brewer, Flix Brewhouse.

Tickets for the dinner are required and are $65 per person +tax. Gratuity is included and tickets can be purchased here. SanTan Brewing Co. will have other events during Arizona Beer Week and a full list is available on at https://santanbrewing.com/events. SanTan Brewing Co. is at 8 San Marcos Pl. Chandler 85225.

 

 

KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival brings the heat

A bowl of spicy chili, a shot of bourbon and a cold beer to wash it down sounds pretty good. Enjoy all three at the 3rd annual KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival when it returns to downtown Chandler on Saturday February 29th. The festival at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park invites home cooks to the chili cook-off to see how they stack up against local restaurants.

A dozen top shelf bourbons, cocktails and craft beer will be featured along with a day’s worth of live music. Southbound, Western Fusion Band & Jim Bachman and the Day Drinkers are a few bands filling their air with country music. Life size lawn games and cornbread, chili dog and Frito pie eating contests will keep the day fun and festive.KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival

“The event is a great combination of favor and flair,” said Landon Evans creative director of HDE Agency, the event’s producer. “From mild to unbearably hot chili offerings and over a dozen of top shelf bourbons you’re likely not to try – we welcome all to indulge, experience and engage with the variety of bourbons, beers and bands.”

A portion of the proceeds from the KMLE Country Chili, Bourbon & Beer Festival will be donated to the Greater Cause Foundation. The non-profit gives back to communities greater causes including a children’s welfare, anti-bullying, hunger, animal abuse and more.

Tickets for the festival that starts at 12 noon are available at the festival’s website. Dr A.J. Chandler Park is at 178 E. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler.

 

Plant based GuacStar Kitchen to open first location in Tempe

One of the biggest trends in 2019 was plant based foods and soon the first plant based restaurant in Arizona will open in Tempe. When GuacStar Kitchen and Cantina opens near ASU at University & Rural Roads it will be a one of a kind eating, drinking and entertaining restaurant.

Partners James Carlin, Tom Cerino, Randy Feldman, Suzanne Davis and Julie LaRussa look to re-define plant based restaurants with an upbeat and hip concept found in N.Y.C and L.A. “GuacStar’s goal is very simple – to show the masses that you don’t have to sacrifice your taste buds or your wallets by eating plant-based cuisine,” said Carlin, GuacStar co-owner. “Our mission is to make healthy food sexy and to create an exciting, unpretentious plant-based dining destination where the overall experience counts just as much as the food.”

Executive Chef Vincent Contreras has created plant based versions of classic Mexican cooking. The full-service restaurant will also have a beer, wine and cocktail program.

GuacStar Kitchen and Cantina will have a contemporary decor with soft lighting, raw materials and a warm, inviting atmosphere. The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner, weekend brunch and late night dining.

GuacStar Kitchen and Cantina will be at the Cornerstone Mall at 930 E. University Dr. Tempe 85281.

Sour Beer and Cider festival coming to the Gem City

Update: Rescheduled to October 24th and merged with Southwest Cider Festival. Details to come, purchased tickets valid in October.

With the popularity of sour beer and ciders the last few years it’s no surprise that they’ve have their own festival. The Gem City Sours & Ciders Festival comes to downtown Mesa’s Cider Corps on Saturday March 21st.  A nickname for Mesa, Gem City was once by city officials for its abundant produce, shaded streets and modern buildings. More than 24 Arizona breweries and cideries from the southwest will be pouring their beers and ciders.

Cider Corps co-owner and cider maker Jason Duren organized the festival after noticing the similarities between sour beer and cider. “We love how collaborative our craft beverage community is. We talk with other breweries about the science behind lactic acid producing bacteria and how they impact the final taste of the beverage,” Duren explained. “The festival is a chance for people to discover what these styles are all about and sample what our region is creating.” Duren has experience not just making cider but by planning successful Southwest Cider Festivals in 2018 and 2019.

Photo and logo courtesy of Angela Muniz at AMBA

The festival starts at 2 p.m. for VIP ticket ($50) holders and 4 p.m. for General Admission ($35). In addition to early entry VIP ticket holders get 20 sample tickets, a commemorative t-shirt and glass. General Admission gets 15 sample tickets and commemorative glass. There will be live music, pub games and food trucks on hand to entertain and feed festival goers. The festival ends at 8 p.m.

To purchase tickets head to the Eventbrite link. Cider Corps is at 31 S. Robson, Mesa 85210.