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Events | The 2017 Foodist Awards Finalists Announced

Posted on: October 9th, 2017 by Press Release No Comments

The votes have been cast and the Arizona Restaurant Association is pleased to announce the 2017 Foodist Awards Finalists. The finalists in each category are listed in alphabetical order. The top vote earner in each category will be announced at the Foodist Award Ceremony on October. 19. Tickets and more information are available at

New this year, the nomination and vote process was done online and over 1500 votes were cast from the general public to determine the finalists and winners.

The 2017 Foodist Awards Finalists AnnouncedHere are your 2017 Foodist Awards Finalists

Uniquely Arizona – Home to some of the oldest documented food traditions, Arizona has a rich culinary past steeped in tradition. We are searching statewide for the restaurants that embrace not only the local food but are staples of the state.

·       Cress on Oak Creek at L’Auberge de Sedona
·       Tomaso’s on Camelback
·       Tonto Bar & Grill

Innovative Restaurant Concept – Recognizes a restaurateur or restaurant group who demonstrates that they don’t follow trends; they define them, setting the bar in restaurant operations and the overall customer dining experience.

·       Crujiente Tacos
·       El Panzon y Frida
·       Hash Kitchen

Outstanding Multiple Location Restaurant – Honors a culinary concept with multiple locations, demonstrating exceptional achievement and commitment to excellence in marketing, menu design and customer service.

·       Hash Kitchen
·       Postino Wine Café
·       The Capital Grille

Emerging Restaurant of the Year – Honors promising up-and-comers that demonstrate exemplary talent, showcase innovation and have already distinguished themselves as pacesetters in food, beverage and service.

·       Crujiente Tacos
·       Fat Ox
·       Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse

Outstanding Food Truck – Recognizes outstanding achievement in mobile nourishment, operations and community development.

·       Frites Street
·       Mustache Pretzels
·       Short Leash Hot Dogs Food Truck

Best Dish: Tacos – Honors the restaurant that quite simply does it best.

·       Casa Añjeo
·       Crujiente Tacos
·       Tacos Chiwas

Restaurant Manager – Recognizes the manager that has set the gold standard for exemplary customer service and leadership as well as enhancing the overall dining experience.

·       Justin Cohen (Riot Hospitality Group)
·       Nicholas Campisano (The Clever Koi)
·       Pauline Martinez (Char Kitchen + Bar)

Restaurant Employee – Recognizes the front or back of house employee (non-managerial) that has set the gold standard for exemplary customer service and enhancing the overall dining experience.

·       Garrit Guthrie (Market Street Kitchen)
·       Kevin Lewis (Kai)
·       Sherry Dierauer (Ling & Louie’s Asian Bar & Grill)

Premier Cocktail Program – Recognizes an outstanding restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence and innovation in their cocktail program.

·       Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour
·       Counter Intuitive
·       Hand Cut Burgers & Chophouse

Best Cocktail – Raising a glass to the best cocktail made in Arizona. This beverage is an exceptional cocktail that is without a doubt delicious, garnished to perfection while pushing the limits with flavors.

·       Kombucha Cocktail (Farm & Craft)
·       The Drunken Gardener (Market Street Kitchen)
·       The Smoking Cannon (UnderTow)

Premier Beer Program – Recognizes an outstanding restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence and innovation in their beer program.

·       Craft 64
·       Federal Pizza
·       TapHouse Kitchen

Best Arizona Beer – Raising a glass to the best beer made in Arizona – from ales to malts, this beer is the best of the best from State 48.

·       Kilt Lifter (Four Peaks Brewing Company)
·       Papago Orange Blossom Ale (Huss Brewing Company)
·       Scottsdale Blonde (Huss Brewing Company)

Premier Wine Program – Recognizes an outstanding restaurant or bar that demonstrates excellence and innovation in their wine program.

·       FnB Restaurant
·       J&G Steakhouse
·       Postino Wine Café

 Best Arizona Wine – Raising a glass to the best wine made in Arizona – from rose to chardonnay, this wine is the best of the best from State 48.

·       Arizona Stronghold Vineyards
·       Dos Cabezas WineWorks
·       Flying Leap Vineyards

Top Mixologist – Honoring an individual who is behind the bar, constantly raising the bar and setting trends in the beverage scene.

·       Garrit Guthrie (Market Street Kitchen)
·       Keifer Gilbert (Counter Intuitive)
·       Matt Thompson (Riot Hospitality Group)

Best Overall Beverage Program – Recognizing a bar or restaurant that keeps their beverage menu edgy yet approachable embracing all things beverage – cocktails, spirits, wine and beer.

·       Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
·       Counter Intuitive
·       Market Street Kitchen

Good Neighbor – Recognizes the outstanding community leadership and exceptional devotion to making a difference in our neighborhoods and community at large.

·       Chompie’s Restaurant, Deli, and Bakery
·       Fox Restaurant Concepts
·       Raveen Arora (The Dhaba)

Food Pioneer – Honors a lifetime of outstanding culinary excellence that continues to educate, inspire, entertain and foster a deeper understanding of the culinary culture in Arizona.

·       Chef Christopher Gross (Christopher’s & Crush)
·       Chef Jeff Smedstad (Elote Café)
·       Chef Tomaso Maggiore (Tomaso’s on Camelback; Tomaso’s When in Rome)

Top Chef – Pays tribute to outstanding culinary excellence, breaking new ground with an innovative menu while enhancing the dining experience.

·       Chef Cullen Campbell (Crudo; Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails)
·       Chef Joey Maggiore (Hash Kitchen)
·       Chef Michael O’Dowd (Cress on Oak Creek at L’Auberge de Sedona)

Foodist, Arizona’s top culinary and hospitality industry awards, will be held on Thursday, October 19 at 6:00 p.m. at the Young’s Market Company’s event space affectionately known as “Seventh & Union” located at 402 South 54th Place. For the first time, the Foodist Awards and voting was open to the public, giving Arizona foodies a chance to mix and mingle with the state’s best chefs, mixologists and influencers.

Presented by Young’s Market Company, The Foodist Awards recognizes and highlights the most amazing tastes, faces and places in Arizona food and beverage.

From sizzling southwestern to award-winning chef-owned dining rooms, the industry’s commitment to culinary excellence has made Arizona a delicious destination for travelers and foodies alike. for more info and to purchase tickets.

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