Help Wanted: Phoenix New Times Freelance Restaurant Critic

Categories: Chow Bella

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Phoenix New Times has an immediate opening for a journalist who has a sophisticated understanding of food and the skill to write about it in an engaging way.

We publish food and restaurant news in multiple formats - criticism, daily stories and long-form features. Ideal candidates will have a solid culinary background, either self-taught or through professional kitchen experience or education. This is a contract/freelance opportunity.

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Arizona Distilling Co. to Release Grain-to-Bottle Whiskey Made With White Sonoran Wheat

Categories: Chow Bella

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Courtesy of Arizona Distilling Co.
Matt Cummins of Arizona Distilling Co. stands in a field of white Sonoran wheat.
A few weeks ago, the guys behind Tempe's award-winning Arizona Distilling Co. drove out to the middle of the desert to stand in the field of grain pictured above. And while the hip-high stalks of wheat might not look like much, that wheat eventually will become Arizona's first grain-to-bottle whiskey made with white Sonoran wheat.

"What's growing out there right now will end up in that barrel," says distiller Matt Cummins excitedly.

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Yupha's Thai Kitchen in Tempe Serves Satisfying Thai at an Affordable Price

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Kristy Westgard
Kanoom jeeb at Yupha's Thai Kitchen
Finding a Thai restaurant in the Valley is no problem. Finding an honest to goodness, true Thai place in the Valley -- now that's a struggle. Here at Chow Bella, we feel the pain of those cold, lonely nights when satisfyingly spicy Thai food cannot be found. Good news: We've found the remedy in a busy little shopping plaza in Tempe.

Located right next door to Pollack Tempe Cinemas, a bustling budget movie theater known for its $3 movies and collection of life-sized wax figures, Yupha's Thai Kitchen holds its own. A peek into the restaurant's large-windowed wall reveals a lush dining space, complete with a gold-faced Thai Buddha serenely watching over all his visitors.

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Choctal Single-Origin Ice Cream Comes to Phoenix

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Zaida Dedolph
Choctal's vanilla ice creams are anything but.

Heads up, dessert enthusiasts: California-based Choctal Ice Cream is now available at every AJ's Fine Foods store in the Valley. The California-based ice-creamery, who describe themselves as a "company with a global conscience," sell 8 different varieties of single-source chocolate and vanilla ice creams. These seemingly simple frozen treats are anything but -- each possesses a unique character that'll make you reevaluate everything you thought you knew about chocolate and vanilla.


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The Great Arizona Picnic 2015: Hits and Misses From the Scottsdale Culinary Festival's Signature Event

Categories: Chow Bella, Events

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Kristy Westgard
Tropical entremet from Caketini
Over the weekend the Great Arizona Picnic (GAP) rounded out a week of food-centric festivities during the 2015 Scottsdale Culinary Festival. This two-day marquee event brings more than 40 restaurants to the Civic Center Mall in downtown Scottsdale to serve up signature dishes to attendees, who indulged in good food as well as live music and beautiful weather.

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10 Best Places for Brunch in Metro Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

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Jenny Zink
The "B.E.S.T." Breakfast Sandwich at Morning Glory Cafe is a toasted sandwich with bacon, egg, spinach, tomato, Gruyere cheese, and mayo.
Why is it that people love brunch so much? Maybe it's because brunch doesn't make you stick to the typical mealtime restraints. Want eggs and a cocktail and a burger, all at once? At brunch, we can do that. Or maybe it's because it gives you a good excuse to order a cocktail (or three) in the middle of the day. In any case, the fact remains that combining breakfast and lunch into one meal was a very good idea.

Lucky for all you brunch lovers around town, there's no shortage of places to sit down for a solid mid-morning or midday meal in the Valley. Whether you're looking for a dark place to brunch away a hangover or an airy patio to enjoy with a cocktail in hand and a couple of friends, we've got the 10 best restaurants in Phoenix for brunch.


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Veggie Valet Debuts at Uptown Farmers Market in North Central Phoenix

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Zaida Dedolph
Multi-colored John's Amish Country carrots, peeled and prepped by the Veggie Valet.

The Uptown Farmers Market has a convenient new vendor: the Veggie Valet. The Valet is a project of the Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP, for short), which provides high school students with job training in the culinary industry.

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5 Favorite Dishes from Check, Please! Arizona Last Weekend in Downtown Phoenix

Categories: Chow Bella

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Jenny Zink
Betty's Nosh served angry shrimp stuffed mushrooms.
The third annual Check, Please! Arizona (co-sponsored by New Times) was a crowded success, with shade, trash cans, and seats at a premium. What wasn't hard to find was good food. We had trouble narrowing it to our five favorites, but that's what we've done here.

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7 Tips for Taking Better Food Photos

Categories: Chow Bella

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Evie Carpenter
The directional light in this photo leads the viewer's eye right to the octopus.
Let's all be honest for a second. It's not just technology-obsessed millennials who photograph their food anymore. We all live in the age of food porn. At some point or another, we've all been guilty of patiently fighting off hunger as we try to get that perfect snapshot of our lunch.

But whether you're simply sending the pic to your friend or posting it online for all of the Internet to see, there's no reason why that food photo shouldn't look the best that it can. And that's doesn't mean you need fancy, expensive camera. All of the example photos were taken with an iPhone, so grab whatever camera you have, take notes, and good luck choosing just one frame to share.


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Huevos Rancheros: The Traditional, Sometimes Underplayed Mexican Dish

Categories: Chow Bella

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Natalie Miranda
A very loaded huevos rancheros plate from La Barquita.

There's nothing better than waking up to a hearty Mexican breakfast. Questions often arise as to what the traditional Mexican breakfast is. Some say it's menudo, for some it's chilaquiles, and still others will argue huevos rancheros.

We're fans of them all, but huevos rancheros seems to get drowned out by the other more popular items.


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