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A Sweet Ending for the Devoured Culinary Festival

FnB's butterscotch pudding.
FnB's butterscotch pudding.

FnB's butterscotch pudding.

​Maybe it was the calming influence of arts maven turned Devour Phoenix spokesperson Kimber Lanning, or some new Zen-like mojo brought on by the event's name change, but today's installment of the Devoured Culinary Classic went on without a hitch. 

No fist fights (don't laugh -- I've actually seen them twice at local culinary events). No elbowing people to get one square inch of table space. And very little overlap in the cuisine, which meant guests didn't have to suffer through twenty versions of ceviche or twelve kinds of hummus.

A Sweet Ending for the Devoured Culinary Festival
Bad neighbors: Green vegetarian restaurant and Caffe Boa's dead pig.

Admittedly there were a few comical hitches, like the fact Chef Payton Curry's pig on ice was situated next door to the Green vegetarian food booth (PETA would have a cow). But otherwise, today's Devoured was drama-free and packed with phenomenal eats.

Trends and tons of delectable food photos after the jump. 

Honeymoon Sweets had the prettiest little treats. 
Honeymoon Sweets had the prettiest little treats. 

There were a few obvious trends. For example, Devoured offered more desserts than last year's Taste, West of Western or Scottsdale Culinary Festival. Everyone seemed to have a dessert available, from FnB's butterscotch pudding to District's famed whoopie pies and Cowboy Ciao's fun Frosted Flakes ice cream.

District's gourmet corn dogs and whoopie pies follow the New York trend.
District's gourmet corn dogs and whoopie pies follow the New York trend.

District's gourmet corn dogs and whoopie pies follow the New York trend.

​Which brings me to another trend: real food for real people. Sure, there were savory dishes incorporating foie gras and caviar. But I'd say a good 80% of the grub at Devoured was "accessible" food. Food the average Joes and Jills of Phoenix would be excited to eat. This isn't just a local trend, either. Corn dogs have been spotted on several recent episodes of Iron Chef, and The Shake Shack on New York City's Upper West Side still has a corn dog line a mile long nine months after New York mag named this lowbrow foodstuff an official trend.

Will Chef Bernie Kantak open a restaurant in the 'burbs? Not likely.
Will Chef Bernie Kantak open a restaurant in the 'burbs? Not likely.

former Cowboy Ciao chef Bernie Kantak, who planned to open a five-restaurant complex in downtown Phoenix. That idea has since de-evolved into one singular restaurant. The restaurant doesn't yet have a name, and Kantak is debating a location in prestigious Scottsdale or rising Phoenix.

A few passersby chimed in with their votes for a downtown Phoenix restaurant, while a lady sampling Kantak's delicious shrimp curry grumbled that she wouldn't mind having Kantak in Chandler or Gilbert. While you're holding your breath on that possibility, enjoy these photos of today's Devoured festivities.

Postino's bruschetta is always a hit.
Postino's bruschetta is always a hit.
Chef Roy Pell of the Phoenician made s'mores to die for.
Chef Roy Pell of the Phoenician made s'mores to die for.

 

Fez's lamb tagine burgers.
Fez's lamb tagine burgers.

 

The folks from Pillsbury winery were kept busy.
The folks from Pillsbury winery were kept busy.
Crudo went beyond butterfish, sampling all of their catches from the sea.
Crudo went beyond butterfish, sampling all of their catches from the sea.
The Breadfruit's shrimp curry was unexpectedly mild and refreshing.
The Breadfruit's shrimp curry was unexpectedly mild and refreshing.
Chef Gio Osso of Scottsdale's Estate House.
Chef Gio Osso of Scottsdale's Estate House.
Chef James Porter's Beef Wellington, made with foie gras.
Chef James Porter's Beef Wellington, made with foie gras.
Cowboy Ciao dessert chef Country Velador with her nostalgic Frosted Flakes ice cream.
Cowboy Ciao dessert chef Country Velador with her nostalgic Frosted Flakes ice cream.


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