Phoenix Resident Natanya Spears on MasterChef Auditions and Meeting the Judges

Categories: Chow Bella

natanya-spears-masterchef.jpg
Courtesy of Natanya Spears
The Phoenix resident will appear on Fox's reality television show MasterChef.
Fans of Fox's hit television series MasterChef know that the show searches for the best of the nation's home cooks and then lets them compete in a series of culinary challenges to win a cookbook deal and a $250,000 grand prize. The show's fifth season premiers next week and on Monday, May 26 the top 30 contestants will travel to Los Angeles to present their signature dishes to judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot and Joe Bastianich.

Among them will be Phoenix resident Natanya Spears a mother and construction coordinator who says she'd considered opening a restaurant but never thought she'd end up on reality T.V.

"I just never had the notion that I'd want to do anything on the level on MasterChef," Spears says.

More »

Mexican Sushi: A Trend We Hope Doesn't Stick

Categories: Chow Bella

sushi_miranda5.jpg
Natalie Miranda
Guamuchilito roll from Señor Sushi

Mexican sushi. That's one fusion we never thought would exist and one we're not too sure we want to stick around.

Apparently it is a thing, since there are at least two spots in metro Phoenix that craft the rolls.

Señor Sushi on Indian School and 43rd Avenue and Taco Kissi on Bethany Home are the two Mexican sushi places. We braved Señor Sushi and took on a few of their rolls to see what this trend is all about.

More »

A Take on 2 Thai Cooking Schools, Plus Recipes

BlueEl_Dining.jpg
Kate Crowley
Dining after class at the Blue Elephant Cooking School

Having recently traveled to Asia to attend classes at a few cooking schools, I brought back a number of great recipes, memories and a long list of ingredients not available at Fry's. While in Thailand I had the opportunity to attend day long classes at two very different schools. Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School in Chiang Mai and Blue Elephant Cooking School in Bangkok. If you're considering traveling to Thailand and want to decide where to cook, read on for a glimpse into what each school offers and two great recipes direct from each school.

More »

Eat, Drink, and Be Pretty Last Night at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Categories: Chow Bella

EatDrinkPrettyIrei.jpg
Alissa Irei
Scottsdale Culinary Festival's annual Eat, Drink, and Be Pretty event brings together style, sustenance, and spirits in one rollicking bash.

The Scottsdale Culinary Festival's Eat, Drink, and Be Pretty fête is arguably more about seeing and being seen than it is about eating -- Be Pretty, Drink, and Eat might be a more apropos name. It's the sort of event that doesn't favor any foods too messy or cumbersome; if you can't eat it without smearing your lipstick, you probably won't find it at the party. But while the food wasn't of the no-holds-barred sort you'll see at, say, the festival's Burger Battle, neither did it disappoint.

More »

Cakes and Ribbon Bakery Serves Up Sweet Tres Leches Cake and Cupcakes

cakesmiranda_5.JPG
Natalie Miranda
Cakes and Ribbon Bakery

When a new spot opens in town, we can't wait to check it out -- and let you know our initial impressions, share a few photos, and dish about some menu items. First Taste, as the name implies, is not a full-blown review, but instead a peek inside restaurants that have just opened, sampling a few items, and satisfying curiosities (yours and ours).

More »

Corazon Mexican Cocina in Central Phoenix: Homemade Horchata and Chilaquiles Off the Beaten Path

Categories: Chow Bella

corazon_miranda6.jpg
Natalie Miranda
Corazon Mexican Cocina

Several members of the Chow Bella team noticed a now brightly painted Mexican restaurant, Corazon Mexican Cocina, and sent me to investigate.

Before the facelift, the spot was known as Altamar Mexican Grill and still operates under the same owners. We approached with the question: Truly authentic Mexican food, or another wasted attempt at finding treasure in an unexpected spot?

More »

5 Things to Know When Traveling to Cooking Schools Abroad

Categories: Chow Bella

thaicookingschool.jpg
Kate Crowley
The Blue Elephant Cooking School is a fancy place to learn to cook in Bangkok

Having traveled abroad recently for a series of cooking classes, it became apparent to me that there are some things to "know before you go."

Here it is, stuff you should keep in mind as you book a trip of a lifetime to learn how to cook native cuisine in the country of your choice....If you want to keep your dignity and your digits.


More »

5 Things Your Server Really Doesn't Want You To Do

Categories: Chow Bella

waitress-vintage-wikimedia.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
If you treat your server kind, you'll get served just fine.
Everyone who plans on ever dining out should be forced to serve, at least for a month or two. Then maybe folks would have a little more compassion for the fine ladies and gentlemen who take care of them from the greasy spoon diners to the upscale steakhouses. While we don't expect y'all to rush out and do a stint of serving for empathy's sake, we do have some suggestions on what you should never do to make the restaurant scene better for servers and you alike.

More »

Laurie Notaro's Clean Your Plate (Then Take a Picture of It) Club

Categories: Chow Bella

cheeseburgerafter.JPG
Laurie Notaro
Diner cheeseburger, after.

When my meal arrives, whether I'm patronizing Waffle House or a restaurant with real tablecloths, that signals to me that it is time to eat. That's the green light that lets this little cow know it's time to feed.

But in some people, that gene is apparently mutated and signals to them that it's time for a photo shoot.

I've been dinner companions with these people, those who move the plate for the best light, change the filter and the lens to capture the image pristinely -- all while the rest of us look on, mumbling "not fucking again" under our breaths while our food sheds its ripeness as we wait for the Cecil Beaton of grilled cheese sandwiches to call it a wrap.

When I was in fifth grade, I made my first tomato sandwich -- Wonder bread, tomatoes, mayonaise and salt -- that spurned a lifelong affair with tomato sandwiches that continues to this day. I once had a filet mignon at Harris' that was so lovely I couldn't stop humming. A burrito at Casa Reynoso can inspire the same reaction, if not augmented by a tiny little dance. But oddly, I do not have photographs of these dear friends, nor would I have a desire to turn the pages of my Meal Photo Memories Book back to that tomato sandwich to gaze longingly at it 35 years later, even if I did.

Why? Because I'm an asshole, but I'm not that asshole.


More »

Maya's Farm CSA Accepting Applications Now for Spring Season

Categories: Chow Bella

MayasFarmEggplantHoch.JPG
Heather Hoch
Rosa Bianca Eggplant from Maya's Farm
There's no need to run all over town just to get your hands on fresh, local produce. Not when you can sign up for a CSA, or community-supported agriculture.

Maya's Farm, a small enterprise run by Maya Dailey within The Farm at South Mountain development, offers CSA members a weekly allotment of fresh, hand-picked, certified organic produce. The spring CSA season starts Friday, April 11 and Maya's Farm is accepting applications now.

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...