Here's the good news: We're getting another spicy culinary event in town, one that will let diners see if they can handle varying levels of heat from Valley chefs.
And here's the bad news: It's going down on the same date as the third annual Roosevelt Row Chile Pepper Festival, a celebration of all things chile.
Because even with 52 whole weeks in the year, it seems impossible for culinary events in this town to get this timing thing right.
That's the same date scheduled for the Roosevelt Row Chile Pepper Festival, a three-year old event that's been held on the last weekend of September since year one. The festival is held at the A.R.T.S. Market in downtown Phoenix.
It's almost unbelievable that these two very similarly-themed events would just happen to be scheduled on the same exact date. But then again, it's far from the only circumstance of such poor planning in town. There's that whole Arizona Cocktail/Arizona Beer Week feud and the Great Arizona Beer Fest overlapping with the Devoured Phoenix Culinary Classic earlier this spring.
At least the two spicy event festivals have slightly different focuses...sort of.
The Scottsdale Spice Culinary Event will feature chefs from more than 20 local restaurants who will compete in a spice competition. Each chef will bring a variety of dishes in three heat levels: mild, medium and hot. Attendees will be challenged to see if they can handle the heat. Festival-goers will get to vote for their favorites in each category including Booth Décor, Spiciest Dish, Best Dessert, Most Authentically Arizonan and more.
Tickets will cost $50 a person and will include unlimited food samples (as long as they last) and seven drink tickets good for wine, craft beer and spirits. The event is 21 and up and will go from 6 to 10 p.m.
Roosevelt Row's Chile Pepper Festival invites local restaurants, food trucks, and chefs to compete in a Chile Challenge to create the best chile pepper-infused dish. The dishes vie for the title of Best in Show in a contest judged by a panel of judges. There's also a People's Choice Award. The festival also offers on-site chile roasting, live music, a beer garden.
In the past, Chile Pepper Festival admission has cost $15 a person, which included live music, entertainment, and free salsa sampling and voting. Food from each restaurant/food truck and drinks were available at additional cost. The event was open to all ages.
Even if the unfortunate timing is a total accident, it's a shame that food lovers will have to choose between the two. The events seem to target different audiences, but it would be nice if those who wanted to would be able to go to both. We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed for better planning next time around.