By New Times
By Robrt L. Pela
By Lauren Saria and Heather Hoch
By Deborah Sussman
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Eric Schaefer
By Heather Hoch
News You Can Use: Here comes the holiday season. How can you make yours a little more memorable?
The American Heart Association doesn't want you eating your heart out. So it's presenting a series of classes/dinners, presided over by some big-name Valley chefs. All the recipes adhere to the association's guideline dictating that 30 percent or fewer of the calories come from fat.
The schedule: December 7 -- Mark Tarbell (Tarbell's) and Chris Bianco (Pizzeria Bianco); January 11 -- Donna Nordin (Cafe Terra Cotta); February 1 -- Norman Fierros (Norman's Arizona); March 14 -- Charles Wiley (The Boulders); April 11 -- James Boyce (Mary Elaine's); May 9 -- Tony Hamati (Bravo Bistro); June 6 -- Razz Kamnitzer (Razz's).
The sessions are held at the Halle Heart Center, 2929 South 48th Street in Tempe, starting at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $55, with a $5 discount if you buy two or more. For more info or reservations, call 602-414-5359.
Looking for a place to hold your Christmas party? The proprietor of the wonderful Coup Des Tartes has bought the car audio store adjacent to the restaurant and turned it into a "private event facility" called Rendez-Vous. It can accommodate from 15 to 40 people, and will offer different menus from the Coup Des Tartes files. A big plus: Like the restaurant, it's BYOB, so you can save a bundle on alcohol. For more info, call 602-212-1363.
Got an extra $135 in your pocket? On November 9, you can dispose of it at T. Cook's, in the stylish Royal Palms Hotel. Several chefs are putting together a Friends of James Beard Benefit dinner. Among them: T. Cook's own Michael Hoobler, Mark Tarbell and Alessandro Stratta (formerly of Mary Elaine's, now heading Renoir at the Mirage in Las Vegas). The Beard Society's dinners are usually over-the-top gastronomic fests, and I expect this one to be no different. The $135 tag ($125 for members) includes tax and tip. For reservations call 602-8080766.
Want an excuse to tour rich people's fancy homes and eat high-end fare at the same time? Book a spot in the 11th annual Tour de Noel, which runs four tours December 3 through December 5.
Presented by the American Society of Interior Designers, each tour makes stops at several homes, all decked out for the holidays by an ASID designer.
The December 3 tour features hors d'oeuvres and wine, presented by Norman Fierros, Vincent Guerithault and Patrick Poblete (Lon's at the Hermosa). The December 4 lunch tour is catered by Donna Nordin and Charles Kassels (Barmouche). That same day, dinner is compliments of Reed Groban (Scottsdale Princess) and Michael Hoobler. Brunch on December 5 is dished out by Vincent Guerithault and Skip Hause (Fabulous Food). For prices, info and reservations, call 480-951-2950.
Suggestions? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org orNew Times, P.O. Box 2510, Phoenix, AZ 85002.