This weekend, April 13 and 14, the 41st annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival will be hitting the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall (7380 East Second Street, Scottsdale) with all the confidence of a food festival with four decades of experience. The event features more than 35 area restaurants, a dozen chef and cooking demonstrations, beer gardens, a chocolate and wine tour, food trucks, live music — you name it.
The two-day event is hosted by the Scottsdale League for the Arts. It promises a trip around the culinary globe for attendees, who will receive passport-style guide books to tick off their progress. Get ready to check off spots like Aioli Gourmet Burgers, Don Jose Mexican Food, Famous 48, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, La Senora at The Saguaro Hotel, Nitro Live Icecreamery, Pokitrition, Rodizio Grill – The Brazilian Steakhouse, Sushi Roku, Trap Haus BBQ, Butta Cakes, and more.
Also on deck are culinary demonstrations from Mark Lewis of Chmachyakyakya Kurikuri on foraging, Chef Aimee Novak from the University of Arizona’s Cooperative Extension, chef and Chopped champ Jennifer Caraway of The Joy Bus. More demos are on the docket, as well as performances from the band Berlin ("Take My Breath Away").
Other experiences will include the free Tito's Handmade Vodka deck, which packs in vendors like AZ Distilling Co., Jackson Family Wines, and yes, RC Cola. Additionally, Four Peaks Beer Garden will offer samples from Helio Basin, Mother Road Brewing, Huss Brewing Co., and, of course, more.
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Hours are noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, April 14. General admission tickets are $12 online in advance, which are still available, and $15 at the gate. It's free for ages 12 and under. Food and beverages do cost extra.
Four Peaks Beer Garden tickets are $42 online and include 20 beer samples, a souvenir tasting mug, and festival admission. Scottsdale Culinary Festival VIP tickets include special entertainment viewing access, catered food in the VIP tent, a punchcard for complimentary drinks throughout the festival, and Four Peaks Beer Garden access. Cost is $150 for Saturday and $125 for Sunday for those 21 and over.
For more information and tickets, see the Scottsdale Culinary Festival website.