Here's a quick guide to exactly what you need to start 2021 right — food-focused events happening throughout greater Phoenix.
Cowboy CookoutsFridays and Saturdays, January 1, 2, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, and 30
26540 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
There's a cowboy cookout happening all month at MacDonald's Ranch. First, decide if you want a horseback ride or a hayride upon arrival. That Old West fun is followed by dinner with offerings like steak, chicken breast, and stuffed peppers with wild rice, zucchini, and cheese. Hearty sides include garlic mashed potatoes and mac and cheese. Cost starts at $90. Reservations are required, and COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place.
Litchfield Park Native American Fine Arts FestivalSaturday and Sunday, January 9 and 10
Old Litchfield Road
The 29th Annual Litchfield Park Native American Fine Arts Festival is mainly a cultural event, but there will be vendors serving Native foods along Old Litchfield Road south of Wigwam Boulevard near the Litchfield Park Library. COVID-19 practices like face mask and social distancing requirements, as well as onsite hand washing and hand sanitizing stations, will be in place. The event is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission and parking are free. For more information, see the Litchfield Park Gathering website.
Passport SeriesSaturday, January 16
Match Market and Bar at FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel
1100 North Central Avenue
FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel's Passport Series continues with a trip to Mexico. Journey to the Yucatán Peninsula and experience regional cuisine and cocktail specials provided by Match Market and Bar. There will also be themed décor on the pool deck to really get you in the spirit. It's free to attend but tickets are required. The event runs from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Cooking Class with Chef MarcellinoSaturday, January 18
7114 East Stetson Drive, Scottsdale
Chef Marcellino of Marcellino Ristorante is gearing up to teach you how to make minestrone with crostini. The Italian classic is a hearty winter soup with fresh vegetables, toasted Italian bread points, and Parmigiano. After the class, participants can try the soup paired with an organic salad and Chef Marcellino’s biscotti. Cost is $50 per person. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. Set yourself up by calling 480-990-9500.
Rum Punch and BrunchSunday, January 17
Ocho Rios Jerk Spot
4220 West Northern Avenue, #104
Look no further than Ocho Rios Jerk Spot for a Sunday brunch apart from the rest. There will be music by DJ Skoolboi and a traditional Jamaican breakfast with dishes like island fried chicken and waffles, ackee fruit and saltfish, and porridge with hominy, banana, and peanut. Vegan and vegetarian chicken and waffles are also available. And don't forget the rum punch. Stop by from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 623-248-5131 for more details.
Arizona Fried Chicken and Wings FestivalSaturday, January 30
441 West Madison Street
The second annual Arizona Fried Chicken and Wings Festival is back at The Pressroom in downtown Phoenix. There will be 10 local fried chicken businesses presenting different fried chicken dishes — everything from Korean to Nashville Hot. The indoor-outdoor event will also have cold beer, cocktails, boba tea, and desserts. General admission is $10. The festival runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Editor’s note: This article was updated from its original version.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.