Guide to Scottsdale Culinary Festival

The 34th Annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival kicks off on Tuesday and we got our hands on this year’s action-packed schedule. (The fest ends April 22.) Take a look on what’s cookin’ at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and keep an eye peeled for this year’s highly anticipated newbies.

Tuesday:

Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame (invite only) Top chefs and restaurant industry professionals from across Arizona will gather to honor the newest members of the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame. This event recognizes exceptional chefs, pastry chefs, and dining establishments in the state.

Shaken & Stirred Held in Scottsdale’s Mabel’s on Main the Festival is stirring the clocks back to a time when cocktails were essential and masterfully crafted. Making its Festival debut, Shaken & Stirred will let guests sample three drinks from a classic era and the perfect treats to match. A full bar will be available for other imbibing.

Wednesday:

Friends of James Beard Dinner Held at deseo at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, eight of the country’s best chefs prepare a multi-course meal complete with carefully selected wine pairings.

Chocolate & Wine Experience Indulge your sweet tooth with chocolate creations from some of the Valley’s best pastry chefs expertly paired with unique wines from around the world. The event will take place at Degree 270, Talking Stick Resort’s 14th floor luxury lounge.

Thursday:

Bubbles & Bliss Held at the Saguaro in Scottsdale, it’s an effervescent Champagne experience with bubbly cocktails, Champagne-infused food by Chef Jose Garces, entertainment by DJ Switch and live drummer.

Bubbles & Bliss Dinner As a precursor to the cocktail reception, Chef Garces will be serving up a sparkling wine-themed menu based on his Iron Chef Challenge at Distrito.

Burger Battle For the first time in Arizona, 15 of the best chefs and restaurants will compete for the coveted title. Held at Scottsdale Stadium, guests will have the chance to taste and vote for the burger with the best bite. The winning restaurant takes away a shiny trophy and unlimited bragging rights.

Friday:

Eat Drink and Be Pretty Dress to impress at this fashion-forward food and wine tasting. Not only are there delicious treats available from more than 20 of the Valley’s restaurants and a large variety of wine and spirits, the evening also includes a spring fashion show presented by Carine W., featuring jewelry from Isaac Jewelers, and a high-energy hair style demonstration by Rolfs Hair Salon and Spa. Add music from DJ P-Body inside and Las Vegas show band True to Life outside and you have all the ingredients for a very Eat, Drink and Be Pretty evening.

Saturday:

Chef Wine Dinners Join award-winning chefs at some of the Valley’s top restaurants for a series of exclusive four-course dinners paired with rich vintage wines. The dinners are limited to 24 attendees per restaurant to ensure an intimate and savory experience.

Picnic After Party  Continue the fun from the Picnic and head over to the official after party at the VIP TASTE venue. Held at Clayton on the Park, enjoy DJ entertainment, incredible drinks, dancing, and a great lounge.

Sunday:

Wine Country Brunch Held at Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center, guests will sample from participating restaurants and vote for their favorite brunch dishes. As if that is not enough, there will be an equally impressive display of enticing luxury items available for bid during the brunch’s silent auction.

Best of the Fest The finale event is a  five-course, wine-paired dinner created tableside by one of Arizona’s top chefs. Held on the Marshall Way Pedestrian Bridge at the Scottsdale Waterfront.

All Weekend:

Great Arizona Picnic Sample food from 50-plus restaurants and enjoy cooking demonstrations from local and national chefs. Additional components include Celebrity Chef Demos, VIP Experiences, Epicurean Expo, Courtside at the Picnic, SKYY Bar, Tequila Experience, Southwest Festival of Beers, and Blues & Brews.

Celebrity Chef Demos See two of the Travel Channel’s biggest stars live.

Andrew Zimmern of “Bizarre Foods” will teach us a thing or two about outlandish cuisine at this year’s culinary festival. Zimmern will be performing live at the Great Arizona Picnic, showcasing his unique and renowned culinary fervor.

Adam Richman of “Man v. Food”  takes the stage at the Great Arizona Picnic, steps into the kitchen and rolls up his sleeves up to cook and share his uproarishly entertaining food travel stories.

VIP Experiences There are three can’t miss VIP Experiences.

Picnic All Access, a “fast pass” that allows a guest to experience everything on the Picnic grounds with just one ticket, without waiting in line!. This includes: same day general admission to the Great Arizona Picnic, general admission access to all specialty areas including SKYY Bar, Tequila Experience and the Southwest Festival of Beers, admission to the Picnic After Party and a one year subscription of Food & Wine magazine. Food and beverages are not included.

Gold Picnic VIP  includes everything from the All Access ticket plus: guaranteed premium parking, preferred show seating for your choice of celebrity chef (Adam Richman or Andrew Zimmern), access to the exclusive VIP Taste lounge at Clayton on the Park including food from Distrito and beverages and a $25 Picnic Card. Food and beverages outside of the VIP Taste lounge are not included.

Platinum Picnic VIP is the ultimate in Great Arizona Picnic experiences. This includes everything from the Gold VIP ticket plus: Meet-and-Greet book signing with your choice of celebrity chef (Adam Richman or Andrew Zimmern) and an additional year’s subscription of Food & Wine magazine.

Epicurean Expo Acting as the main foyer to the Festival, the Expo will showcase ground-breaking innovations in the culinary world. Top-tiered vendors will demonstrate state-of-the-art equipment such as blenders, knives, juicers, slow-cook warming drawers and more. Every appliance will be paired with a tasty treat for sampling, accompanied by famous guests from the Travel Channel performing on the main stage.

Courtside at the Picnic An all new NBA Experience sponsored by BBVA Compass, the area features Johnsonville’s Big Taste Grill and a massive Food Truck Court.

SKYY Bar Sip on tasty Skyy Vodka, and mingle with the crowd at the exclusive SKYY Bar.

Tequila Experience What’s more refreshing than a cool margarita on a sunny spring day? Join us at the Tequila Experience to quench your thirst while enjoying delicious food tastings.

Southwest Festival of Beers/Blues & Brews More than 200 specialty beers, outrageously delicious food and live musical entertainment. A two-day event that you won’t want to miss. On Sunday it will become Blues & Brews, featuring the best blues acts the Valley of the Sun has to offer.

For more info on the 34th Annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival, visit www.scottsdalefest.org.

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