Feed Phoenix initiative wants local food community to help feed the hungry

The city of Phoenix and Local First Arizona have joined forces to feed the city’s hungry for the Feed Phoenix initiative. They are using money from the CARES Act to recruit local restaurants, farmers & food entrepreneurs to provide and prepare meals. By keeping it with local businesses the money spent will stay local, sustain local jobs & supply chain and keep Phoenicians healthy.

“We are proud to be partnering on such a thoughtful and innovative approach to feeding Phoenix families. This initiative will touch all layers of our local food system and make the greatest impact possible for small businesses across various industries. From local chefs featuring three locally-sourced vegetables in every meal to opting for sustainable to-go packaging for delivery, community-driven solutions to complex problems are how we build a stronger local food system,” said Local First Founder Kimber Lanning.

Local businesses looking to participate in the Feed Phoenix initiative have until 12:00 pm on July 17th to submit a proposal to https://www.localfirstaz.com/feed-phoenix . Restaurants, farmers, caterers, mobile markets, and event venues are encouraged to apply for the 3 month program.

Feed Phoenix requirements

Businesses applying have to….

Be located in Phoenix and have proper licenses and insurance to prepare food for consumption.

-Be able to prepare, store, and safely deliver 500 meals per day. A minimum of one day per week for six weeks, using compostable packaging. 

-Use locally-sourced vegetables as part of the meal to be purchased by Local First

“We are excited that through this partnership we are able to feed individuals and families who are most vulnerable to hunger as a result of the pandemic. This effort also allows us to create economic opportunities for our local businesses and build relationships with our local farmers,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “This innovative approach will benefit our local food system now and in the future.”

“I think it’s important to note the city could have chosen to hire one very large company to prepare all of these meals using food grown on the other side of the country. But instead, they contracted with us to spread the funds around locally so we can impact as many Phoenix businesses and jobs as possible,” Lanning added.

Reel Pizza Pies offers “Pies & Vibes” and more in Surprise

Kaleb Copenhaver, owner of the new Reel Pizza Pies had two passions growing up, pizza and music. So what do you do, you open a pizza restaurant with a great playlist. That’s what the 22 year old Copenhaver did with his new restaurant that opened May 20th in the Marley Park shopping center in Surprise.

“Reel Pizza Pies is a cool place to go with great music and great pizza,” says Copenhaver of his 1,200-square-foot, 15-seat restaurant that serves slices, whole pies as well as sandwiches and subs via counter-service style. “We set ourselves apart by using the best and freshest ingredients in an energetic and fun environment,” he adds.

Copenhaver started working in pizza restaurants at the age of 16 and has traveled the country tasting great pizza before opening Reel Pizza Pies. He uses 00 organic flour, fresh mozzarella and organic Bianco tomatoes in his New York style thin crust and thick Sicilian style pizzas and makes fresh bread and dough with a traditional approach. Pizza is baked in an Electric Deck Oven he calls the “pizza master”. He also makes subs, salads and desserts and meatballs using his grandmother’s recipe.

Starting at 11 a.m. Friday May 22nd the first 50 customers will receive a free cheese pizza with the purchase of a beverage. Saturday June 20th will be the official grand opening with a pizza tasting, games, prizes and more.

The restaurant is at 13953 W. Waddell Road, Suite 103 Surprise 85379. Delivery is available within specific boundaries. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; closed Tuesdays. For more information and a complete menu, visit their website.

Farm fresh produce available from Castle Hot Springs

The historic Castle Hot Springs is closed until September 3rd 2020 but has plenty of farm fresh produce grown on site. What do they do with it, they box it up and sell it with all proceeds going to St. Vincent de Paul. Resident Agronomist Ian Beger grows over 150 seasonal vegetables, fruits and herbs on their one acre farm.

Subscription boxes start at $25/week for the “Just Greens” (1lb. of lettuce greens and one 8oz clamshell of Micro-Greens) package. For $75/week the “Farmers Pick” includes Just Greens + farmers pick of the best root vegetables, culinary herbs, tomatoes, fruit, specialty vegetables and edible flowers. The “Executive” option is $250/ week and consists of includes greens, vegetables, herbs, tomatoes, fruit, edible flowers, coffee beans, preserves, seeds for your garden, recipes for produce, and a bunch of farm-fresh flowers.

Christopher Brugman and Ian Beger

Subscribers will be contacted the week of for payment and can pick up their boxes every Friday at 6926 E. Main Street, Scottsdale, Arizona 85251 or at the resort.

For more information or to order your box head to their website.

Phoenix area restaurants have Mother’s Day meals for takeout

Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday, May 10th and Phoenix area restaurants are preparing for takeout meals. Prie-fixe meals, family style meals and a la carte options are be available but hurry up as time is running out to place your order.

Phoenix area restaurants celebrating mom

Tommy V’s Urban Kitchen is offering a 3-course, prie-fixe meals are available for $35 per person. Add a bottle or 2 of pre-selected wines for $15-$30 a bottle. Pre-order by calling 480-427-2264 for pick up Sunday between 2 – 7 p.m. 7303 E Indian School Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

The Roaring Fork gives mom the choice to choose from signature items with entrees, sides & dessert for up to 4 people. A la carte items are available too. Meals are $65- $75 and can be picked up Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. To order head to their website or call 480-947-0795. 4800 N Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

Fired Pie is giving discounts at all 21 of their Phoenix area locations.  $5 off orders of $20 or more and $10 off $40 orders. Only available with online ordering and not available on 3rd party deliveries.

Hearth ’61 at Mountain Shadows Resort in Paradise Valley has created a special Mother’s Day menu from executive chef Chuck Wiley. A stuffed Roasted Chicken comes with salad, sides and dessert for $39 per person. Add a bottle of Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label for $45 or a bottle of Prosecco & a bouquet of flowers for $55. Orders are being taken until Thurs. May 7th at 4 p.m. and can be made by emailing or calling the restaurant at 480-624-5431. Pick up between 11a. m. – 4 p.m. 5445 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley 85253.

PHX Beer Co. celebrates mom on Sat & Sun. with $20 crowlers filled with Bloody Mary’s, Margaritas and Mimosa kits with oj & champagne. $10 of will be donated to Homeward Bound.

VooDoo Daddy’s Steam Kitchen has a “Beignets & Bubbly” family style meal that feeds 4. Orders can be place by calling 480-659-6145 or by heading to their website. Not available with 3rd party deliveries. 1325 W. Elliot Rd., Suite 106, in Tempe.

Chase’s Dinner is giving mom half off her entree all day long from its full menu. Pick up or have it delivered by Postmates and GrubHub. Call your order in at 480-855-3663. 2040 N. Alma School Rd. Chandler 85224.

Padre Murphy’s in Glendale has 3 course family meals of Chicken Marsala ($84.99) or Grilled Salmon ($99.99). Each can be had a la carte too along with beers and cocktails available for purchase. 24 hour notice is required and orders can be called in at (602) 547-9406. 4338 W Bell Rd Glendale 85308.

Downtown Chandler restaurants offering takeout

Crown Plaza San Marcos Resort in the heart of downtown Chandler has a 5 course family meal with main dishes, quiche and more. $125 plus tax and you can add a Mimosa drink pack for $15. Orders need to be placed by May 6th by calling 480-812-0900. One San Marcos Place, Chandler 85225.

Mingle & Graze offers a Mother’s Day Mingle Box charcuterie board, chocolates and more for $50 for four or dinner for 4 at $90. Orders are being taken until May 7th by calling 480-726-2264 or on their website. Pick up Sunday between 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 48 S San Marcos Pl. Chandler 85225.

SanTan Brewery has Prime Rib, Honey Glazed Ham and more by the pound on its special Mother’s Day menu. Call 480-917-8700 or head to their website to place an order. Pick up or delivery is on Sunday. 8 S. San Marcos Pl. Chandler 85225.

Serranos Mexican Restaurant will satisfy mom’s sweet tooth with churro donuts topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar. 2 for $3.99 or 6 for $12. order on line or by calling 480-899-3318. 141 S. Arizona Ave. Chandler 85225.

The Hidden House offers  a al carte brunch with bagels $14, Mixed Berry French toast $14 and more from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. wanting more a celebratory dinner several family meals are available from 3 – 8 p.m. The Filet Family Pack ($150), Duck Breast Family Pack ($90), Chicken Breast Family Pack ($70) or a combination Family Pack ($115). Each family meal comes with two sides and a dessert. Call 480-275-5525 or order online. 159 W. Commonwealth Ave. Chandler 85225.

Peixoto Coffee has boxed pastry for her morning coffee. Call ahead of time for curbside pick-up at 480-275-2843. 11 West Boston Street, Suite 6 Chandler 85225.

A virtual bao & dumpling food festival is happening

Many daily activities and special events have gone virtual in the last few weeks with the social distancing of the coronavirus. The organizers of the Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival are in the process of re-scheduling the festival to the Fall and are organizing 2 virtual online parties. The Bao & Dumpling Online Party’s are scheduled on Facebook for Saturday April 25th and May 23rd. The online parties were created to the spirit of the festival alive while showing the diversity of the food.

The FREE parties start at 6 p.m. and invites foodies to share homemade bao & dumpling photos and socialize with foodies. They’ve also put together a resource guide full of recipes, different types of bao and dumplings, pictures and a directory of local restaurants doing bao & dumpling for takeout.

For a chance to win tickets to the re-scheduled festival, join the party by clicking on the Facebook link above and to get the Resource Guide click on this link. Tickets are still on sale for the festival and can be transferred to the new date when it’s been confirmed.

 

Macayo’s has grocery items to go and and delivers to hospitals

Many in the restaurant community being hurt by the coronavirus shut down have been helping the local community too. Macayo’s Restaurants is no different trying to survive with to go meals but are offering grocery store staples as well. Frozen and bulk items such as tamales, bottled water, tortillas, chicken, mini- meal kits and more are available.

The restaurant has also lowered prices on to go meals. Kid’s meals at $3.99, appetizers from $6.99 -$8.99 and favorites like the Baja Burro and others for $9.99. 12 oz. bottles or margaritas are $10 and will be enough for 2 drinks.

“It’s no secret that restaurants everywhere have taken a serious hit in recent weeks, and Macayo’s is no different,” said Nava Singam of KIND hospitality. “Our loyal fans who continue to order takeout are keeping us afloat, and we wanted to return the favor by cutting prices and otherwise helping the community however we can.”

The restaurant is delivering free food to hospitals and grocery stores where many employees are working long hours.

To find a Macayo’s near you and to order from their menu check out their website.

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.

Bao down at the upcoming Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival

Update: Festival postponed, no make up date set yet.

Asian street food continues to gain popularity around the valley with the announcement of the Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival on March 21st 2020. From 12:30 – 5 p.m. at Dr. A.J. Chandler Park festival goers can taste the popular filled bao and dumplings along with other Asian foods, Boba and desserts until their hearts desire. You’ll be able to shop at marketplace, visit with local artists and play games in between tastes and sips.

Bao
Happy Buns Coconut Bao

Tickets are now on sale for this family friendly event with General Admission tickets only $8 plus tax & fees. There are a limited amount of Early Admission tickets at 11:30 a.m. are $13 ++. Children aged 7 – 12 are $4 and under 6 are free with a paid adult. Admission is separate from food and drink purchases.

Dr. A.J. Chandler Park is in historic downtown Chandler at 3 S. Arizona Ave. 85225.

Gilbert Pizza Festival slices up crave worthy food for first annual event

Update: Festival tentatively postponed until April 25. Tickets to be valid then. Those wanting a refund can email dave@phxfest.com until March 21st. Check back to details.

Details were announced this week for the inaugural Gilbert Pizza Festival on Saturday, March 21st 2020. 15 pizza vendors will meet up south of downtown at the Gilbert Civic Center for six hours of pizza heaven starting at 11 a.m. Slices will be sold for $2-$4 and whole pies will be available.

Local pizza makers Fiordino’s Pizza Muffin Truck, Il Bosco, Freak Bros., NYPD and Jimmy & Joe’s are a few scheduled to participate. Local craft brewer Arizona Wilderness will be pouring beer and wine for festival goers. The festival will offer a dessert station to sweetin’ things up along with lawn games from AZ Board Source, live music and a kid’s craft zone.

Tickets for the Gilbert Pizza Festival are available online for $10 at their website. The festival is expected to sell out in advance like the Phoenix Pizza Festival from the same event organizer. Kids 12 and under are free. More pizza vendors are being added and stay up to date by checking their website.

The Gilbert Civic Center is at 50 E. Civic Center Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85296.