Ignite Food: From Homemade Bacon to Home-Brewed Beer, and Justin Beckett's Eat-A-Thon

Categories: Events
courtesy of Pavle Milic
Editor's Note: By all the accounts we've heard, the inaugural Ignite Food was smooth as butter -- except, ironically, for the food. While it was available before the event began, apparently word didn't spread to the crowd. And so by intermission there was a giant line for what we hear were wonderful offerings from Tracy Dempsey, Pittsburgh Willy's, Petite Maison, 24 Carrots, and Loaded Cupcake. Easily fixed next time, we're guessing -- and we're hoping there is a next time. Chow Bella contributor Carol Blonder was lucky enough to snag a ticket at the last minute (thanks, Ty Largo!) and reports her impressions here.

Tickets for Monday night's first Ignite Food event in Phoenix sold out like a rock concert -- in less than one hour. More than 400 Valley food enthusiasts filled Stand Up Live at Cityscape to listen to 16 local presenters share their food and spirit inspirations Ignite style: with a microphone, in five minutes, illustrated by slides.

The participants took a comedy cue from the Stand Up venue; regardless of the topic, each presentation was highlighted by humorous personal anecdotes. What we in the seats learned was as much about the speaker as their culinary-inspired passion -- be it microbes or microbrews.

courtesy of Tracy Dempsey
Tracy Dempsey Originals got the fire started with amazing sweets.

There was a call to action by Chef Charleen Badman, now known as Lunch Lady Badman, whose first slide of Frito pie initiated us to her personal struggle with unhealthy food habits -- a chef who nurtured others through food while neglecting her own health. Badman called out for chef volunteers to help her infiltrate school cafeterias and change kids' attitudes and appetites for healthy food choices, as she has her own.

Another recruiter, Dominic Armato, wants you to sign up for his Food Nerd Army, "an army of people interested in a killer plate of food" to help discover and promote the small independent restaurant operators that often fall below the media radar.

Chris Petroff
and his family of pint- sized gardeners are "Herbanizing" Phoenix one backyard garden at a time. Petroff turned on our olfactory memories as he waxed poetic on the smell of the earth first thing in the morning. Cowboy hat clad Paul Schwennesen leaped further than the backyard garden, coming back to the land and promoting life on a farm.

Location Info


Stand Up Live

50 W. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

My Voice Nation Help

having weird issues so forgive me if anything double posts or other strangeness

this was my first Ignite, and it was really fun. there was some good information in here, and most of the speakers were just so enthusiastic you kind of got swept up in it. as far as the food samples, it appeared to me that 24 Carrots (whose chickpea cake with thai salad was DELICIOUS) was causing the back up by plating each persons serving individually in front of them while explaining it...oh well. as long as everyone got to try some of that as well as the (polar opposite of the aforementioned vegan dish) pork belly from Petite Maison they were probably as stoked as we were. was bummed i wore my yellow tie instead of my burgandy as i couldve just blended in with the overwhelmed waitstaff and got our own drinks haha

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