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Getting excited yet?
Getting excited yet?
Patricia Escarcega

Here's a Quick Guide to Devour Culinary Classic 2019

Devour Week is coming to a close with its big finish — the Devour Culinary Classic. The 10th annual anticipated food and drink showcase will take over Desert Botanical Garden this weekend, February 23 and 24, with local chefs, restaurants, people, plants, and plenty of chef demos, tastings, and educational sessions.

But before you start this culinary experience, here’s what you may need to know before you go.

Are tickets still available?
Only Sunday VIP tickets may be purchased at this time for $205.

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When is it again?
It's 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on both Saturday,  February 23, and Sunday, February 24.

Where is it this year?
Devour returns to the Desert Botanical Garden.

I have a Tasting Package ticket. What does that get me?
This is a one-day, general admission ticket to Devour Culinary Classic that includes all the food and drink samples you can see. You get access to the Hensley/Quench Beverage Garden and wine sales area, access to chef demos, a commemorative passport, a reusable wine glass (i.e. cool souvenir) and yolk, and a Lyft discount code.

District American Kitchen & Wine Bar's freshly made waffles with ice cream and maple-flavored cotton candy.
District American Kitchen & Wine Bar's freshly made waffles with ice cream and maple-flavored cotton candy.
Patricia Escarcega

I have a VIP Package ticket. What does that get me?
Everything from the Tasting Package ticket (above), plus early admission (10 a.m.) and a reserved parking spot. You'll also get access to the 2019 Devour VIP Dorrance Hall Lounge, Foodie Garden, all participating chef and purveyor menu tastings, and all featured culinary demos and education sessions. Leave with a commemorative VIP canvas swag bag and two tickets for a return attendance to Desert Botanical Garden’s "Electric Desert."

I'm going on Saturday. Who's going to be there?
Saturday VIP chefs include Tamara Stanger (Cotton & Copper) and Silvana Salcido Esparza (Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva and Barrio Cafe). Keep an eye out for other Saturday talent like Michael Babcock (Welcome Diner), Cullen Campbell (Bar Pesce), Lisa Dahl (Dahl Restaurant Group), and more.

I'm going on Sunday. Who's going to be there?
Sunday VIP chefs include Christopher Gross (Geordie's Restaurant at Wrigley Mansion) and Lori Hashimoto (Hana Japanese Eatery). Keep an eye out for other Sunday talent like Brett Vibber (Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine), Stephen Jones (the larder + the delta), and Devour Bartending Competition winner Samantha Hickman (Windsor) who will be serving her winning cocktail.

May I bring some well-behaved children?
Nope. Everything has open sampling, therefore the event is for those 21 and over.

Do I have to buy the food?
Nope. All food and drink from the many restaurants, food artisans, and beverage vendors are included. However, you may purchase some discounted wine and spirits at the Hensley/Quench Wine Sale.

There will be booze. Therefore, there will not be kids.EXPAND
There will be booze. Therefore, there will not be kids.
Melissa Fossum

Where do I park?
DBG has a huge parking lot. Just try to be patient and considerate — it will almost certainly be busy.

Is there public transit there?
The closest Valley Metro Rail station is at Priest Drive and Washington Street, though it's still about a two-mile walk to DBG. For all other options, check out the Valley Metro website.

Do I get to check out the Desert Botanical Garden while I'm there?
Yes. A ticket grants admission into the garden and access to all trails. However, the butterfly exhibit, Gertrude’s, and the garden shop will be closed.

But will the garden be open to the public during the event?
Nope. The garden will be closed to the public both days.

What should I wear?
The suggested look is “smart casual.” Think comfortable shoes, as DBG has some uneven terrain and lengthy walking trails. Hats, sunscreen, and water are always recommended.

It's called smart casual, honey.EXPAND
It's called smart casual, honey.
Melissa Fossum

Can I bring my dog?
Not every pup can come. However, service dogs with the appropriate vest and/or tag are permitted.

What if it's still raining?
The Devour Culinary Classic is set to take place rain or shine.

What if something's come up and I can't go? Can I get a refund?
Sorry. All tickets are nonrefundable.

What can't I bring?
No outside food or beverages are allowed, plus obviously drugs, weapons, backpacks or extra large bags. and suitcases.

Is Devour on that awesome spring food festivals checklist I keep hearing about?
Yes, Devour is one of many Phoenix-area food and drink festivals happening in spring 2019 featured on our free, downloadable checklist. (Perfect for the fridge.)

Now, remember to pace yourself and enjoy your weekend.

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