Last night at Livewire in Scottsdale, the Scottsdale League for the Arts recognized some of the state's top culinary talent at the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awards ceremony.
The award categories included Chef of the Year, Restaurateur of the Year, and Beverage Master of the Year, among others, with each recipient receiving an Ed Mell-designed trophy and $500 to be donated to the charitable organization of their choosing. This year's ceremony marked the 24th annual Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awards, making the annual event the longest running culinary awards in the state.
The award ceremony, which was open to the public for the first time this year, featured small bites and cocktails from some of last year's Hall of Fame winners. Upward Projects restaurants Joyride Taco House and Postino from 2014 Restaurateur of the Year winners Craig DeMarco and Lauren Bailey provided food, along with 2014 Chef of the Year Aaron Chamberlin's St. Francis. Last year's Mixologist of the Year Micah Olson created two cocktails for the evening.
Last year's winners, including Lifetime Achievement winner Joe Johnston, helped introduce the 2015 nominees.
Here are the 2015 Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame inductees:
Chef of the Year Gio Osso, Virtú
Restaurateur of the Year Sam Fox, Fox Restaurant Concepts
Beverage Master of the Year Travis Nass, Last Drop at Lon's at the Hermosa
Lifetime Achievement Award Glenn Humphrey, Arizona Culinary Institute
Humphrey received the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously; the chef worked at restaurants, resorts, and on cruise ships for years before teaching for more than two decades at local culinary schools. Humphrey passed away in February.
The Scottsdale League for the Arts also recognized Judith Wolf, "a leader in childhood arts education and director of arts programs at Young Arts Arizona," with the Alex Simon Award.
The Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame ceremony serves as the kick-off for the week-long Scottsdale Culinary Festival, which officially begins on Tuesday, April 7. The culinary festival includes a familiar schedule of events such as the Chocolate Wine Experience, Great Arizona Picnic, and Best of the Fest.
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For more information or to purchase tickets to the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, visit the Scottsdale Culinary Festival website.