The folks behind Crave Arizona set the bar really high with the event's debut last year (it was originally dubbed Eats3), but round two, set for October 22 to 24, promises to be an even bigger culinary blowout, featuring 50 high-profile Arizona chefs and a handful of celebrity guests who'll lure Valley foodies to SouthBridge and various locales in Old Town Scottsdale.
Among the food and beverage experts involved in the festivities, look for national luminaries like Michael Mina and Douglas Rodriguez. Top Chefs Stephanie Izard and Sam Talbot will also make the scene, as well as Food + Wine Best New Chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal restaurant in Los Angeles.
Things get cooking on Thursday with three different events.
Starting at 7 p.m., the free Taste of Art ArtWalk event will feature wine, food samples, and lots of art around Scottsdale's gallery district. Marshall-LeKAE gallery will host a five-course dinner ($150) with winemaker Fritz Maytag and chef Douglas Rodriguez at 8 p.m., and the Crave Arizona kickoff party ($25) at 9 p.m. will showcase sweets, drinks, and the National Top Bar Chef Competition at the bridge at the Scottsdale Waterfront.
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Various wine tastings and luncheons ($50) are scheduled for Friday afternoon at a handful of Scottsdale restaurants, while Friday night's BBQ and Bubbles soiree ($100), also taking place on the Waterfront bridge, will bring together high-profile chefs and and hungry guests with tastings, music from Big Nick & the Gila Monsters, a silent auction, and plenty of bubbles, beer, and wine.
Saturday's big finale, starting at noon on the bridge, will be the Arizona Grand Tasting ($75), with tastings from more than 40 restaurants and 200 wineries, wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, and a good-looking crowd. Show up ready to eat and drink the afternoon away.
Visit the Crave website for tickets and additional details.