Dine Out with the Chefs on Oct. 3

Dine Out with the Chefs returns to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts for its fifth season, bringing some of the Valley's best chefs together to assemble a small bite and small talk extravaganza. Score some face time with the chefs from more than 20 local restaurants 4 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3. "It's always first Sunday in October, ushering in the restaurant season," says Pamela Swartz, author of Dine Out Phoenix: Where to Eat from Chic to Unique and the event's organizer. "The chefs love it. It's like old home week for them."

You and no more than 499 other people can mingle with chefs and munch on their culinary creations. Attendance is capped to ensure the atmosphere is still personal and to eschew crowd jostling, Swartz says.

Click through to see who's cooking, what's happening, and how to get tickets.

This year's featured restaurants include: Arcadia Farms, Café ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho, Cowboy Ciao, Estate House, Frank & Albert's at the Arizona Biltmore, J&G Steakhouse and Il Terrazzo at the Phoenician, Julia Baker Confections, Kazimierz World Wine Bar, Lon's at the Hermosa Inn, The Mission, Chef Michael Rusconi, Simply Bread, SWB a southwest bistro, Alto ristorante e bar at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch, Sweet Republic, Talavera at the Four Seasons, T. Cook's at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa, Tracy Dempsey Originals, Wildfish Seafood Grille and Zinc Bistro.

The chefs, who signed on to help raise money for the Scottsdale Center for the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Artsʼ programs and youth education and outreach initiatives, have turned this into their own Top-Chef-esque challenge, according to Swartz.

"They don't skimp," she says. "They really show off their dishes. It's really exceptional."

Also on the menu: the launch of the mobile version of Swartz's Dine Out Phoenix, a wine seminar with Sportsman's, and live music by the Beth Lederman Trio.

Grab your tickets early to secure a space and save $10. Advanced tickets are $55 and can be purchased from the box office at 480.994.2787 ext. 2 or online at Tickets at the door (if any are left) are $65.

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Hannah E Williams