Pie Social 2014: Save the Date for Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row's 5th Annual Event

Categories: Pie Social

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Rachel Miller
Country Velador cleaned up at last year's Pie Social. Who will win this time?
Hey Phoenix, we know that right about now you're all about hot dogs and ice pops, but believe it or not, in some pockets of the city, the fall countdown is on. And at Chow Bella, that means one thing: PIE.

EDITOR'S NOTE: THE DATE OF PIE SOCIAL 2014 HAS BEEN CHANGED TO SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 15.

Specifically, the Fifth Annual Pie Social, presented by Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row. We've set the date, and we want you to save it.


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Pie Social 2013: A Judge's Recap

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Rachel Miller
Handpies from AZ Food Crafters
Judging is hard. I'm not belly-aching about all the pie I had to eat or the cool apron and taffy I got at Saturday's Pie Social. However, assigning a value to someone else's work can be intimidating. Our job is to judge the pie, which is the culmination of their creativity, knowledge, and hard work baked up in what is hopefully a delicious pie. Not a task for the faint of heart or a person on a diet. Five of us got to work judging the 2013 Pie Social celebrity pies.

Here's my recap. I learned which chef made which pie only after the blind judging, by the way.

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The Winners of Pie Social 2013 Are . . .

Categories: Pie Social

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Fourteen celebrity chefs, countless community bakers, 700 attendees, hundreds of pies -- and we won't even try to count the calories.

Come back to the blog later today for a slideshow, and later this week, we'll have a behind-the-scenes account of the competition, complete with a rundown of all the pies.

Pie Social 2013 was the biggest and best yet (if we do say so ourselves) and you ate for a good cause: the Bioscience High School in downtown Phoenix. Chow Bella wants to thank all the chefs, their entourages, the judges, our own staff, and the staff and volunteers of Roosevelt Row (our incredible partner for the event) for a wonderful day.

Oh wait, you're not here for that, are you? You want to know who won. We had an amazing lineup of unique and delicious pies, but it's true, one did stand out among the rest . . .

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9 Tips for Making the Best Pie Ever

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Rachel Miller
Apple crumble pie before baking.

Is everyone ready to eat some pie? Pull out your stretchy pie-eating pants and get your forks ready. Pie Social is happening from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 16.

We all have our own methods for pie making. Many tips and tricks are taught at the rolling pins of our grandmother's and mother's. While our celebrity bakers are well on their way to debuting their pie perfection, we wanted to put together a few tips for our community bakers, to help them rock some tasty pies, too.

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Pie Social 2013: A Field Guide for Saturday, November 16

Categories: Pie Social

There's going to be a lot to see and do at Chow Bella Roosevelt Row's fourth annual Pie Social this Saturday, but don't worry -- there will be plenty of people on the same mission: Drop off the pies (optional), get the tasting tickets, find the best pies, taste, and repeat.

You might need a little help to boost your pie-eating efficiency . . . so here's a peek at our hints and hot spots for the Pie Social on November 16:

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Illustration by Brandon Huigens

(Click here for a full-size printable version.)


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Pie Social 2013: Pie-Ku Contest Winners

Categories: Pie Social

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Chow Bella
The 2012 Pie Social judging table.
Phoenix, you're sheer poetry.

We asked you to write a pie-ku or two (haiku on our favorite topic, PIE) and you did it in droves. We got so many excellent entries, we couldn't pick just one winner.

The grand prize winner of our pie-ku contest will join the judging panel for Saturday's Chow Bella/Roosevelt Pie Social -- and the runners-up will each get a set of tasting tickets.

Check out the pie-ku:

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Want a Pie Social 2013 T-Shirt? We'll Have On-Site Screen Printing at Saturday's Event!

Categories: Pie Social

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Want some Pie Social 2013 swag? Of course, you do! The more reasonable question would probably be who doesn't want to rock a Pie Social tee!

And good news pie fans, you're in luck. AZ Screen Printing will offer on-site screen printing of the image above on your choice of a wearable item. You can either buy a shirt there or bring your own.

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Pie How-To with Tonya Saidi of Mamma Toledo's and The Pie Hole

Categories: Pie Social

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Hayden Harrison
Tonya Saidi

Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fourth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets.

In addition to the celebrity baker lineup, anyone out there can bring two pies in exchange for five tasting tickets. (Or pay $10 for five tickets.) If you are shy about your pie baking, don't fret! Two ladies who bake on Roosevelt Row are here to help us.

Today: Tonya Saidi of Mamma Toledo's Pies & Homemade Desserts

A lot of pie bakers inherit recipes and technique from their mothers and grandmothers. Tonya Saidi watched her mother and saw how she wanted to make her pies different.

"Growing up, my mom use to make apple pies with chunks of apple, and I didn't like apple pie until I made it myself," Saidi says, laughing.

So, Saidi showed us step-by-step how to an apple crumble pie the way she likes it at her store The Pie Hole.


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Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2013

Categories: Pie Social

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Evie Carpenter
Jeff Kraus of Tempe's Crepe Bar
Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fourth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one.

Today: Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar

Since July 2012, Jeff Kraus has been doing truly artistic cuisine at Tempe's Crepe Bar. Here you'll find Nutella-stuffed creations that turn French cuisine on its head with playful tweaks. He's known for his off-the-charts creativity -- and when you meet him in person you can see (or more likely, hear) that this chef's mind is always working.

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Karen Olson of Vonciel's Pies: Pie Social Celebrity Bakers 2013

Categories: Pie Social

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Lauren Saria
Karen Olson of Vonciel's Pie says the only thing that matters is pie.
Forks up, Phoenix! Chow Bella and Roosevelt Row present the fourth annual Pie Social from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at the "What Should Go Here" Pop Up Park at Second and Roosevelt streets. We've got an all-star lineup of bakers making pies for you to taste, and from now till Pie Social, we'll introduce them to you, one by one.

Today: Karen Olson of Vonciel's Pies

Karen Olson really loves pie. We know because she told us more than once when we visited her at Practical Art, where she works when she's not baking at Treehouse Bakery. "It's my go-to," she says, which means she's spent a lot of time perfecting her recipe. Tempe born and raised, Olson says she began baking one Thanksgiving when she and her siblings had to start helping with holiday preparations. Olson chose to take on dessert (pumpkin pie, to be specific) and she says she just never let it go. Baking is a social thing for her, since she often bakes with and for her friends and family. And though it may seem like her math degree from Arizona State University doesn't have much application to her passion, Olson will tell you that's just not true.

"What's the correlation? Pi(e)!"


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