15 Things We Ate and Drank Saturday at Devoured Food + Wine Classic 2014

Categories: Events

Evie Carpenter
Nocawich's sandwich was one of our favorite dishes of day one at the Devoured Food + Wine Classic. See the full slideshow here.
After the first day of the Devoured Food + Wine Classic, we're stuffed.

The overcast skies and intermittent rain didn't keep crowds of Valley food lovers from drinking and dining the day away at the Phoenix Art Museum. With nearly 50 restaurants and more than 30 wineries at the first of the two-day event, attendees had a wide selection. And in addition to the impressive roster of local restaurants, this year's event also offered cooking demos, wine panels, chef panels, and more.

See Also: Devoured Food + Wine Classic Culinary Festival in Phoenix 2014 (Complete Slideshow)

This year, restaurants offered a nice selection of breakfast foods -- a smart move since doors open at 10:30 a.m. for VIP attendees -- and a lot of dishes featuring seafood and duck. We were also impressed with the number of restaurants that handed out dishes with upscale ingredients -- including lobster, foie gras, and oysters -- a clear indication as to why this has become the favorite food event of the year.

One of the most memorable offerings of the day came from Nocawich, the fast-casual sandwich-centric concept from Noca owner Elliot Wexler. Though we enjoyed both of the restaurant's sandwiches, we preferred the Wilbur with Kurobutta porchetta, chili aioli, shaved fennel, and pickled red onion of perfectly crispy faccacia bread. The Daffy -- featuring duck confit, duck cracklin, and foie love -- was a close second.

Another stand out was the plate from Tonto Bar and Grill, the rustic restaurant in Cave Creek. Tonto served up small but satisfying bites of Meyer lemon butter poached lobster tail with black trumpet huitlacoche puree, and pickled Fresno chiles that made for a surprisingly fancy feeling sample.

See also: 10 Best Culinary Events in Metro Phoenix

We were surprised by how much we liked the options from Sam Fox's Little Cleo's Seafood Legend. The restaurant's Bacon and Eggs was a fun take on a breakfast classic with housemade sturgeon bacon, crème fraiche, and a fried egg over toast. Early in the day, they also handed out oysters on the half shell with a choice of two accompanying sauces.

Evie Carpenter
The "Eggs and Bacon" from Little Cleo's.

Location Info


Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

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Devoured completely lived up to the hype...and it sure had a lot of hype. My wife and I had an absolute blast on Saturday. The weather turned out to be perfect. The real treat for us (which was unexpected as we had not been before) was the wine! We walked away with  a pretty healthy amount. The Habit wine was our favorite and I knew I recognized that guy from somewhere....he's the voice and inspiration for the character Jeff in American Dad....funny stuff. We thought Bootleggers and T Cooks were most impressive but everyone put out really quality stuff. I don't think we ever waited more than 30 seconds for bites either. Just a very well run event.....we will be back next year. Might even join the Art Museum....great venue!


Ugh, the shrimp patty thing from Clever Koi was disgusting. It was one of the grosser things I've put in my mouth in a long time and the texture was like cold seafood jellow. I spat it out immediately. They also tried to leave way early and were very rude immature divas to the people running the event. I've noticed the rudest, most insecure chefs are often the worst at their jobs. I will never eat at that restaurant.

The punch was absurdly delicious and worth the price of admission. I want to try to recreate it at home. 

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