Chefs Rochelle Daniel & Samantha Sanz headline James Beard dinner

Two of Phoenix’s top chefs are collaborating when the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America returns on Wednesday, February 23rd. Chefs Rochelle Daniel of Fat Ox & Atria and Samantha Sanz (pictured) of elements are teaming as part of the Foundation’s 18 city chef hosted dinner series to raise money, support and celebrate local restaurants. Sanz will host the dinner as its being held at elements restaurant at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort where she’s Chef de Cuisine.

The three course menu will showcase each of the chef’s unique styles of cooking and the restaurants they represent. Dinner begins a bread course from Breadworks by MJ Coe and James Porter. First course gives guests a choice of Sakana Blue baby scallops with shrimp mousseline, apple and seafoam or a vegetarian-friendly brown butter-poached cauliflower with apple and hazelnuts. For an entrée, guests can choose smoked beef short rib with porcini tamal, black truffle mole and pomegranate or a mushroom steak with truffle mole and pomegranate. For dessert guests will enjoy a coffee-chocolate tart with whiskey caramel. Each course is being paired with Arizona’s Rune Wines and a flight of four whiskeys from Rabbit Hole Distillery.

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. and seats are $350 per pair and also include a swag bag. As part of the Taste America initiative to help local restaurants and diners support the local industry 65% of the dinners ticket purchase goes to the featured chefs to support their business and the remaining 35% goes to the James Beard Foundation’s national programs including Open for Good which has helped restaurants survive the pandemic and re-build. Seating is limited and Covid-19 safety protocols will be enforced. To join Rochelle Daniel and Samantha Sanz get your tickets at the Foundation’s website.

Off the Vine Arizona Wine Festival back for its 7th year

Over 25 Arizona wineries will be pouring their award-winning wines Saturday 15th 2020 for the 7th annual “Off the Vine” Arizona Wine Festival at the historic Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley. The Arizona Wine Growers Association is hosting the festival that will also feature food trucks, live music, local artists and more.

“Off the Vine has quickly become one of our biggest events of the year, and after seeing record-breaking attendance in 2019 we’re expecting an even bigger crowd for 2020,” said Kris Pothier, president of the AWGA and owner of Chateau Tumbleweed. “Steam Pump Ranch and the surrounding mountains provides such a beautiful setting for wine lovers to experience wines from across the state and even meet the winemakers themselves, who are often in attendance.”

off the vine
Photo credit to Jenelle Bonnifield

Pillsbury Wine Company, Rune Wines and Oddity Wine Collective are a few wineries traveling from around Arizona to the ranch built in the 1800s. The bluesy big band sounds of the Peter Swan Trio will provide the playlist for the 7 hour festival that starts at 11 a.m.

Early Bird tickets are $25 and include 8 sampling tickets and a commemorative glass can be purchased here. Day of event tickets is $30.

 

Rune Wines & Farmboy pair up for “Blue Zones” pop-up dinner

Grace Farms in Chandler will be the site of a “Taste of The Blue Zones” pop-up dinner on April 28th. The dinner will pair a creative worldly four-course menu from Farmboy with wines from Sonoita’s Rune Wines. Farmboy chef Dennis Bagnasco will use ingredients that are sourced locally as will be the wood used to cook over.

Blue zone’s are identified as parts of the world where certain lifestyle elements create an excellent quality of life. The blues zones have been identified by author Dan Buettner’s National Geographic articles and books. Lifestyle elements in the blue zones include diet and positive outlook on life.

Rune Wines owner and winemaker James Callahan will be pouring his wines with each course.

The menu is as follows….

Reception (Nicoya, Costa Rica) — Black Bean Dip with corn tortillas, papaya salsa and plantains paired with Rune 201 Viogner, craft beer and specialty cocktail

1st Course (Okinawa, Japan) — Purple Sweet Potato with tofu, snap peas, sesame and sweet and spicy soycomplemented by Rune 2016 Roussanne

Intermezzo (Icaria, Greece) — Ikarian Longevity Stew with black-eyed peas, veggies and heirloom tomatoes

2nd Course (Sandinia, Italy) — Whole Smoked Lamb with artichoke and garlic white wine sauce served with Rune 2016 Grenache

 3rd Course (Loma Linda, California) — Cherry Nut Bark with dried cherries, pecans and dark chocolate paired with Rune 2016 Wild Syrah

The dinner is $119 per person plus tax and starts at 5:30 p.m. You may purchase tickets to the dinner here.

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