No longer content to rest on its laurels as "The West's Most Western Town," Scottsdale has found new cachet as an oasis of up-and-coming restaurants. Sure, the charms of cowboy culture still get plenty of support, but lately it's as a culinary frontier that the city is really making a name for itself.
Here's proof: The Scottsdale Celebrity Chef Golf Invitational, sponsored by Bon Appetitmagazine, debuts here this weekend. Top local chefs are teaming up with their world-renowned colleagues from other cities for a charity golf event on Saturday, May 18, as well as related dinners, workshops, tastings and a special ArtWalk.
Take a closer look at all the prestigious national awards that local chefs have been collecting, and you'll see why the Valley's restaurant scene is booming. For example, the James Beard Foundation nominated James Boyce of Mary Elaine's for "Best Chef in the Southwest 2002"; Medizona was deemed one of Esquire's "Best New Restaurants in America" in 2000; and Sea Saw's Nobu Fukuda was recently selected by Gourmet as one of the top three sushi chefs in the country.
"In the past two years, Scottsdale has really hit the culinary map, and we continue to drive home the message that our restaurants are at the level of often recognized cities like L.A., Miami and New York," says Laura McMurchie of the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Indeed, the local talent is strong enough to lure big names to tee off to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Co-chairs Daniel Boulud of Daniel, and Todd English of Olives will join guests including Bobby Flay of Bolo, Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu, and Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's for golfing and mingling with the public.
Scottsdale, you're coming in loud and clear on the foodie radar.