Your Cheat Sheet to This Sunday's Check, Please! Arizona Food Festival at CityScape
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at downtown's CityScape, Check, Please! Arizona, KAET Channel 8's restaurant-review series hosted by James Beard Award-winning chef Robert McGrath, will take its show on the road by hosting its very own food festival.
Since we first told you about the event in February, New Times has become a sponsor -- and now, Chow Bella's even got our own stage (Squeal!).
With all the goings on -- like eats from several restaurants previously featured on Check, Please! Arizona plus such events as a wine seminar with Mark Tarbell of Tarbell's, gnocchi-making with Jeremy Pacheco of Lon's at the Hermosa, and a chance to audition for the show -- you'll want to plan ahead to make your experience as delicious as possible.
We've got a cheat sheet that can help.
Here's what's happening on the Chow Bella Stage:
Noon: John Cavanagh of Tuck Shop -- The Art of the Perfect Mixer
1 p.m.: Craft Beer Seminar with Andy Ingram of Four Peaks Brewery
2 p.m.: James Beard Award Winners -- Discussion Panel
Four of Arizona's James Beard Award Winning chefs will participate in a panel discussion about Phoenix as a culinary destination, each chef's unique culinary journey, and what the James Beard honor has meant to them.
Chef Robert McGrath -- The Check, Please! Arizona show host will lead this panel. McGrath was awarded Best Chef Southwest in 2001.
Chef Christopher Gross -- Gross, of Christopher's & Crush Lounge, was awarded Best Chef Southwest in 1995. Gross will host an exclusive wine seminar for VIP guests.
Chef Nobuo Fukuda -- Recently acclaimed for Nobuo at Teeter House, Fukuda won Best Chef Southwest in 2007. Chef Fukuda will serve exclusive VIP samples.
Chef Chris Bianco -- Best known for his world-famous pizza at Pizzeria Bianco, he earned Best Chef Southwest in 2003.
3 p.m.: Exclusive Wine Seminar with Mark Tarbell, Tarbell's
Here are the chef demonstrations happening on the SubZero/Wolf Stage:
Noon: Chef James Porter, Petite Maison
1:30 p.m.: Chef Eddie Matney, Eddie's House
3 p.m.: Chef Jeremy Pacheco, Lon's at the Hermosa will demo gnocchi-making and pair it with sausage.
Here's what's going on in the VIP area:
1 p.m.: Private Wine Seminar with Christopher Gross, Christopher's & Crush Lounge
Here's what's happening at the Safeway Grill Master Stage:
11:45 a.m.: Chef Hoffman, Haus Murphy's German Restaurant
12:30 p.m.: Robert McGrath, host of Check, Please! Arizona and James Beard award winner will take the grilling stage to share his award-winning techniques.
2:45 p.m.: George Frasher, Frasher's Steakhouse & Lounge
Auditions for Check, Please! Arizona will happen at the Check, Please! Arizona Audition Stage from noon until 4 p.m.
Here's a sampling of the eats from some of the event's featured restaurants:
- America's Taco Shop: Grilled meat tacos
- Durant's: Brioche crostini with horseradish cream, roast sirloin and basil pesto; chocolate indulgence cake
- Amuse Bouche: Meatloaf sliders with tomato glaze, smoked bacon and onion aioli; chocolate éclair cake.
- Betty's Nosh: Mushroom soup; stuffed mushrooms
- Eddie's House: Israeli fattoush couscous
- Frasher's: BBQ pulled pork; gooey butter cake.
- Haus Murphy's: Beefy bratwurst with sauerkraut
- Havana Café: Moros & Cristianos (black bean & rice dish) with pork morsels
- Hob Nobs: Gourmet pizza
- MacAlpines: Velvet Elvis ice cream soda, pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad
- Pittsburgh Willy's: Two gourmet hot dogs (Freddie G. and Wing Ding Willy)
- Shugrue's: Seafood gumbo
- Thee Pitts "Again": Pulled pork
To purchase tickets, go to the Check, Please! Arizona website. General admission is $60 and includes food as well as wine and beer sampling. VIP tickets are $100 and include a James Beard Award winners' private chef seminar, exclusive wine tastings, early entry to the festival 30 minutes before general admission, and VIP valet parking.