Scottsdale Culinary Festival Wraps Up With Cooks & Corks and the Great Arizona Lushfest

Categories: Events

If you've ever been to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, you know that it's a world apart from Phoenix's other major culinary events. Some say the festival has slowly spiraled into an all-out drunkfest. Others believe it has evolved to separate the foodies from the partiers by hosting wine dinners and Best of The Fest for serious food lovers and leaving the Great Arizona Picnic for everybody else. 

Some guests were up front about their sins.
This year's Picnic was all about drowning your sorrows in a stiff one. The proof was in the pudding -- or rather, the Blo-Safe breathalyzer station and "don't drive drunk" ads posted at each gate. The Absolut tent and beer garden were packed to capacity and the wine was flowing profusely over at Cooks & Corks.

The Blo-Safe girls you want you to blow in their box.
Then again, maybe the festival was counting on the recession to ease drinking. At 5-10 tasting tickets per drink (each ticket costing a buck), most attendees probably didn't have the cash to buy enough drinks to put them over the legal limit. Especially when you consider it was up to 20 tickets for a meal at the Picnic's food booths.

More on Cooks & Corks after the jump.

Butter & Me Cupcakery's sexy Mexican chocolate cupcakes.

​At $65 a head, it's no surprise the economic downturn had an effect on the Cooks & Corks event held on Saturday and Sunday inside the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. According to vendors, attendance was sparse in comparison to previous years.

There were fewer food booths and more desserts than entrees on the tables. Most of the booths weren't even for restaurants, but instead for products like olive oil and cheese or social programs.

Best olive oil related shirts ever.

One of the most interesting aspects of Cooks & Corks was Chef Alain Roby's sugar demo, where the famed chef sculpted pulled sugar into swans and free-form shapes to create a food sculpture in the style of Dale Chihuly's glass chandeliers at the Bellagio hotel in Vegas. The finished piece was a swirling, free-form mass of shapes and colors that was elegant yet whimsical.


Alain uses a fan to cool down a sugar swan.

The finished sculpture.

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