Ignite Food: From Homemade Bacon to Home-Brewed Beer, and Justin Beckett's Eat-A-Thon

Editor's Note: By all the accounts we've heard, the inaugural Ignite Food was smooth as butter -- except, ironically, for the food. While it was available before the event began, apparently word didn't spread to the crowd. And so by intermission there was a giant line for what we hear were wonderful offerings from Tracy Dempsey, Pittsburgh Willy's, Petite Maison, 24 Carrots, and Loaded Cupcake. Easily fixed next time, we're guessing -- and we're hoping there is a next time. Chow Bella contributor Carol Blonder was lucky enough to snag a ticket at the last minute (thanks, Ty Largo!) and reports her impressions here.

Tickets for Monday night's first Ignite Food event in Phoenix sold out like a rock concert -- in less than one hour. More than 400 Valley food enthusiasts filled Stand Up Live at Cityscape to listen to 16 local presenters share their food and spirit inspirations Ignite style: with a microphone, in five minutes, illustrated by slides.

The participants took a comedy cue from the Stand Up venue; regardless of the topic, each presentation was highlighted by humorous personal anecdotes. What we in the seats learned was as much about the speaker as their culinary-inspired passion -- be it microbes or microbrews.

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Carol Blonder