It is going to be one busy spring, people. Are you hungry yet?
There's something food-related practically every weekend from now until summer hits, and since it's a lot to keep track of -- I was updating my calendar when blog inspiration struck -- I thought I'd share the rundown of all the events to look forward to.
February 27-28 Matsuri: A Festival of Japan Admission is free to this Japanese cultural celebration at Heritage Square, which features lots of food vendors and a beer garden.
March 5-7 Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival Admission is $3 (free for Carefree residents) for downtown Carefree's art fest. For $10, you can get six tasting tickets for the wine event.
March 6 Arizona State Open Chili Championship Sample competition chili for $4 a cup at this free event in downtown Casa Grande.
March 13-14 Devoured Culinary Classic More than 50 local chefs and restaurants have signed up to participate in this high-profile event at Phoenix Art Museum ($65 one-day day, $90 two-day pass).
March 13-14 Arizona Aloha Festival There will be food vendors galore at this island-themed celebration at Tempe Beach Park. Admission is free.
March 19-21 Fountain Hills Fine Art & Wine Affaire Along with all the art on display in downtown Fountain Hills ($3 admission), there will be a wine tasting ($10 for six) and food from local eateries.
March 22 WestSide ThrowDown Chef Beau MacMillan hosts this cook-off at Arizona Broadway Theatre in Peoria, featuring six local chefs. Tickets are $41.50.
April 8 Forks & Corks More than 20 chefs will participate in this tasting event at the Camelback Esplanade. Advance tickets are $65.
April 10 Arizona Barbecue Festival A farmers market, barbecue expo, and beer garden are just a few things planned for this brand-new event at the Scottsdale Waterfront ($10 general admission, $50 VIP).
April 10-11 Arizona Asian Festival This free event at Heritage Square will showcase a variety of food vendors in "Taste of Asia."
April 10-12 Taste 2010 A grand tasting event ($150) at Kierland Commons is the centerpiece of this annual fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club.
April 13-18 Scottsdale Culinary Festival The festival actually encompasses a whole week of tastings and chef dinners, from casual to upscale. Ticket prices vary.
April 17 Wine, Women & Jazz Arizona Women's Partnership's annual fundraiser ($55) takes place at the Arizona Culinary Institute.
April 24 My Nana's Best Tasting Salsa Challenge wins the award for biggest mouthful of a name. More than 75 contestants will prepare fresh salsa onsite at Tempe Beach Park ($8 in advance).
May 19 Flavors of Phoenix 30 of the Valley's top chefs each prepare their own lavish table for 12 guests at this gourmet fundraiser for the American Liver Foundation, to be held at the Westin Kierland Resort.