Scottsdale Culinary Festival's Best of the Fest 2014: Beautiful Tablescapes, Memorable Food
The weeklong Scottsdale Culinary Fest came to an extravagant end last night at the annual Best of the Fest dinner held at the Scottsdale Hyatt Regency. The event brought out eight of the Valley's top chefs who each prepared a coursed dinner for two tables of guests. It's a sort of unofficial competition between the restaurants to put together impressive and elaborate tablescapes that either reflect the restaurant or the chef's menu of the night.
Lauren Saria Chef Matt Carter of Zinc Bistro prepared a smoked veal New York with black truffle and grilled baby corn.
See also: 10 Best Culinary Events in Metro Phoenix
We were assigned to dine at one of the tables assigned to chef Matt Carter of The Mission, Zinc Bistro, and The House Brasserie. For the evening Carter represented Zinc Bistro, the stylish French restaurant located at Keirland Commons in Scottsdale. Carter's six course dinner was paired with an impressive lineup of wines from O'Connell Family Wines.
Lauren Saria Our favorite tables came courtesy of Wright's at the Biltmore.
Of all the Scottsdale Culinary Festival events, Best of the Fest is a hands-down favorite. Unlike some of the other festival events, which offer plenty of entertainment and fun but lose points on quality of the food, this dinner focuses on the chefs, the wine, and still promises a memorable time. The community-style tables mean you're almost guaranteed to meet new people while you share a delicious meal.
Carter's menu started with a dish of foie royal, a creamy mousse of foe gras, topped with frais de bois (wild strawberries), fried capers, strawberry aigre doux, and crispy shallots. The combination of rich foie, salty shallots, and sweet strawberries played perfectly against the oatmeal crisp. It was a playful way to start the meal, albeit also a slightly complicated one.
Lauren Saria Carter's second course of foie royal.