Every spring, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and the Scottsdale League for the Arts honor some of the Valley's top chefs, restaurateurs, and mixologists with induction into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame. Last year's winners included well-known names such as Chef of the Year Aaron Chamberlin of St. Francis, Beverage Master of the Year Micah Olson of Bar Crudo, and Restaurateur(s) of the Year Craig DeMarco and Lauren Bailey of Upward Projects.
The next round of winners will be announced on Monday, March 30, at a ceremony held at LiveWire in Scottsdale. A panel including chefs, mixologists, media, farmers, organization leaders, and board members will vote on winners from the list of 2015 nominees.
Here are the 2015 nominees:
Chef of the Year An outstanding chef who continues to distinguish his or her self with innovative, high-quality cuisine, breakthrough menu and outstanding execution.
- Charleen Badman - FnB
- Gio Osso - Virtú
- Mel Mecinas - Four Seasons Scottsdale Resort
- Justin Beckett - Beckett's Table, Southern Rail
Beverage Master of the Year The mixologist, beverage director or sommelier that exhibited outstanding leadership behind the bar or in the wine cellar.
- Kim Haasarud - Liquid Architecture, AZ Cocktail Week
- Ross Simon - Bitter & Twisted, AZ Cocktail Week
- Travis Nass - Last Drop at Lon's at the Hermosa
- Bill Degroot - SumoMaya
- Jonathan Buford/ Brett Dettler/Patrick Ware - Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company
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Restaurateur of the Year The restaurateur who has exhibited exceptional operations, expansion (if applicable), and community development.
- Mastro's Family - Steak 44, Michael Dominick's
- Sam Fox - Fox Restaurant Concepts
- Maggiore Family - Tomaso's, Tommy V's, Vivo Ristorante, Cuttlefish
- Larry Foles and Guy Villavaso - Salty Sow, Hopdoddy, Roaring Fork, Eddie V's
Unlike in past years, tickets to the ceremony will be available to the public for $25. The event will include appearances from all of last year's winners, who will also present small bites for attendees. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase a ticket visit the Arizona Culinary Festival website.