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
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Prep & Pastry Churro Cronut & Blueberry Scone
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Scandinavian Sushi coming to Scottsdale later this year from Sandfish Sushi & Whiskey
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AZ Wilderness PB & J Burger
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A leaky tent didn’t dampen the spirits of L’Auberge de Sedona Chef Morgan serving her delicious dessert
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T. Cooks Arcadia Orange Bombe- white chocolate, Grande Marnier mouss, hazelnut & citrus curd
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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

Cider, coffee & pizza deals under one roof for Spring Training

Your ticket to any Spring Training game is worth more than the outcome of the game for cider, coffee and pizza in downtown Mesa. Under one roof at Cider Corps fans can save $2 on a pint of cider when you order a flight and show your server your game ticket. The crisp refreshing cider is made a few feet away and there are 12-15 rotating taps with five 4oz flights only $12. One order per customer. The cidery will be open 11 AM – close Mondays – Saturdays and 10 AM close on Sundays.

Before the game head to nano-roastery Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea inside Cider Corps for a pre-game boost. Show your ticket to your barista and save $1 on any drink. Pour-over small batch coffee, artisanal teas, cold brew & cold brew mocktails are $3-$8. One order per customer. Pair Specialty Coffee & Tea is open 6:30 AM – 2PM Wednesdays – Friday and 7 AM – 2 PM Saturday – Sunday. For updates on roasts and cold brew specials follow Pair Cupworks on Instagram @pair.cupworks.

Once there you won’t be able to avoid the aromas of Myke’s Pizza so stay for a pie. The award-winning pizza has become a permanent resident at Cider Corps and offers guests $2 off a Margherita pizza with any game ticket. Add pepperoni to any pizza for only $2.50 more. Myke’s Pizza is open Tuesday – Thursdays from 5 – 9 PM and Friday – Saturday from 4 – 9:30 PM.

Cider Corps is at 31 S. Robson. #103, Mesa

Bao down at the upcoming Arizona Bao & Dumpling Festival

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.

Founders Food Fest part of LPGA Founders Cup festivities

The LPGA’s Founders Cup tournament pulls into north Phoenix in March and with it will be inaugural Founders Food Fest. The golf tournament at the Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa celebrates its 10th anniversary with week-long festivities and the two day food festival will be on Saturday and Sunday March 21st & 22nd and will feature at seven food trucks each day.

“The Founders Cup prides itself on being the ultimate family golf experience in the Valley, and that now includes this fun and tasty event for golf enthusiasts and foodies alike,” said Scott Wood, tournament director. “We’ve selected the most popular trucks in Phoenix for a food tour guests can enjoy while watching the best players in the LPGA compete this spring.”

Founders Food Fest
Photos courtesy of Ivan Morales at Evolve Marketing & PR

Once inside guests can get their “passport” stamped at each food truck then redeem a fully stamped “passport” for drink tickets at the 1950’s Club, an exclusive tented area on the 9th green.

Saturday’s food trucks include Short Leash Hot Dogs, Ice Cream Sociables and Wok this Way.

Sunday guests can taste dishes from Flying K BBQ, Paletta Betty, Chef Wade’s Bistro on Wheels and more.

Tickets for the Founders Food Fest are $65 per day plus tax when purchased on line and $125 for a weekend pass. Wildfire Golf Club is at 5350 E. Marriott Dr. Phoenix 85054.

 

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.

MIXT brings fast casual farm to table healthy food to Scottsdale Quarter

California based MIXT is almost ready to open its newest restaurant on March 7th at the new wing of Scottsdale Quarter. It will be the fast casual farm to table concept’s first restaurant in Arizona and the 16th since the company was founded in 2005 by Leslie and David Silverglide. The other 15 locations are in California and Texas.

“We’re beyond excited to bring MIXT’s delicious, sustainable, healthy food to Scottsdale,” says MIXT CEO Leslie Silverglide. “We’re looking forward to serving the growing number of Arizonans looking for fresh, delicious, and fulfilling meals that fit a health-conscious lifestyle.”

The high quality sourcing of ingredients translates into healthy grain bowls, salads, sandwiches and protein plates. MIXT tries to source as much as possible locally for its scratch made dishes. The menu changes when the seasons change with the availability of produce. Salads are customized to your liking with over 75 ingredients to choose from. MIXT Market Plates include herb roasted grilled chicken and Steelhead trout that are paired with house-made sauces.

Kombucha on tap, house made iced teas & lemonade, local beers and boutique wines are offered with lunch and dinner. MIXT

MIXT Salet

No miss-spelling, MIXT offers a Salad Valet for those on the go who place orders on their app or on-line. You won’t need to leave your car as the Salet will bring your order right to you when you pull up to the “take-out zone”. Looking to stay, MIXT has an inviting modern look to dine inside or out to enjoy your chef created meals.

With its sustainable business practices MIXT is the first multi-unit concept to become a Certified B Corporation. Not only is the food good for you, it’s good for the community as well.

MIXT will be open daily from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Check out their website for more information or to fill out an application as they are hiring 50 staffers.

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.

Salut Kitchen Bar owner shows his European flair with new look

When Romain Lauro bought Salut Kitchen Bar two years ago he brought with him over 25 years of restaurant experience. For the Lyon, France native his love for food came early, at the age of 3 and easily as Lyon is the capital of the food world. Much of his life Lauro worked for his father serving ice cream at young age then taking over at his father’s fine dining restaurant Comme en Provence. He sold the restaurant after 20 years to fulfill his dream of coming to the United States.

“As a longtime restaurant owner in France, I am committed to bringing the elements of the high-quality dining experience to Salut Kitchen Bar,” said Lauro. “From adding new lights to changing the interior to a light, relaxing color scheme, I want Salut to be a place guests can enjoy an affordable, but delicious scratch made meal in a comfortable atmosphere.”

Salut Kitchen Bar
Saltimbocca di Marsala. All photos courtesy of PBS Studio 3 and Amanda Moore at Evolve Marketing.

What’s new at Salut Kitchen Bar

Salut Wine Bar is known for scratch made Mediterranean and American cuisine and been awarded “Best Wine Bar in Tempe”. Known for bruschetta, salads, sandwiches, gourmet tapas and an extensive wine list from around the world.

Most changes guest will see are to the interior and exterior of the restaurant. Wood accents, new lighting, landscaping and more will give guests an excellent wine and dining experience. Chef Trayton Hutchinson oversees the kitchen and makes sure the food is up to Lauro’s high standards.

Salut Kitchen Bar offers daily lunches for $9.99, daily happy hour from 3 -6 p.m. and weekly specials. Wednesday’s give guests the opportunity to choose a bruschetta board or Salut sampler & a bottle of wine for $25. Weekend brunch is offered from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Salut Kitchen Bar is at 1435 E. University Dr. Tempe 85281. For more information and to stay up to date on weekly specials visit their website.

 

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.

 

 

Top Chef John Tesar coming to 2020 Nirvana Food & Wine Festival

Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa has announced the dates and schedule of events for the fourth annual Nirvana Food & Wine Festival. April 16th -19th Chef and Nirvana host Beau MacMillan welcomes celebrity chef’s Robert Irvine, Scott Contant and Bravo Network’s “Top Chef” winner John Tesar. Celebrities including Rob Riggle and The Bella Twins and other chefs will be hosting and having fun with guests along with chefs and mixologists from around Arizona.

“This event is one that is so near and dear to my heart,” said MacMillan. “Having the opportunity to celebrate outstanding culinary talent, mixology, music and more alongside some of my closest friends and fellow foodies is a true privilege. Nirvana really offers something for everyone and that’s a big part of what makes the festival such a special experience.”

The annual festival celebrates food, wine, music and spirits in a most luxurious resort in the valley and has become a very popular festival in only three years.

Top Chef

Tickets for the five headlining events are available with additional events and after parties still may be added to the weekend’s festivities.

Thursday, April 16- Wood, Wine & Wagyu presented by Far Niente 

The 2020 festival kicks off with this ever-popular event, featuring superstar culinary talent from across North America preparing Snake River Farms American Wagyu cooked over open-wood flames while celebrity mixologists craft whisky-based cocktails utilizing Woodford Reserve. Guests will then be invited to take their places at the table for an intimate, family style dinner with wines hand selected by Far Niente. Country music superstars D. Vincent Williams, Dillon Dixon and Joe Diffy will provide musical accompaniment. Tickets start at $350.

Friday, April 17- Flutes & Coops

Experience the ultimate Champagne campaign and fried chicken feast headlined by DJ Miss Mixx, Fosterson and 17 of the Valley’s best chefs preparing their best fried chicken recipes. This indoor/outdoor event will feature full bars and cocktails shaken by some of the Valley’s best mixologists with one chef being crowned king of Flutes & Coops by popular vote. Tickets start at $150.

Saturday, April 18- Tequila & Tortillas

Grab the salt and limes! Held at the iconic Hotel Valley Ho, this year’s Dia de los Muertos-themed Tequila & Tortillas event will feature nearly 20 locally and nationally recognized chefs cooking up the best of the best in southwestern fare. Since no fiesta is complete without tequila, several of the Valley’s top cocktailers will be on-site mixing up delicious tequila-based cocktails.

This year’s event also features a team “taco takedown” competition, tequila luges and a stunning art presentation by the renowned Gennaro Garcia. Tickets start at $125.

Saturday, April 18- Best of the West

The biggest event of the weekend, Best of the West will be hosted by Scott Conant and Tony Abou-Ganim and will offer 20 live-action stations showcasing cuisine from the most talented chefs of the Valley and greater Arizona. Set to the backdrop of the stunning Camelback Mountain, this not-to-miss event will also offer live musical performances from Double D and the Nashville Allstars to close out the night. Tickets start at $175

Sunday, April 19- Rosé Parté  

The star-studded rosé-all-day trend continues with Rosé Parté, co-hosted by Robert Irvine and the Bella Twins. Guests will have the opportunity to mix and mingle with some of the Valley’s top culinary talent as well as taste two-dozen different rosé wines. This brunch-style party will also include craft cocktails, ice carvings, a raw bar and beats by DJ Miss Mixx. Giving new meaning to the term “Sunday Funday,” this is a not-to-miss closing experience. Tickets start at $150.