Taking charge of the competition by only a mere 2.63% over their closest competitor, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival is our 2015 Best Annual Valley Event: Large Scale winner!
In the sprawling city that is Phoenix, Arizona, there are countless things to do, places to explore, and of course, food to eat. With events such as the Chocolate & Wine Experience, Bubbles & Bliss, and of course, the Great Arizona Picnic, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival is a true culinary treat for anyone with an interest in diverse, delicious food, desserts and delectable fine wine. Over 30,000 visitors frequent the event, whose proceeds go towards fundraising for the Scottsdale League of the Arts. The weeklong extravaganza will be taking place April 7th through April 12th, 2015, celebrating its 37th anniversary this year.
Listed below are all the What’s, When’s and Where’s straight from the Scottsdale Culinary Festival press release, so you can be at the top of your game, mark your calendars and get ready to have the best (and most delish) week of your life.
Opening Night Affair
What: Get ready to pick out your most fabulous outfit and spend the countdown to the highly anticipated Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s Culinary Countdown in style. With a New Year’s Eve- themed party hosted at a must-see 14th floor indoor-outdoor venue, the party will feature amazing views of the Valley. Degree 270 at Talking Stick Resort is a high- energy nightclub that will be sure to keep you entertained well into the night. For only $40 per person, this one-night-only opening party is a fabulous way to ring in a new year of the Scottsdale Culinary Festival.
When: Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 (6:30 – 9:30 PM)
Where: Degree 270, Talking Stick Resort
9800 E. Indian Bend Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
Cost: $40 per person
The Chocolate & Wine Experience
What: There is little better than the delicious pairing of fine wine and decadent chocolates. Mix this in with the breathtaking venue of the Musical Instrument Museum and you have yourself the perfect trio. Explore select musical exhibits while munching on chocolates from rich to creamy and sipping on the flowing abundance of red and white wine. Maybe even dare to excite your taste buds with a chili-infused chocolate moussed paired with Syrah. There will also be live entertainment from The Lark and Key. Be sure to check out the Culinary School for Chocolate demonstrations and guests can participate in a 4X8 mural to paint by numbers with chocolate.
When: Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 (7 – 10 PM)
Where: Musical Instrument Museum
4725 E. Mayo Blvd.
Phoenix, Arizona 85050
Cost: $55 per person
What: Get ready for a fiery competition between the Valley’s biggest burger experts as they compete in a culinary cook-off to compete for the title of the 2015 Best Burgers in the Valley hosted at Hotel Valley Ho and Leinenkugel Brewing Company will be the presenting sponsor. A sample of the restaurants in competition will be Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar, Tavern Americana, Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse, Casino Arizona, Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Aioli Gourmet Burgers, and Burger n’ Fries. Guests are encouraged to taste all of the burgers and vote on the tastiest for the People’s Choice Award. There will also be a panel of chefs and culinary experts that will select the Judge’s Choice Award to the finest burger. Live entertainment from the Groove Merchants will also be provided during the competition.
When: Thursday, April 9th, 2015 (6:30 – 9:30 PM)
Where: Hotel Valley Ho
6850 E. Main Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Cost: $60 per person
Bubbles & Bliss
What: Most of the nation may be buried in snow, but here in Scottsdale it’s to break out your finest white attire for the first time this year at the glamorous “white out” rooftop party. Enjoy sparkling Champagne and a venue filled with bubbles as you stroll around the W Scottsdale’s amazing views on the rooftop. Come ready to reboot and relax with the Bliss Spa Squad as they give complimentary arm massages and distribute spa-at-home samples.
When: Thursday, April 9th, 2015 (7 – 10 pm)
Where: W Scottsdale
7277 E Camelback Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Cost: $40 per person
Eat, Drink & Be Pretty
What: It’s a night to be a star, as you walk the new Extended Red Carpet and mingle with your friends as you nibble on gourmet bites from more 25 of the Valley’s top restaurants. There will also be wine tasting, hosted cocktails and craft beers. Restaurants and breweries such as Fogo de Chão, Fabio on Fire LLC, Cambozola, Little Cleo’s Seafood Legend and more will be serving at this event. The event will feature a fashion show showcasing two local designers: Phoenix Fashion Week Designer of the year, Misha Mendicino and Hues of Ego. There will also be Signature Designer Gowns provided by Cache. Nationally recognized designer Robert Graham will present attire for gentlemen. The event will conclude with a performance from the Las Vegas based band, Ashley Red.
When: Friday, April 10th, 2015 (7 – 11 PM)
Where: Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
7380 E. 2nd Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Cost: $75 per person until March 31st; $85 per person starting April 1st
Great Arizona Picnic
What: You don’t need to pack a basket for this huge event-filled picnic at the Civic Center Mall in downtown Scottsdale. The Great Arizona Picnic will sprawl through the 25-acres of gardens and fountains along Civic Center Mall and provide many tasty treats along the way. With more than 40 Valley restaurants, top chefs, and live music on three separate stages, this event is a perfect way to spend the weekend with your family and friends while enjoying some amazing Arizona weather. This year there will be a new Family Zone with fun activities for the kids! Offered both days from noon to 6 pm, families will love fun activities such as a bounce house, carnival games with prizes, face painting, SCF temporary tattoos and crafts led by Free Arts of Arizona. Restaurants and Breweries at the event will range from Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, Sushu Roku, Rubio’s, Roka Akor, Von Hanson’s Meats & Spirits and much more. There will also be exclusive events such as VIP Passport to the Picnic, SW Festival of Beers, Epicurean Expo, Campari North American Spirit Tour and SKYY Bar that will give guests the opportunity to drink specialty beers, see professional chef demonstrations, enjoy a VIP room and meet expert bartenders and mixologists.
When: Saturday, April 11th, 2015 (Noon – 9 PM) & Sunday, April 12th, 2015 (Noon – 6 PM)
Where: Scottsdale Civic Center Mall
7380 E. Second St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
(Second Street and Drinkwater Boulevard)
GAP: $10 per person
Children 12 and under & seniors 65 and older – free admission.
Active US Military personnel: $5 (not available for pre-purchase)
SW Festival of Beers: $20 per person on Saturday, $15 per person on Sunday (21 and over)
VIP Experience: $125 per person Saturday, $100 per person Sunday (21 and over)
Wine Country Brunch: The Derby
What: There is no better way to spend your Sunday morning than sipping mimosas and exquisite wines at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival’s 27th Annual Wine Country Brunch. Dressed in your best Kentucky Derby attire, come ready to bid on items at the al fresco silent auction and enjoy brunch from Arcadia Farms and Del Frisco’s Grille. Start your Sunday morning off the best way at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa.
When: Sunday, April 12th, 2015 (11 AM – 2 PM)
Where: Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
6902 E. Greenway Pkwy.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Cost: $60 per person or $50 per person for table of 10
Best of the Fest
What: To top off a week filled with culinary events and enjoyment, SCF is ending the week with a grand finale, with a “Best of the Fest.” Hosted on Sunday, April 12, 2015, eight amazing restaurants will come together to create a five-course meal, wine paired dinners that will be crafted tableside by the chef. Chef James Ducas (Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn), Chef Joshua Hebert (POSH improvisational Cuisine), Chef Gordon Maybury (Arizona Biltmore’s Resort & Spa), Executive Chef Mel Mecinas (Talavera at the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale), Chef Gio Osso (Virtu), Chef Matt Carter (House Brasserie) and others will be participating in creating a special dinner for the event. Every chef will serve just two tables, and compete for best-decorated table in a contest to capture the spirit of the cuisine they are serving.
When: Sunday, April 12th, 2015 (6:30 PM)
Where: Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa
7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
Cost: $175 per person
For tickets to any or all of these events, call 480.945.7193 (scottsdalefest.org/tickets)