Lester Gonzalez of Cowboy Ciao Chef Demonstration 11:15 a.m. on the SubZero Wolf Stage
We can't help liking Cowboy Ciao's executive chef Lester Gonzalez, who's been with the Scottsdale restaurant for more than a decade. Gonzalez, who's got a knack for crafting eclectic but approachable cuisine, trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale and started his career at Cowboy Ciao as a line cook. He's one of the humblest chefs we know and we can't wait to see what he'll be making at the event.
Robert McGrath: Chef Demonstration 11:30 a.m. on the Safeway Grilling Stage
Last year, we were impressed by Robert McGrath's super-smooth demo, which offered plenty of laughs and entertainment in addition to helpful cooking tips. McGrath has been nominated for the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef: Southwest award five times and also hosts the PBS Eight show, during which local restaurants get reviewed by citizen critics.
Christopher Gross: Wine Seminar 12:30 p.m. on the Chow Bella Stage
Gross has been in the business for decades, winning numerous awards and recognition, including a James Beard award and the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence. At the festival, the chef will be sharing his knowledge of wines -- and pouring some too, so you can drink while you learn.