Get ready for West of Western

Categories: Chow Bella

Don't spoil your appetite on the weekend of March 15 and 16!

That's when the West of Western Culinary Festival will bring a jaw-dropping lineup of some of Arizona's most high-profile chefs into one central location for guests to sip wine, sample delicious foods, and socialize all afternoon. Considering all the great dishes at last year's festival, you'd better start making room in your stomach right now.

This is West of Western's fourth annual event, and it's already gained a reputation as a major attraction for the Phoenix foodie community. The caliber of the chefs and the variety of the restaurants represented, the creativity of their lavish displays, and the quality of the wine tasting -- which will feature more than 70 wines from around the world -- is too impressive to pass up.

In the past, the festival was held completely outdoors, but this year, the Phoenix Art Museum will be the host and co-presenter. What that amounts to is the luxury of indoor accomodations for the wine tasting -- to be held in the museum's Great Hall -- as well as for a variety of programming. There will be lectures (including a presentation by Tracie Ryder and Carole Topalian, co-founders of Edible Communities), chef demonstrations, kids' activities, and docent-lead museum tours. As an added bonus, the ticket price includes general admission to the museum.

There will also be a Desert Diversity Expo, and two stages of live music.

Everything happens between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16. Advance tickets -- which are probably a very good idea -- are $75 (adult full day, wine and food pass), $67 (adult full day, food only pass), and $22 (full day pass for ages 9 -15). Children under 9 will get free admission with an adult.

Now check out this list of participating chefs (confirmed as of yesterday) and tell me if you aren't already feeling a little hungry:

Brian Archibald, Tuscany, JW Marriott Desert Ridge
Paul "P.T." Barnum, 56 East & 98 South
Justin Beckett, Canal
Frank Belosic, The Terrace, The Phoenician
Matt Carter, Zinc Bistro
Paul Carter, The Phoenician
MJ Coe, MJ Bread
Tammie Coe, Tammie Coe Cakes
Jackie Cueto, Ninetta's Passion Bistro
Payton Curry, Digestif Urban Enoteca
Tracy Dempsey, Confection
Ron Dimas, The Estate House
Carolyn Ellis, Arcadia Farms
Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café
Patrick Fegan, Olive & Ivy
Ivan Flowers, Gallery on Oak Creek, Amara Resort & Spa
Patrick Gaudet, Arizona Kitchen, Wigwam Resort & Golf Club
Lionel Geuskins, Trente-Cinq 35
Lisa Giungo, Lisa G Cafe Wine Bar
Tony Hamati, Bravo Bistro
Olashawn Hasadinratana, Wild Thaiger
Marc Hennessy, Meritage, JW Marriott Desert Ridge
Vinny De John, Whole Foods Market Scottsdale
Deborah Knight, Mosaic
Greg LaPrad, Quiessence
Danielle Librera, The Sweet Pea
Wendy Little, The Latilla, The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa
Ehren Litzenberger, Taggia, FireSky Resort
Aaron May, Sol y Sombra Spanish Kitchen & Lounge
Mel Mecinas, Talavera, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale
Matthew McLinn, Méthode Bistro
Marty Murray, Whole Foods Market Paradise Valley
Sergio Ochoa, Phoenix Art Museum Café
Michael O'Dowd, Kai, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass
Mary Paganelli, TOCA Food Systems
Anthony Patafio, Four Seasons Resort, Scottsdale
Angelo Petrilli, Javino's
Michel Pieton, The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa
Alicia Popple, del Piero, Queen Creek Olive Mill
James Porter, Tapino Kitchen
Daniel Roman, C4, The Clarendon Hotel
Roberto Sanchez, Windows on the Green, The Phoenician
Scott Simpson, JW Marriott Desert Ridge
Michael Stebner, The Greene House
Jack Strong, Kai, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass
Hiro Tanaguchi, Kizake
Scott Tompkins, Skye Fine Dining
Claudio Urciuoli, Different Pointe of View
Chad Withycombe, Mucho Gusto
Jeffery Yankellow, Simply Bread
Kurt Zuger, Wigwam Resort & Golf Club

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