If you ask grill master Steven Raichlen of PBS' Primal Grill, he'll tell you there are plenty of reasons it makes sense to choose Phoenix as the place to bring together national and local grill experts for a celebration of all things cooked over a flame. For starters, he says, there's our nearly year-round grilling weather and the fact that the region's cuisine often includes large cuts of grilled and barbecued meats.
For these reasons and more, you'll find Raichlen and other grill experts at Blackstone Country Club on Sunday, November 3, for the first Eight's Great GrillFest, an afternoon of cooking demos, tastings, and live entertainment.
Special guests scheduled to attend the event include Raichlen, Mary Ann Esposito of PBS' Ciao Italia, and Fritz Sonnenschmidt, the former dean of Culinary Institute of America who also hosts Grilling Maestros and Cooking Secrets of the CIA. Barbara Pool Fenzl, star of Eight's Savor the Southwest, will host the event and will be joined by James Beard Award-winning chef Robert McGrath of Check, Please! Arizona.
Throughout the event, each of the celebrity chefs will take turns hosting cooking demonstrations on one of two stages. Raichlen will demonstrate how to cook his "Caveman T-Bone" steak over charcoal embers.
"It's just meat and fire -- the simplest way to cook a steak," he says.
Local restaurants will offer samples during the event. Participating restaurants include Frasher's Steakhouse & Lounge, Fox & Hound Smokehouse & Tavern, Pork on a Fork, Slavo Salt, Vogue Bistro, and Windy City Dogs.
Wine and beer samples will be provided by Southern Wine & Spirits and the Hensley Beverage Company.
Eight's Great GrillFest will be held at the Blackstone Country Club at Vistancia in Peoria on Sunday, November 3 from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets to the event cost $30 and include food samples, wine and beer tastings and live demos. They can be purchased online at the Eight, Arizona PBS website.
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