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Weekend Bites: The Best Places to Fill Your Belly Now Until Next Weekend

Posted on: November 13th, 2014 by Taryn Jeffries No Comments

Bring on the cardigans and outdoor events. Arizona weather has reached its sweet spot and now is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the climate along with all the great events that are happening all around the Valley.

Here are just the highlights of what you can get into this weekend!

Friday, November 14th

Cooks & CorksCooks & Corks

Cooks and Corks returns to kick off the Scottsdale Culinary Festival festivities. This year you will find that the Valley’s top culinary stars will be out in force under the stars at the Four Seasons Resort in Scottsdale. Those in attendance will enjoy a multi-course meal prepared by the likes of Kevin Binkley, Beau MacMillan, Lee Hillson, Roberto Madrid, Jay Bogsinske, Michael Cairns, Paul McCabe, Matt Carter, Jesse Hansen, Travis Garner, Michael Lamey, Christopher Nicosia and Alexander Curtis. If you are lucky enough to have procured a VIP ticket you can attend the exclusive pre-event Mix & Mingle where you can sample and enjoy gourmet hors d’oeuvres and chat with the participating chefs before the big event.

Hensley Beverage Co. will be providing all the boutique wines, spirits and craft beers. You’ll be entertained by the music from Lark and Key, so be prepared to dance.

All the proceeds from the event will support Scottsdale League for the Arts.

General admission tickets to Corks & Corks (price $125) will be limited to 400 attendees, while tickets to the VIP Mix & Mingle with the Chefs (price $175) will be limited to 100 attendees. Mix & Mingle will begin at 5:30 pm and the Cooks & Corks event will follow at 6:30 pm.

Saturday, November 15th

79th Annual Friendly House Tamale Dinner

This year the 79th Annual Friendly House Tamale Dinner will move into its new event location at The Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix and present an exciting day of family-friendly festival activities.

Event committee members are striving to secure the participation of approximately 12 Valley Mayors, who will each in turn identify a selected hometown restaurant to showcase their tamale offerings to event-goers. These vendors will sell tamales of various types (chicken, pork, beef, etc.) along with side items to attendees. A selected number of restaurants offering unique twists on traditional tamales will be invited to participate in the festival as well.

At the event, a main stage will be erected at the corner of 5th Street and Van Buren, facing a large grass area where attendees will be encouraged to lounge all day to watch bands, dance troupes, and other entertainment in between bites of tamales and related Mexican fare. A beer garden will be set up under a picturesque cluster of trees, adjacent to another large grass area where a majority of the tamale vendors will be positioned. VIPs will enjoy access to a lovely tiered promenade of the Arizona Center, where a private bar, catering stations, and other surprises await.

The Friendly House will raise funds through sales of tickets, beverages, sponsorships, and a portion of tamale sales. Collectively, the money raised from the Tamale Dinner & Festival will provide tools and resources for individuals of all ages that participate in their stellar programs.

General Admission tickets are $12 and include 3 food and drink tickets. You can purchase a GA ticket upgrade for $20 which will get you 8 food and drink tickets. VIP tickets will cost $60 and include 16 food and drink tickets as well as access to the VIP lounge. Kids 10 and under are free (but will still need to have food and drink tickets – if you want to feed them!)

Arizona Wine Grower’s FestivalArizona wine Growers Festival at the Farm

The 6th Annual Festival will take place on Saturday, November 15th from 12 pm to 5 pm. This event will include a presentation about how wine is produced in Arizona from the state’s top winegrowers. Wine seminars, wine tastings from over 30 wineries, live music, and a live auction will also be taking place at this spectacular event. Tickets are $75 at the door and $65 prior to the event. An AWGA member discount is also available for $60. Tickets can be purchased online.

Caffe BoaCaffe Boa’s 20th Anniversary Party

Caffé Boa is hosting a “20” themed celebration. Guests will be able to enjoy a “2 for $20” dining option choosing any two course combinations from Antipasti, Insalata, Pasta Fresca, and Dolci. Some of the featured dishes include: Calamari Fritti (Point Judith, Rhode Island sustainable calamari, garlic, EVOO), Caprese (heirloom tomatoes, hand pulled bufala mozzarella, house stracciatella), Luca’s Meatballs, “Agnolotti” Boa (ravioli, grilled and marinated mushrooms, tomato cream, Grana Padano), and Classic Tiramisu. There will also be a featured one-night only $20 per bottle wine list.

Diners may also notice the new face-lift Caffé Boa received this year. The remodel began with the interior update which includes a myriad of upgrades that together create a modern, farmhouse feel — think rustic, brushed metals, reclaimed wood paneling and chicken-wire accents. Also, the private dining areas, one of which seats 16 in a quaint glass-enclosed, raised space with rich, reclaimed wood paneling, and a separate area for 30 that includes wood doors for more privacy. Not to be outdone, the bar area, patio, restrooms and light fixtures also experienced a renovation.
Seating for the 20th anniversary celebration will begin at 5 pm. Door prizes, a champagne toast, and live music will also be part of the birthday bash. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 480-968-9112.


MasterChef Junior Casting Call

MasterChef Junior Logo

Do you have a child at home that asks you what you would like for dinner instead of the other way around? Do they make out the grocery list and menu plan?

If that’s the case, then you need to escort them down to the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak  this Saturday, November 15th. The one and only MasterChef Junior will be holding a Phoenix casting from 9 am until 5 pm.

Your little culinarian must be between the ages of 8 and 13 as of March 9th, 2015. You will need to pre-register your child prior to Saturday. Planning on heading down? Make sure you take your child’s completed application along with an apron of your child’s choosing (food and equipment will be provided to the children at the call). Make sure to plan to stay with your child for the duration of their time at the casting call.

Phoenix just so happens to be the first on the list of casting calls, so make sure that you take your talented tyke to ensure they impress the judges and save themselves a spot!

Thursday, November 20th

Bink's Scottsdale Beer For Brains DinnerBeer For Brains Dinner

Help support brain cancer awareness at Bink’s Scottsdale’s Beer for Brains Benefit Dinner. The four-course event is $85, plus tax and gratuity, and includes a complimentary tasting glass from Four Peaks Brewery. Guests will feast on Chef Kevin Binkley’s award-winning cuisine paired with refreshing Arizona beers from Four Peaks.

The Beer for Brains Foundation is an Arizona-based, nationally recognized non-profit organization comprised of craft-beer lovers, distributors, and brewers who are committed to raising awareness and funding brain cancer research. Louis Dolgoff, founder of Beer for Brains, will be in attendance, along with Four Peaks representative, Remy De La Mora.

Beer for Brains is one of the few beer-related charities operating in the United States. This unique charitable event kicks off the holiday season for a good cause. Interested parties may reserve their tables by calling Bink’s Scottsdale at 480-664-9238.

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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