The Pink Pony Hires Stephen K. Eldridge as New Executive Chef

Categories: News

Courtesy of Chef Eldridge
Most recently chef Eldridge was heading up the kitchen (and gardens) at Gertrude's.
Since re-launching under new ownership earlier this year, Pink Pony has had a bumpy ride. For those who don't remember, here's a quick recap: Scottsdale' oldest restaurant re-opened with a new look and menu under executive chef Donald Fawcett in March. By July, we learned Fawcett and his entire staff including the pastry chef and general manager had been fired -- which was probably a good thing because the food hadn't been very well-received.

Now it's fall and the restaurant is ready to name its new executive chef. The Pink Pony has hired Stephen K. Eldridge to take over the historical Scottsdale kitchen.

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JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort Unveils Special Honey Menu

Categories: Wake Up Call

Dino Giordano/Flickr
A meal for the honey obsessed at JW Marriott Desert Ridge.
Honey lovers, take note: From now until the end of this month, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa is offering a full menu featuring the sweet stuff. The stonegrill restaurant in the resort will be offering up seasonal dishes and a cocktail to pair with them using on-site harvested honey.

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Cien Agaves in Scottsdale: Happy Hour Report Card

Tinga tacos are a steal at $2 during happy hour at Cien Agaves.

The Spot: Cien Agaves
7228 E. First Ave. Scottsdale

The Hours: Happy hour is from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. everyday.

See also: Rokerij: Happy Hour Report Card

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Country Loaf from Noble Bread: 100 Favorite Dishes

Evie Carpenter
You'll find this loaf all over town.
Last year we marked the hundred day countdown to Best of Phoenix by sharing some of our favorite food folks' "Personal Best" lists. This year we're bringing back our list of 100 Favorite Dishes. Have a suggestion for a dish you'd like us to try? Leave it in the comments section or email

7. Country Loaf from Noble Bread

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5th Annual Farmer+Chef Connection Returns to Desert Botanical Garden Next Month

Categories: Events

Evie Carpenter
The annual event connects local famers with food buyers and restaurateurs.
Arizona is a big place, one with lots of chefs, farmers, food artisans, and wholesale buyers. The problem is connecting these people with one another.

That's where the annual Farmer+Chef Connection comes in. The event brings together food suppliers, buyers, and restaurateurs for a day of breakout workshops and networking opportunities. And for the first time, part of the event will also be open to other members of the food community as well.

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Kale Soda Exists, and It's Surprisingly Tasty

JK Grence
"With real cane sugar". How considerate.

The Guilty Pleasure: Hansen's kale-flavored soda.
Where to Get It: Your favorite natural foods store, as long as their buyer has a sense of humor.
Price: Three or four bucks a six-pack.
What it Really Costs: Lucy, you got some 'splainin to do! (Also, as with any soda: Whoa, lots of sugar!)

I'm somewhat grateful that Peak Kale has passed. The cruciferous green was once relegated to decorating salad bars. Then, kale became a wondrous superfood. Kale salads, kale chips, questionable kale smoothies, you name it.

The insane demand for kale has waned somewhat in recent months. But there's still the occasional outlier who thinks that kale should go in something where kale shouldn't really be.

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James Beard Foundation's Taste America: A Night of Culinary Stars Dinner was Epic

Categories: Events

Evie Carpenter
Chef Josh Hebert's Uni cheesecake with seaweed and ponzu.
For the second year, the James Beard Foundation's Taste America: "Local Flavor from Coast to Coast" tour made a stop in the Valley for a benefit dinner of epic proportions. The A Night of Culinary Stars dinner, presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature, was held last Friday at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa and featured picture-perfect plates from seven of the top local chefs.

This year, events in Phoenix and Atlanta kicked off the first weekend of the five-week, ten-city national tour. In each city, the foundation holds a benefit dinner featuring Taste America All-Star chefs, local James Beard Foundation Award-winning chefs, and culinary celebrities, as well as celebrity chef appearances, cooking demonstrations, book signings, and tastings.

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10 Top Picks for Arizona Restaurant Week, Fall 2014

Categories: Top Lists

BAT Gnocchi 2.JPG
Heather Hoch
Rancho Pinot's hearty sauce sticks to your gnocchi and your ribs.
With so many restaurants participating in this fall's edition of Arizona Restaurant Week -- which runs from Friday, September 19, to Sunday, September 28 -- it can be hard to tell where your dining dollars will be best spent. Thankfully, we're here to dish out some suggestions. Some of the restaurants on our list are top Arizona dining destinations where your dollar will go farther during the event than at any other time of year, while others are newcomers to the local dining scene.

At any of the 10, you'll want to make your reservations soon -- many will be booked up entirely by the time the week hits.

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The Bakery PHX Shines with Mini Pies and Potato Knishes

Categories: First Taste

Heather Hoch
Calling all pie lovers: It's time to go to The Bakery PHX!
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).

Restaurant: The Bakery PHX
Location: 1528 East Bethany Home Road
Open: About a month
Eats: Baked goods
Price: $1 to $10

Heather Hoch
The Bakery PHX is not a trendy cupcake shop, though the bright, simple interior and handwritten signage are modern and stylish. It's also not a traditional spot, as it serves both freshly baked sourdough bread loaves as well as the shop's take on the Twinkie, which actually looks more like a Ho Ho on the outside.

Instead, it's somewhere in between. And it works.

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Blog Comments to Expect When You Post a Recipe Online

Categories: Wake Up Call

Melissa Wiese/Flickr
Beware: Even the most straightforward recipes are up for debate when posted online.
Looking for a laugh this morning? Well, The Toast made a list of the types of commenters who put their opinions on recipes online. From the shameless substituters to the chronic oversharers, the list of comments is hilariously accurate. If you've ever tried to share a recipe of your own creation online, you definitely know what this blog is talking about.

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