Later this fall, the azcentral Food & Wine Experience takes place at Salt River Fields. The event, slated for Nov. 4-6, will bring the talents of nearly 50 chefs, including Austin-based Chef Kevin Fink and chef, restaurateur and author Scott Conant.
Fink grew up in Tucson and graduated from Northern Arizona University, opened Emmer & Rye in Austin in November 2015 and previously served as director of operations for the successful and award-winning Zona 78 Italian Kitchen in Tucson. In a recent chat with AZFoothills.com, Fink says of becoming a chef, “I was exposed to it at such a young age. When push came to shove, the restaurant industry had a certain energy to it that I would be unable to find elsewhere. It has always attracted me.” He recently appeared on the cover of Food & Wine Magazine and was named one of Best New Chefs 2016. As for his upcoming visit to his former home state of Arizona, Fink looks toward to two things in particular: “[Arizona has] such a great selection of great Mexican food and a lot of the farmers that I have seen throughout my time.”
Fink joins Mario Batali on Nov. 5 as he hosts a sold-out lunch and Grand Tasting. Batali will also appear for all guests during a panel presentation on Saturday, and sign his newest book out this fall: MARIO BATALI BIG AMERICAN COOKBOOK: 250 Favorite Recipes from Across the USA.
Chef, restaurateur and author Scott Conant of Food Network TV’s popular Chopped was also just announced to take part in the event. On Sunday, Nov. 6, he will host an hour-long cooking demonstration on the Grand Tasting main stage for all patrons to enjoy. A special package is available for $180 which includes a meet and mingle with Conant in AJ’s Fine Foods VIP Lounge; noon early entry to more than 35 restaurants featured on Sunday alone in the Grand Tasting; all-day access and special libations in AJ’s Fine Food VIP Lounge; and preferred parking. In addition, Conant will sign books in the event footprint’s Luxury Pavilion.
Michelin-starred and James Beard award-winner Chef Alex Stratta, Chef Bruce Kalman, one of few chefs to beat Bobby Flay in competition, and many more Arizona culinary leaders are also slated to appear at azcentral’s Food & Wine Experience. Tickets are available at azcentralfoodandwine.com, as well as a full lineup of events.