This spring, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and the Scottsdale League for the Arts will honor outstanding members of the food and beverage community with induction into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame. Chefs, restaurateurs, mixologists, and other members of the culinary industry have been nominated for the awards, which are meant to "honor culinary forward-thinkers as well as hospitality movers and shakers for their dedicated passion and contributions to the realm of culinary arts."
Nominees fall into four categories -- Chef of the Year, Restaurateur of the Year, Beverage Master of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement -- with four nominations in each category. Winners will each be given an Ed Mell-designed trophy, as well as $500 to be donated to the charity of their choosing.
Voting begins today and will be open online through Monday, March 17. Winners will then be announced on Sunday, April 13, at the Wine Country Brunch, a part of the Scottsdale Culinary Festival.
Chef of the Year An outstanding chef who continues to distinguish his or herself with innovative, high-quality cuisine, breakthrough menu, and outstanding execution.
- Aaron Chamberlin - St. Francis & Phoenix Public Market Cafe
- Charleen Badman - FnB
- Gio Osso - Virtú
- Mel Mecinas - Four Seasons Resorts & Spas
Restaurateur of the Year The restaurateur who exhibited exceptional operations, expansion (if applicable), and community development.
- Bob Lynn - LGO Hospitality
- Craig DeMarco & Lauren Bailey - Upward Projects
- Kevin & Amy Binkley - Binkley's
- Sam Fox - Fox Restaurant Concepts
Beverage Master of the Year The mixologist, beverage director, or sommelier who exhibited outstanding leadership behind the bar or in the wine cellar.
- Brent Karlicek - Upward Projects Beverage Director
- Kim Haasarud - Liquid Architecture, Arizona Cocktail Week
- Micah Olson - Bar Crudo
- Richie Moe - Citizen Public House
- Travis Nass - The Last Drop at Lon's at the Hermosa
Lifetime Achievement The person who has exhibited long-term excellence in the Arizona culinary industry.
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- Glen Humphrey - director at Arizona Culinary Institute.
- Joe Johnston - founder of Agritopia, Joe's Real BBQ, and Joe's Farm Grill
- Christopher Gross - chef and owner of Christopher's & Crush Lounge
- Howard Seftel - restaurant critic at the Arizona Republic
You can cast your vote using the 23rd Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame Voting Ballot.