Don't spoil your appetite on the weekend of March 15 and 16!
That's when the West of Western Culinary Festival will bring a jaw-dropping lineup of some of Arizona's most high-profile chefs into one central location for guests to sip wine, sample delicious foods, and socialize all afternoon. Considering all the great dishes at last year's festival, you'd better start making room in your stomach right now.
This is West of Western's fourth annual event, and it's already gained a reputation as a major attraction for the Phoenix foodie community. The caliber of the chefs and the variety of the restaurants represented, the creativity of their lavish displays, and the quality of the wine tasting -- which will feature more than 70 wines from around the world -- is too impressive to pass up.
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In the past, the festival was held completely outdoors, but this year, the Phoenix Art Museum will be the host and co-presenter. What that amounts to is the luxury of indoor accomodations for the wine tasting -- to be held in the museum's Great Hall -- as well as for a variety of programming. There will be lectures (including a presentation by Tracie Ryder and Carole Topalian, co-founders of Edible Communities), chef demonstrations, kids' activities, and docent-lead museum tours. As an added bonus, the ticket price includes general admission to the museum.
There will also be a Desert Diversity Expo, and two stages of live music.
Everything happens between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16. Advance tickets -- which are probably a very good idea -- are $75 (adult full day, wine and food pass), $67 (adult full day, food only pass), and $22 (full day pass for ages 9 -15). Children under 9 will get free admission with an adult.
Now check out this list of participating chefs (confirmed as of yesterday) and tell me if you aren't already feeling a little hungry: Brian Archibald, Tuscany, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Paul "P.T." Barnum, 56 East & 98 South Justin Beckett, Canal Frank Belosic, The Terrace, The Phoenician Matt Carter, Zinc Bistro Paul Carter, The Phoenician MJ Coe, MJ Bread Tammie Coe, Tammie Coe Cakes Jackie Cueto, Ninetta's Passion Bistro Payton Curry, Digestif Urban Enoteca Tracy Dempsey, Confection Ron Dimas, The Estate House Carolyn Ellis, Arcadia Farms Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café Patrick Fegan, Olive & Ivy Ivan Flowers, Gallery on Oak Creek, Amara Resort & Spa Patrick Gaudet, Arizona Kitchen, Wigwam Resort & Golf Club Lionel Geuskins, Trente-Cinq 35 Lisa Giungo, Lisa G Cafe Wine Bar Tony Hamati, Bravo Bistro Olashawn Hasadinratana, Wild Thaiger Marc Hennessy, Meritage, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Vinny De John, Whole Foods Market Scottsdale Deborah Knight, Mosaic Greg LaPrad, Quiessence Danielle Librera, The Sweet Pea Wendy Little, The Latilla, The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa Ehren Litzenberger, Taggia, FireSky Resort Aaron May, Sol y Sombra Spanish Kitchen & Lounge Mel Mecinas, Talavera, Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale Matthew McLinn, Méthode Bistro Marty Murray, Whole Foods Market Paradise Valley Sergio Ochoa, Phoenix Art Museum Café Michael O'Dowd, Kai, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Mary Paganelli, TOCA Food Systems Anthony Patafio, Four Seasons Resort, Scottsdale Angelo Petrilli, Javino's Michel Pieton, The Boulders Resort & Golden Door Spa Alicia Popple, del Piero, Queen Creek Olive Mill James Porter, Tapino Kitchen Daniel Roman, C4, The Clarendon Hotel Roberto Sanchez, Windows on the Green, The Phoenician Scott Simpson, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Michael Stebner, The Greene House Jack Strong, Kai, Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Hiro Tanaguchi, Kizake Scott Tompkins, Skye Fine Dining Claudio Urciuoli, Different Pointe of View Chad Withycombe, Mucho Gusto Jeffery Yankellow, Simply Bread Kurt Zuger, Wigwam Resort & Golf Club