A Take on 2 Thai Cooking Schools, Plus Recipes

Kate Crowley
Dining after class at the Blue Elephant Cooking School

Having recently traveled to Asia to attend classes at a few cooking schools, I brought back a number of great recipes, memories and a long list of ingredients not available at Fry's. While in Thailand I had the opportunity to attend day long classes at two very different schools. Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai and Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok. If you're considering traveling to Thailand and want to decide where to cook, read on for a glimpse into what each school offers and two great recipes direct from each school.

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Petite Maison in Scottsdale Launches Spring Menu and Summer Schedule

Categories: News

Courtesy of Petite Maison
Roasted asparagus with poached duck egg, hazelnuts, crispy Spam, and XO sauce.
We're calling it. It may only be April, but summer in Phoenix has pretty much arrived.

We know because Chef James Porter's Petite Maision has switched over to a dinner-only schedule, making it the first (we've heard) of the many restaurants in town that will either cut back to limited hours or close altogether for the summer. The modern French restaurant also has launched a new spring menu with dishes such as stuffed cuttlefish, roasted asparagus, and thyme profiteroles.

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Flower Child: Sam Fox's Newest Restaurant to Open April 29 in Arcadia

Courtesy of Flower Child
Get ready, people, because restaurateur Sam Fox seems confident that his newest restaurant concept is going to turn your entire life upside down.

Opening Tuesday, April 29 near the northeast corner of 44th Street and Camelback, Flower Child, "is the start of a food revolution by Sam Fox" -- at least according to a press release. (The release even included a poem to explain the restaurant's dedication to animals and organic produce. Seriously.)

So what exactly does this revolutionary new restaurant promise? Read on.

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Hot N Juicy Crawfish Is Open in Tempe -- Prepare to Get Messy, Seafood Fans

Categories: First Taste

Lauren Saria
Crawfish by the pound with any amount of heat you can handle.
When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

Lauren Saria
Inside Hot N Juicy Crawfish on Mill Avenue.
Restaurant: Hot N Juicy Crawfish
Location: 740 S. Mill Ave., Tempe
Open: Less than a week
Eats: Seafood
Price: $25+ per person

If you've heard of the Las Vegas-based restaurant chain Hot N Juicy Crawfish, then chances are you've either already gone to the new Tempe location or have plans to do so soon. The restaurant opened last Friday at the Centerpoint on Mill complex and has wasted no time in attracting diners. We waited about 30 minutes for a table on Monday night -- and we weren't the only ones. It seems this town has been waiting for a restaurant like this to come around.

And after our dinner, we're sure happy it did.

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How the California Drought Will Affect Your Grocery Bill

Categories: Wake Up Call

Packaged salads and avocados are about to get pricier next time you checkout.
Adding to the lime shortage from Mexico, this season's serious drought in California could mean a higher total on your grocery bill. Produce such as lettuce, avocados, grapes, and stone fruit will see dramatic price increases as the drought drives farmers to either decrease the amount they plant this season or not plant at all, according to NBC Bay Area.

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St. Francis in Phoenix: Happy Hour Report Card

Heather Hoch
Come for the baguette, stay for the cocktails.
The Spot: St. Francis
111 East Camelback Road

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Dine Out for Life on April 24 and Help Fight HIV and AIDS

Categories: Events

Hannah E. Williams
Chef Chrysa Robertson's Rancho Pinot will donate 50 percent of the night's proceeds to charity.
The annual Dining Out for Life fundraiser will take place this week on Thursday, April 24. On that day, dozens of local restaurants have pledged to donate anywhere from 10 percent to 50 percent of their proceeds to the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS. The money raised from diners on Thursday will go toward the ongoing campaign of education, health, and wellness services in our area.

Participating restaurants include Cibo Pizzeria, Bliss ReBar, Mi Patio, and Rancho Pinot, all of which will donate half of their proceeds to the cause. Both Barrio Cafe and MacAlpine's Restaurant & Soda Fountain will be donating 100 percent of their proceeds for the event. For more participating restaurants, read on.

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Payton Curry Posts Photo of Food Critic on Twitter -- Way to Keep It Classy, Chef

Categories: News

Payton at Blackboard.jpg
Nikki Buchanan
Chef Payton Curry
Chef Payton Curry of Brat Haus and Taco Haus isn't playing nicely. The chef, clearly unhappy about a recent review of his restaurant Taco Haus written by local food writer Gwen Ashley Walters, outed the undercover restaurant reviewer on Twitter on Monday.

Walters, who writes reviews for Phoenix Magazine and publishes her own food blog, Pen and Fork, regularly goes out of her way to hide her identity in order to maintain her ability to review restaurants anonymously. It seems Curry has little regard for her efforts.

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How to Make a Cookie Bowl

Categories: Sugar Rush

Rachel Miller
Cookie bowl, ready for ice cream.

Everyone has been abuzz over Dominique Ansel's latest craze, the cookie shot glass. We covered the cronuts and even recreated them here on the Chow Bella blog. But I had to put my foot down on the cookie shot glass. Who wants to drink the milk before eating the cookie? Not me!

That is why we are proud to introduce the cookie bowl!

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Domino's New Specialty Chicken: A Taste Test

image courtesy Domino's Pizza
"Hey, you got your pizza on my chicken nuggets!" "Hey, you got your chicken nuggets on my pizza!"

The Guilty Pleasure: Specialty Chicken
Where to Get It: Domino's Pizza. Locations everywhere, but you were getting delivery anyway.
Price: $5.99 when you buy another item from their mix-and-match menu
What it Really Costs: [opens box] Jeez, that's it for six bucks?

Domino's Pizza has me scratching my head lately. Over the last few years, they've done some hardcore marketing to say that their mass-produced pizza is less dismal than it used to be.

Then we saw a press release for their new four varieties of Specialty Chicken, boneless chicken pieces topped with sauce, cheese, and toppings. It's basically a pizza with chicken nuggets in lieu of crust.

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