Scottsdale Culinary Festival

This week starts the 32nd installment of the nation’s longest-running food fest, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival. From April 13-18, Scottsdale will host a slew of culinary events (from the casual Great Arizona Picnic to luxe brunches and dinners) and many local and celebrity chefs. Here’s what to look forward to:

Tuesday, Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner: This event has drawn seven of the nation’s most prestigious and influential James Beard award-winning chefs, who will demonstrate their extraordinary talent in a multi-course, Italian-themed, collaborative dinner, complete with carefully selected wine pairings. Tickets are $200.

Tuesday, Bubbles and Bliss: Sip on bubbly provided and sample buzz-worthy Asian cuisine by Sushi Roku, all at Shade at W Scottsdale. Take a break to say ‘ahhh’ with Bliss’ Spa Squad who will be distributing Bliss spa-at-home samples and ‘handing’ out arm massages. Tickets are $40.

Wednesday, Chefs Tribute Dinner: Harvesting Arizona: Now in its second year, the Chefs Tribute Dinner series continues at J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician. This year will feature a multi-course wine paired dinner crafted by Chef de Cuisine Jacques Qualin with a focus on distinct and delectable ingredients sourced almost entirely from Arizona farms. Tickets are $150.

Wednesday, The Chocolate and Wine Experience: Enjoy incredible chocolates and desserts from some of the Valley’s best pastry chefs as you sample great wines from around the world in this unique setting. Sold Out.

Thursday, On The Rocks: Relax in a tropical paradise on the rooftop with cocktails from Cruzan Rum. Enjoy refreshing drinks and fun island entertainment while sampling the best in Polynesian fare from Trader Vic’s at Hotel Valley Ho. Tickets are $40.

Friday, Eat, Drink and Be Pretty Pary: Dress to impress at this fashion-forward food and wine tasting. The weekend kickoff soiree features live entertainment by local artist/producer/dj stryker::: with a rare performance of his multimedia music show (the cinema mix) featuring vocal pop dance music, live video mixing, drumming and guest performers. Get ready to dance the night away after our spectacular runway fashion show for a night that will be one to remember. Tickets are $70.

Saturday, Chef Wine Dinners: Enjoy award winning chefs at some of the Valley’s top restaurants for a series of four-course meals paired with rich vintage wines. Tickets are $125.

Saturday and Sunday, Cooks and Corks: Spice things up at this two-day culinary affair showcasing cooking demos from some of the nation’s hottest chefs, including Bravo’s Top Chef and Food Network stars. Select Valley restaurants will offer a delectable assortment of food paired with a flavorful wine selection. You will experience incredible cocktails paired with food and live mixology demonstrations by Bombay Sapphire brand ambassador, Milo Rodriguez. Also enjoy a seminar from Food & Wine’s resident wine expert, Anthony Giglio. Tickets are $75 on Saturday and $65 on Sunday.

Saturday and Sunday, Great Arizona Picnic: Sample food from 50+ restaurants, and enjoy cooking demonstrations from local and national chefs. Taste creative vodka drinks at the Absolut Bistro, sample over 200 beers in the Southwest Festsival of Beers, enjoy Mexican food and Patron margaritas at Camarones Margarita Village, and rum-themed drinks at the Bacardi Beach. Dance to rocking music performed by bands on two main stages. For the families attending on Sunday, be sure to check out the Kids Zone. Tickets are $10 (tasting tickets are $1 each).

Sunday, Wine Country Brunch: Guests of the Wine Country Brunch at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival will sip Champagne under (smaller scale) Eiffel towers. Guests are invited to dine on a lineup of delicacies while bidding on tantalizing luxury items at the brunch’s silent auction while mingling with winemakers and discussing vintages. Tickets are $65.

Sunday, Best of the Fest: The finale! This extravaganza is an exciting open-air, music-filled event that will lift the spirits and please the palate. Some of the Valley’s finest chefs will share the stage, working together to craft a sumptuous five-course, wine-paired feast served in a beautiful outdoor setting. Tickets are $175.

For more info and to purchase tickets, visit www.scottsdaleculinaryfestival.org.

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