Gio Osso of Virtu Honest Craft Makes Grilled Octopus (VIDEO)

Categories: The Trail

"I'm a ham, I gotta admit," warns chef Gio Osso as he readies his mis en place.

On a sunny September afternoon, the chef sets up to cook in the suite of the Bespoke Inn, located just above his restaurant Virtu Honest Craft. Downstairs his staff is busy wrapping up lunch service and getting ready for the sixth night of Arizona Restaurant Week. To impose in their space during one of the busiest periods of the year would be pretty much unthinkable.

Evie Carpenter
Gio Osso
We're going behind the scenes and getting up close and personal with some of the Valley's favorite chefs, learning what it takes to make one of their best-known dishes. Welcome to The Trail.

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Pie Social 2014: Here's the Celebrity Chef Line-Up

Categories: Pie Social

Lauren Saria
Country Velador's winning pie from 2013.
Are you as excited as we are for Pie Social 2014? You will be once you get a load of this year's celebrity chef line-up. This year, 16 chefs will craft pie masterpieces to compete for the title of best in show. The fifth annual event, hosted by Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row, features both returning competitors and newbies and we can't wait to taste what they bake.

Pie Social 2014 will take place Saturday, November 15 from 2 until 5 p.m. at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park on the northeast corner of 2nd Street and Roosevelt.

Here's the line-up:

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Moylan's Scotch Ale: Memorable, in a Smelly Hamster Wood Shavings Kind of Way

Beer: Scotch Ale (Kilt Lifter)
Brewery: Moylan's Brewery & Restaurant
Style: Scotch ale
ABV: 8 percent

When I was little, I had a hamster named Roxy. She was a great little hamster, playful and gentle, and the two of us used to hang out for hours, she running around in her little wheel while I fed her some hamster food. But one day, Roxy began to get fat. I wasn't worried at first, thinking she had just gone a little overboard with last night's meal. But she got bigger each day, ballooning to the point at which she couldn't walk on her little hamster legs anymore. They dangled there uselessly like T-rex arms, and she died stuck on her big hamster butt. Poor Roxy.

What does my childhood pet have to do with this week's beer? We'll get to that. First, a bit of history: Moylan's Brewery & Restaurant opened 1995 in Novato, Calif. -- a lovely, hilly little burg that lies pretty much smack between Santa Rosa and San Francisco. It was founded by Brendan Moylan, who also happens to a brewer and co-owner of Marin Brewing Co., which he helped open in 1989. Moylan's namesake brewery produces about a dozen beers year-round -- some of which are pretty good and have actually won medals at the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. They also produce Kilt Lifter.

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Amy's Baking Company Owner Allegedly Threatened Customer With a Knife (VIDEO)

Categories: News

Still from TMZ video
Things have been quiet on the Crazy Amy front, but this weekend, the infamous couple exploded back onto the national scene in a big way.

According to a 911 call to the Scottsdale Police Department, Amy's Baking Company owner "Samy" Salomon Bouzaglo threatened a customer with a knife on Saturday afternoon.

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Cuff in Downtown Glendale Is Now Open for Lunch; Here's the Menu

Categories: Now Open

Awe Collective
The restaurant is one of three projects planned for the downtown Glendale neighborhood.
As of this week there's a new dining option for those looking for New American food in the historic downtown Glendale neighborhood.

Cuff, a new restaurant from chef Tom Harvey, has opened to the public and is currently serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

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Gretchen Gol of The Simple Farm in Scottsdale Makes Cheese

Categories: Now Growing

Gretchen Gol
Make cheese like this, at home.

You might think making cheese is a dirty job but it's surprisingly easy and with just a trip to your local beer-making store you'll have everything you need to make your own gouda, chèvre or gruyère. The artisanal craft of making cheese is a handy skill to have because, who doesn't love wine and cheese. (If you don't, stop reading now.)

Gol notes that making cheese is a bit of a commitment. It takes about two to three hours and you can't really set it and forget it. She recently returned from a trip to the Netherlands where she visited the Cheese Museum and has been making cheese for over a year. This is all when she's not busy with her family, volunteering at The Simple Farm or working. The woman has patience and skill. If you'd like to take a class before trying this at home, click here for details on an "Udder to Table" cheese making class.

See also: Boho Farm's Caroline Van Slyke Makes Rose Petal Jelly with Chow Bella

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5 Reasons to Get Excited About the Phoenix Coffee Scene That Have Nothing to Do with Pumpkin Spice

Categories: Chow Bella, Grind

Zaida Dedolph
Crepe Bar's new fall signature coffee drink features local heritage grains and local dates.

In the mushy-yet-magical coulee that is my imagination, Pumpkin Spice exists as a rejected sixth Spice Girl. Yoga-pantsed, Ugg-booted, and sexy-baby-voiced, poor P.S. just literally can't even function as a flavor.

Pumpkins are a thing. Pumpkin Pie Spice is a thing. But "Pumpkin Spice" is a myth that we seem to have collectively accepted as fact. What defines this imaginary Spice of Pumpkin that has infiltrated my Facebook feed? Aside from being a sensationalized marketing scheme for something that is realistically an amalgamation of artificial flavors, colors, and additives, what actually is it? And more importantly, why do we continue to care about it when there are so many other very real things going on in the world (and in Phoenix!)

I am willing to accept the PSL as a bizarre cultural totem and harbinger of fall festivities, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. Here is a list of five things that I do like, that are happening soon, and that support our great local food and coffee folk.

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Postino Annex in Tempe Opens Wednesday; Here's a Look Inside

Categories: Now Open

All photos by Lauren Saria
The fourth location of Postino will open to the public on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Later this week the fourth and largest location of Postino Wine Cafe will open its doors to the public. Dubbed Postino Annex, the new restaurant and wine bar is located inside the historic Art Annex building at 615 S. College Avenue, just steps from the heart of the Arizona State University campus.

We swung by the new dining spot to get a tour of the space and chat with Upward Project's Craig DeMarco and Lauren Bailey.

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5 Best Places to Eat and Drink This Week in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Events

Lauren Saria
Beef Keemah Kabob at Rania's in Chandler.
Rania's Kabob Grill

There's going to be a gastronomical throw-down tonight in Gilbert, at Rania's Kabob Grill. The restaurant is hosting the latest installment of the Chef Off series, which pits two East Valley chefs against each other in a competition to win over diners and take home the title of Chef Off champ. In this week's event Rania's chef Bank Foley, collaborating with owners Shookria and Abdul Ansari, will be put up against current champ, chef John Wong. Each will create three courses to be paired with the same three winea; diners will get to vote for which dish paired better. The dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. and costs $55. For reservations call 480-656-7111.

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Beer Pipeline to Run Underneath Bruges, Belgium

Categories: Wake Up Call

Bernt Rostad/Flickr
Gives a whole new meaning to saying, "I know this great underground brewery."
If you know anything about Belgium, it might have something to do with waffles or fries, but it's even more likely that you know the Belgians are serious about their beer. From Trappist breweries to small craft set-ups churning out bottles of fancy heritage brewing styles , Belgium is pretty much a beer lover's paradise-- especially now that one Bruges-based brewery is building a pipeline under the picturesque city that will send beer underground across town.

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