10 Best Culinary Events in Metro Phoenix
You can bet a ticket to the nearly sold-out Devoured Phoenix Culinary Classic that as soon as we got our hands on a 2014 calendar we marked the dates for these ten events. The ones that have set dates already, that is. For the sake of fairness we didn't include events that we, Chow Bella, and/or Phoenix New Times host or sponsor. That list includes Pie Social (but come on, who doesn't love pie) and the upcoming Street Eats Food Truck Festival and Check Please! event.
Diana Lustig Shrimp ceviche with avocado cream and plantain chips in a small martini glass, served by Jeremy Pacheco of Lon's at the Hermosa at Devoured 2013.
Devoured Phoenix Culinary Classic
Phoenix Art Museum
Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2, 2014
Held at the Phoenix Art Museum, this annual event showcases the very best of the Valley food scene. Every year more than 100 local restaurants, chefs, food producers, wine makers, distillers and craft beer makers come together to share their talents. And unlike at other festivals, Devoured is limited to 4,000 guests, meaning you actually have a chance of tasting the food and drinks you want. It's definitely one of the pricier culinary events in town, but the combination of unique food, drinks and beautiful atmosphere have made this a favorite festival for true food lovers.
Strong Beer Festival
Melisa Fossum A fresh pour of Deschuttes' Hop Henge at the Strong Beer Festival in 2013.
Steele Indian School Park
Saturday, February 15, 2014
This event kicks off the Arizona Beer Festival each year with an afternoon celebration of the strongest -- as in, have the highest alcohol content -- brews around. Though the heavy beers are the stars, the event also brings a variety of other types craft beers to the table including specialty styles of beer and not uncommonly, unique brews made specifically for the event. A reasonably priced ticket gets attendees a commemorative four-ounce tasting glass (that's right, you even get a souvenir) as well as 15 tasting tickets. There's always food and live music to set the mood, so don't be surprised if you're drunker than you meant to be before you know it. After all, they are some pretty strong beers.
James Beard Benefit Dinner
Lauren Saria The fourth course of the James Beard Foundation dinner in 2013: rabbit with roasted-garlic stinging nettles confit.
Deseo at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
March 13, 2014
No, this is not an everyman event. Tickets start at $200 a person and tables will set you back about two grand. But this Scottsdale Culinary Festival-related event is a truly memorable experience. The dinner usually takes place about a month before the actual festival and is organized in conjunction with the James Beard Foundation. Each year local and regional Beard award winners come to town to cook with James Beard award-winning chefs from around the country. It's a collaborative meal where each chef prepares a single course and addresses diners to explain the dish. Between the delectable food, big-name chefs, and swanky resort location, you might even forget you're in Phoenix for a night.