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Cowboy Ciao to Host Alumni Dinner With Chefs Including Kantak, Osso, Fukuda, and More

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Bernie Kantak. Gio Osso. Nobuo Fukuda. Tracy Dempsey. Keenan Bosworth.

What do all these chefs have in common beside being some of the best-known names in town? Believe it or not, they all passed through the kitchen at Peter Kasperski's Cowboy Ciao restaurant. There are few places in town that have as wide-reaching an alumni network as this nearly two decades-old spot.

Next month the restaurant is hosting a special event that will bring together more than a dozen chefs and 20 mixologists and sommeliers past and present for a five-course wine and cocktail paired dinner. You're going to want to reserve your spot early.

See also: Benefit Dinner for Native Seeds/SEARCH at the Farm at South Mountain -- Wait Till You See the Lineup of Chefs

The Cowboy Ciao Alumni Dinner will be held on Friday, August 22. The evening will begin with a reception from 6 to 7 p.m., which will then be followed by the five-course wine and cocktail-paired dinner.

Teams of chefs will collaborate on each course; the menu has yet to be released. More names are still being confirmed (including some out-of-towners), but already it's an impressive collection of talent.

Participating chefs include:

- Bernie Kantak, chef and owner of Citizen Public House and The Gladly - Keenan Bosworth, chef and owner of Pig & Pickle - Gio Osso, chef and owner of Virtù Honest Craft - Nobuo Fukuda, chef and owner of Nobuo at Teeter House - German Sega, executive chef of Roka Akor Scottsdale - Tracy Dempsey, chef and owner of Tracy Dempsey Originals - Schuyler Estes, chef and owner of Squid Ink Sushi - Lester Gonzalez, executive chef of Cowboy Ciao - Country Velador, executive pastry chef of Cowboy Ciao, Super Chunk Sweets and Treats - Francelle Mata, chef of Cowboy Ciao at Sky Harbor

Participating mixologists and sommeliers include:

- Alexa Bowler, mixologist for Cowboy Ciao - Abby Martinie, mixologist for Bar Crudo - Tagan Dering, owner of Nook Kitchen - Frank Vairo, owner of Nook Kitchen - Matt Diamond, owner of the Main Ingredient Ale House and Café

A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to local organization, UMOM, which provides support and help for homeless families and individuals in the Valley. UMOM's culinary arts program provides hands-on training in ": food preparation skills, presentation of classic and international cuisine, store room operations, nutrition, safety, sanitation, food selection, and purchasing."

Tickets to the Alumni Dinner cost $125 and reservations are required. Call 480-946-3111.

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