James Beard Foundation's Taste America Tour Returns to Phoenix This Fall (You'd Better Start Saving Now)

For the second year, the James Beard Foundation will make a ten-city tour around the country, hosting dinner events, cooking demonstrations, book signings, and more with James Beard Award-winning chefs. This year the tour comes to Phoenix during September for a weekend full of star-studded events and one sure-to-impress dinner hosted by the Royal Palms Resort and Spa.

If it's anything like last year's "Best Chefs: Southwest" dinner, then it's going to be a knock-out event -- the only catch being the $250 per person price tag. We're not saying it won't be worth it, but you'd better start saving now.

See also: - James Beard Foundation's Taste America Tour "Best Chefs: Southwest" Celebration - James Beard Foundation Taste America Tour, 10/18/13 (SLIDESHOW)

From September 12 through October 25 the James Beard Foundation's Taste America: "Local Flavor from Coast To Coast" tour will stop in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Each city will begin the two-day event with a four-course collaborative dinner between a Taste America All-Star and a local celebrity chef.

The dinner in Phoenix will be held on Friday, September 12 at The Royal Palms Resort and Spa. The A Night of Culinary Stars event will begin with a walk-around reception featuring food and drinks from five of local chefs:

  • Charleen Badman (FnB;)
  • Cullen Campbell (Crudo)
  • Joshua Hebert (Posh)
  • Gio Osso (Virtu)
  • Silvana Salcida Esparza (Barrio Café)

Afterward guests will sit down for a four-course dinner from Taste America All-Star chef Sherry Yard of Helms Bakery, Phoenix's own Kevin Binkley, and host chef Paul McCabe of T. Cook's. Yard, a renowned pastry chef, has worked at top restaurants including Rainbow Room in New York and many restaurants in the Wolfgang Puck empire.

Tickets to the dinner start at $250 a person ($2,500 for a table) and can be purchased online.

On Saturday, the tour will head to Sur La Table at Scottsdale Fashion Square for a day of free, in-store events. The day begins at 10:30 a.m. with a cooking demonstration from chef Yard, followed by a demo from Chris Bianco of Pizzeria Bianco at 1 p.m. Throughout the day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will also be book signings and tastings from local producers and artisans.

All events are free but space will be limited for the demonstrations. You'll be able to RSVP to save a seat on the Taste America website.

A portion of the proceeds from the Taste America Tour will go to the James Beard Foundation. The event is presented by Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature, so Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature cardmembers will also have exclusive benefits not available to the public.

For more information about the tour and scheduled events, check out the James Beard Taste America Tour website.

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