Chow Bella

Chow Bella's Top Phoenix Food Stories of the Week

Every week, there's a cornucopia of Phoenix food news, features, and reviews to report here at Chow Bella. If you're like most people, you probably just don't have the time to get to all of it. It's kind of like those burgers at Old Town Whiskey; it just won't all fit in your mouth ... or in this case, your day. So, here's a recap of some of the top stories from the week that you may have missed.

Bites & Dishes: When Is a Recipe Truly Yours?

For many of us, we couldn't care less if Mom's apple pie is really Mom's or something she lifted from a cookbook -- we just know it tastes good. But for Valley chefs who are in the business of creating signature dishes for diners, when can they truly claim a recipe as their own? Laura Hahnefeld asked a few of them for their thoughts. Here's what they had to say.

--Laura Hahnefeld

Kentucky Fried Quail Conundrum: The Praying Monk vs Blue Hound Kitchen

When we saw Kentucky Fried Quail pop up on the menu at Aaron May's newest venture, Praying Monk, we were intrigued and pretty excited to try one of these little birds covered in batter and deep fried. Come on -- deep fried quail?! It sounds great!

And then we saw the same dish make an appearance on Blue Hound Kitchen's menu. Hmmm, really? As good as it sounds, do we need two plates of Kentucky Fried Quail in this city?

The answer is yes. It's fried and tasty and not chicken. And, of course, we decided we had to put them up against each other (because that's what we do, duh).

Check out which new restaurant has the lock-down on this unique dish. To up the ante, we've include the sides that accompany the little bird -- so for this one, we're judging the entire dish.

--Shannon Armour

Border Food Summit Brings Small Farmers, Ranchers, Co-ops and Food Communities Together

Got a small farm or ranch in Arizona? Or an interest in local food and methods for marketing and distributing it? Or maybe a burning desire to learn more about native and heirloom foods? You'll want to know about this.

The 10th Annual Southwest Marketing Network Conference's Border Food Summit, geared toward small farmers and ranchers in the Four Corners states (AZ, NM, UT, CO), will be held September 16th-18th this year at the Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico, Arizona.

Find out more details about this year's Border Food Summit.

--Nikki Buchanan

Chef Salad Interview with Johnny Chu, Chef and Owner of SoChu House

It's 4:45 on a Thursday afternoon and Johnny Chu is getting ready for a 5 p.m. grand opening at Sochu House, his sleek but sultry new restaurant on Central Avenue, which partially clones the former Sens downtown. As he glides from room to room, checking the sound system and giving instructions to his staff, he's a poster boy for the Dry Idea "Never Let Them See You Sweat" campaign -- nervous but unruffled, the picture of Confucian steadiness and calm.

Born in Hong Kong, Chu came to Arizona with his family when he was 13, graduated from Camelback High School, and spent lots of time in the kitchen with his father, who taught him the rudiments of Chinese cooking. At age 16, he also worked as a prep cook in the family's Chinese restaurant. But Chu likes to say he earned his culinary education by dining around the world. He's traveled to Hong Kong and Vietnam extensively and eaten his way through Asian and other ethnic communities in Vegas and Los Angeles.

Check out the full Chef Salad interview with Johnny Chu.

--Nikki Buchanan

Five (Surprising) Ways to Eat Like an Olympian

The 2012 London Olympic games are officially here, and Chow Bella continues its tireless effort to find ways to make gluttony an Olympic sport. And while we know that may take some time to pass over the Olympic committee, we figured the next logical step would be to highlight the 5 ways to eat like an Olympian.

You're probably guessing you'll find 5 different types of fruits, vegetables, grains, and other assorted healthy options. Maybe a protein bar or two.

But think again, fellow gluttons.

--Alex Rodriguez

Don't forget to check out Chow Bella's continuing list of 100 Tastemakers.

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Eric Tsetsi
Contact: Eric Tsetsi