Power to the people

This is my kind of democracy: For the first time in the history of the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, the public is invited to cast votes to decide who'll get get top honors at the 2007 Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame Dinner, which will be held on Thursday, April 12, at Marquesa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. It's just one event among six days of eating, drinking, and who knows -- maybe even a little debauchery.

Through February 15, you can log on to the festival's website to vote for one of four nominees in each category, or pick your own write-in candidate. In the running for the title of "Culinary Chef Extraordinaire" are Kevin Binkley (Binkley's), Deborah Knight (Mosaic Restaurant), Wade Moises (Sassi), and Michael Rusconi (Lon's at the Hermosa). Among the individual and institutional contenders for the "Culinary Media Master" award are Channel 8 (KAET), Karen Fernau (Arizona Republic), Brad Perry (Channel 3 KTVK), and Don Sandler & Kim Laurie (Culinary Confessions). And "Culinary Ambassador" nominees include The Thunderbirds, Dennis & Mike Mastro (Mastro's Restaurants), and Guy Villavaso (Eddie V's, Wildfish, and Z'Tejas).

Time to rock the vote, folks!

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