This Weekend

Here's a Quick Guide to Devour Culinary Classic 2020

Devour Culinary Classic 2020 is almost here.
Devour Culinary Classic 2020 is almost here. Jacob Tyler Dunn
Devour Week is coming to a close with its big finish, the Devour Culinary Classic. The 11th annual food and drink showcase will take over Desert Botanical Garden this weekend, February 22 and 23, with local chefs, restaurants, people, plants, and plenty of chef demos, tastings, and educational sessions.

As you embark on this culinary experience, here’s what to know before you go.

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

When is it again?
It's 10 a.m. (VIP) or 11:30 a.m. (general admission) to 3:30 p.m. on both Saturday, February 22, and Sunday, February 23.

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

click to enlarge Mole negro taco by Otro Cafe and Gallo Blanco at the Devour Culinary Classic. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Mole negro taco by Otro Cafe and Gallo Blanco at the Devour Culinary Classic.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

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 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 yoke, and a Lyft discount code.

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 2020 Devour VIP Dorrance Hall Lounge, all participating chef and purveyor menu tastings, and all featured culinary demos and education sessions. Plus, you leave with two tickets for a return visit to Desert Botanical Garden.

I'm going on Saturday. Who's going to be there?
Saturday VIP chefs include Justin Beckett (Beckett’s Table and Southern Rail) and Stephen Jones (the larder + the delta). Keep an eye out for other Saturday talent like Doug Robson (Otro Cafe), Rochelle Daniel (Fat Ox), Nate Cayer (Poppy), Alan Hause (Gertrude's Restaurant), and more. Saturday libation peeps include Holly Lyman (Wild Tonic Jun Kombucha) and Preston Thoeny (Wren House Brewing Co.).

click to enlarge Tamara Stanger provides chef demos in the VIP section on Sunday. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Tamara Stanger provides chef demos in the VIP section on Sunday.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
I'm going on Sunday. Who's going to be there?
Sunday's VIP chefs are again Beckett and Jones. Keep an eye out for other Sunday talent like Lori Hashimoto (Hana Japanese Eatery), Alvaro Salinas (Clever Koi and Across the Pond), Tamara Stanger (Cotton & Copper), Brett Vibber (WILD Arizona Cuisine), Helen Yung (Sweet Republic), and many more. Sunday libation peeps include David Cruz (Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company) and Jill Newman (Teaspressa).

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

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.

click to enlarge Yep, you get to check out the Desert Botanical Garden while you're there. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Yep, you get to check out the Desert Botanical Garden while you're there.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
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 sunglasses are always recommended.

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

click to enlarge Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen is all recommended. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen is all recommended.
Jacob Tyler Dunn
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 seeing around?
Yes, Devour is one of many Phoenix-area food and drink festivals happening in spring 2020 and listed on our free, downloadable checklist. (Perfect for the fridge.)

Now, remember to pace yourself and enjoy your weekend.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on February 22, 2019. It was updated on February 20, 2020.
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Lauren Cusimano was the Phoenix New Times food editor from 2018 to 2021. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.