Chef Robert McGrath hosts fellow celeb chefs at Taste America

Ooh, I finally got a hold of the menu for next week's big James Beard Foundation event, Taste America. Check out what Arizona's culinary rock stars -- all James Beard Award winners for Best Chef: Southwest -- are planning for the foodie confab:

Miniature Lobster Rolls with Celery-Tarragon Tartar Sauce Sweet Corn Parfaits with American Caviar Prepared by Bradford Thompson

Spicy Lamb's Tongue Tacos with Chilitepin Salsa Crab Shots with Cucumber and Horseradish Cream Prepared by Janos Wilder


Assorted Sashimi Plate Yellowtail with Grapefruit, Avocado, Ponzu and White Truffle Oil Sockeye Salmon Gravlax with Soy Roasted Almonds, Basil Oil, and Soy Balsamic Reduction Tuna Tataki with Roast Beet Puree Madai Ceviche Style with Trio of Chips Hirame with McClendon Farms Yuzu Prepared by Nobuo Fukuda

Beet and Goat Cheese Tower Prepared by Vincent Guerithault

Lamb Entrée Prepared by Robert McGrath

Parnassienne Prepared by Christopher Gross

Still to come are Chris Bianco and RoxSand Scocos' mystery dishes, as well as the specifics on Robert McGrath's lamb dish. But what the heck, McGrath is playing host that night, too, so he's off the hook.

(Although Restaurant REM, McGrath's new eatery, is still under construction and won't be opening 'til December, guests will get a sneak peek at the new place during the Taste America reception, which will take place inside the lobby. The dinner itself will be held in a big event tent outside.)

This all-star dinner -- which includes the reception, the dinner with wine pairings, plus a post-meal reception with live entertainment -- takes place next Friday, September 28, at 7 p.m. at Restaurant REM, 7107 E. Lincoln Dr. Tickets don't come cheap at $250 apiece, but it's worth it, and not just because of the food -- this is a fundraiser commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Beard Foundation, and part of the proceeds will benefit the Arizona's Careers Through the Culinary Arts Program. (Hopefully it'll help spawn a whole new generation of Beard award contenders.) Call Robyn Lee at 480-951-2950 for tickets.

The next day, on Saturday, the 29th, hit up the Williams-Sonoma at Scottsdale Fashion Square, where Barbara Fenzl from Les Gourmettes Cooking School and Linda Hopkins from Les Petites Gourmettes Children's Cooking School will give free cooking demonstrations, and you'll be able to taste free samples from Schnepf Farms and Queen Creek Olive Mill.

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