James Beard Foundation's Taste America Tour Hits the Valley This September

Every year for the last four years, the James Beard Foundation has hit the road for the Taste America Tour, a national, six-week epicurean excursion that stops in 10 cities, including Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, and Boston. The tour includes events throughout each city ranging from free cooking demonstrations and celebrity chefs to blow-out, multi-course dinners prepared by a team of local and nationally recognized chefs. 

And we've got good news, Phoenix. From September 22 to 24, the fourth annual James Beard Foundation Taste America tour will bring a welcome reception, complimentary cooking classes, book signings, auctions, and the headlining event, A Night of Culinary Stars in Phoenix, to multiple spots around the Valley.

The Phoenix stop of the JBF Taste America Tour starts with a welcome reception on Thursday, September 22, at Fox Restaurant Concepts’ Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend at The Yard. From 6 to 8 p.m., attendees can enjoy a cocktail and tasting reception for $75 per person.

Friday, September 23, brings the big night at the Biltmore-area hotel, The Camby. The event starts at 7 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from Gabe Bertaccini of Il Tocco Food, Kelly Fletcher of Crudo, Sacha Levine of Ocotillo, Gertrude’s Matthew Taylor, and Jeff Smedstad of Elote Café in Sedona.

The reception is then followed by a four-course, seated dinner at 8 p.m. A Night of Culinary Stars will feature local chefs including Christopher Gross of Christopher’s and Crush Lounge, host chef Dushyant Singh from the onsite Artizen Crafted American Kitchen & Bar at The Camby, and New York’s Amanda Freitag, a James Beard Award-winning chef and Taste America All-Star as seen on Food Network’s Chopped and American Diner Revival.

Dessert will be enjoyed under the stars, and will be prepared by Eugenia Theodosopoulos of Essence Bakery Café, Tracy Dempsey of Tracy Dempsey Originals in Tempe, and Helen Yung of Sweet Republic in Scottsdale. 

The final day of the JBF Phoenix Taste America tour is Saturday, September 24 and includes free events at Sur La Table at Kierland Commons in Scottsdale. Check out chef demonstrations, cookbook signings, and tastings with Freitag and Gross from 10 a.m. to noon. Reservations are recommended, as kitchen space is limited for cooking demonstrations.

For tickets and reservations for the welcome reception, dinner, and chef demonstrations, visit the James Beard Foundation's Taste America Tour website. For further information, call Robyn Lee at 480-951-2950.