West of Western is no more at the Phoenix Art Museum, but the show must go on.
The fifth annual installment of the popular culinary festival took place at the museum this past March. In March 2010, look for an all-new culinary fest at the museum called "Devoured," sponsored by a just-launched non-profit organization called Devour Phoenix.
Devour Phoenix is a group of independently owned local restaurants who've joined forces to promote Phoenix as a dining destination -- along the lines of what Savor Scottsdale does for indie eateries in that city.
Indeed, spokeswoman Kimber Lanning tells me that the group already has strong ties to Savor Scottsdale and The Tucson Originals, thanks to their involvement with Local First Arizona. Lanning is also director of Local First.
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"Devour Phoenix will operate under the umbrella of Local First," Lanning explains. "Not so much legally, but as a forum to share purchasing power, share ideas, and share marketing. And of course you have to be a local business to join."
Currently, there are 35 verbally committed members, and the inaugural steering committee includes Craig DeMarco (Postino), Lisa Giungo (Lisa G Cafe & Wine Bar), chef Silvana Salcido Esparza (Barrio Cafe), Michael Krassner (Cibo), Ken Cheuvront (Cheuvront Restaurant & Wine Bar), Bill Smith (Stoudemire's, Bar Smith), chef Damon Brasch (That's a Wrap, Green), DJ Fernandes (Tuck Shop), and Tom Jetland (Fez, Switch, Ticoz).
As for the culinary festival, Lanning says that Devoured will be much more chef-driven, and that there will be more events in the program.
Look for Devour Phoenix's official launch this September.