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Recap: 6th Annual Dine Out with the Chefs

Posted on: October 9th, 2011 by Taryn Jeffries No Comments

The annual Dine Out with the Chefs event was held on Sunday, October 2nd at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. More than 20 of the Valley’s top chefs signed on to participate, offering their most delicious creations in a fundraiser to benefit the Performing Arts. Participating restaurants included: Alto Ristorante e bar, Arcadia Farms, Citizen Public House, Cowboy Ciao, elements, FnB, Frank & Albert’s, J&G Steakhouse, Il Terrazzo, Julia Baker Confections, Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn, The Mission, Orange Sky, Spotted Donkey Cantina II, SWB, Sweet Republic, Talavera, T. Cook’s, Tracy Dempsey Originals, Zinc Bistro and ZuZu.

One of my favorite things about these types of events is the gathering of such great culinary talent in one space. Add to that the fact that most of the restaurants chefs had a presence at the event and I’m in culinary heaven.  And, every once in awhile you will be able to witness the brother (or sister) hood that often exists between chefs – specifically Payton Curry assisting Pavle Milic and Charleen Badman dish up and explain their offerings, which just so happened to be my favorite of the event. One will also have the opportunity to try the best, and sometimes most creative dishes, the Valley’s hotspots have to offer… without all that pesky mileage on your car. You can have a little taste and perhaps discover a new favorite or find that perfect spot to hit up next weekend.

My top 5 favorites of the event are as follows (possibly in no particular order):

Taryn’s Top 5:

  • FnB | Green Salad | The salad was crisp, clean and a quite generous and delicious portion.  Having Chef Curry explain where each individual component came from adding a lot to the dish as well.
  • Citizen Public House | Cured Steelhead with Lavender Tapioca |The cured Steelhead was an absolute treat.  There was a clean taste and the tapioca and chizo were a delightful accompaniment.
  • Cowboy Ciao | Peach Braised & Grilled Pork Belly, Caramelized Pumpkin Bread | I have to admit that I was trying to avoid heavy meat the entire event, but while in line at The Mission’s table, I met some lovely ladies who shared that they had an almost religious experience as a result of Cowboy Ciao’s offering and it could simply not be missed.  Turns out this mother and daughter team did not steer me wrong!  The peach braised pork was RIDICULOUS.  It was served atop a pumpkin bread and sweet, yet light, crema.  I was not sad to lift my meat moratorium for this sweet and savory plate, and could not even imagine the love affair I would have with a dinner serving.
  • The Mission | Cherry Cola Churros | I have a new guilty pleasure- Cherry Cola Churros. I was intrigued when told that they were using pop rocks as opposed to the traditional cinnamon sugar. Genius. Love – just love in tubular form.
  • ZuZu | Pan-seared Scallops on Creamy Grits with Lobster Butter & Crispy Potato Slaw with Microgreens | They had me at ‘creamy grits’ – the perfectly seared scallop and the surprising crispy potato slaw were, as they say, gravy.

Amy and I agreed on a few favorites, check out hers below:

Amy’s Top 5:

  • Alto Ristorante e Bar | Burrata & Roasted Heirloom Tomato Jam with Micro Basil | Alto’s burrata and tomato jam was one of the first things we tasted at Dine Out and it was such a lovely way to begin the culinary adventure. Since I’m so accustomed to pairing burrata with a savory side (roasted peppers, etc.) the sweet tomato jam was a beautiful surprise. I absolutely adored this little plate of heaven!
  • Cowboy Ciao | Peach Braised & Grilled Pork Belly, Caramelized Pumpkin Bread | Like Taryn, this dish made such an impression on me. There really are no words that would do it justice. Really. The contrast between the braised/grilled pork belly and the sweetness and warmth of the pumpkin bread was too good for words. My only complaint was that I didn’t have a bigger plate! This dish will be embedded in my memory for a long while. Delicious!
  • FnB | Green Salad | FnB’s gorgeous Green Salad (with three greens, cucumber, Meyer lemon, Queen Creek Olive oil, ricotta, purslane, and capers) was the highlight of my afternoon. Who knew this meat-lover would have given her heart to a salad?! If anybody can do it, Fnb can.
  • Lon’s | Rock Shrimp Margarita | Ceviched rock shrimp with prickly pear foam and chili infused tequila? Yes, please.
  • The Mission | Cherry Cola Churros | Did somebody say churros?? Coated with hot pink cherry-cola pop rocks, these were such a whimsical, fun treat (and quite good too!). Of all the sweet treats we tried, this was by far my favorite of the afternoon.

Nothing is complete without photos! Check out our favorites below:

Green Salad from FnB

Cured Steelhead with Lavender Tapioca from Citizen Public House

Peach Braised & Grilled Pork Belly, Caramelized Pumpkin Bread from Cowboy Ciao

Pan-seared Scallops on Creamy Grits with Lobster Butter & Crispy Potato Slaw with Microgreens from ZuZu

Burrata & Roasted Heirloom Tomato Jam with Micro Basil from Also Alto Ristorante e Bar

Rock Shrimp Margarita from Lon’s

Cherry Cola Churros from The Mission

For more photos of Dine Out with the Chefs, view our album on Facebook.

Recap by Taryn Jeffries with commentary from Amy Martin, PhoenixBites Staff


About the Author - Taryn Jeffries

Editor and Chief Eating Officer of PhoenixBites, 2017 Food Writer of the Year (Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame) Taryn grew up in a small town in Illinois with a doting Grandmother who taught her the way around a kitchen and that food is representative of love. Her current quest is to find the love in local dishes and the chefs behind them. In addition to running all things PhoenixBites, Taryn is also a freelance writer, sharing her insight on the best dishes and where to get them each and every month.

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