Tag Archives: elizabeth reich

Gelato War Spoons

The scoop on this year’s Gelato Wars

The Gelato Spot’s annual Gelato Wars are back! Through August 31, patrons of Gelato Spot can try 10 flavors whipped up by local chefs and vote for their favorite.

Gelato Wars is a month-long competition for bragging rights, a customized copper trophy and $500. It’s also a fund raiser with the goal of donating at least $5,000 to Make-A-Wish Arizona.

“Our mission is to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy…and what’s more joyful than gelato,” said Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona.

Gelato Spot owner Tommy Plato said getting 10 chefs — 5 new and 5 returning — to all come together and create unique gelato flavors was like “herding cats into a cold bathtub.” But we’re here to tell you that the delicious results will beat out a cat bath any day.

Scottsdale Living’s Social Media and Digital Manager Perri Collins taste-tested all 10 flavors and ranked them from best (No. 1) to less-best (No. 10) — come on, there’s no such thing as bad gelato. To even the playing field a little, Associate Editor Amanda Ventura weighed in, too.

Camelback Crunch, Tracey Dempsey Originals

Camelback Crunch, Tracey Dempsey Originals

Blueberry Buttermilk Pie
Justin Beckett and Jeff Schoening, Beckett’s Table
This creamy and sweet gelato flavor is a delightful mix of marion berries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries from the northwest, where Jeff Schoening hails from.
Where I ranked it: No. 9
[Editor’s Note: This flavor was like a cheesecake wrapped up in sweet ribbons of berry mixture. I think it was simple, delicious and something I’d eat a few more scoops of, but it’s not novel enough to stand out among the competition.]

Camelback Crunch
Tracey Dempsey, Tracey Dempsey Originals
The 2013 defending champion, Tracey Dempsey, made a dessert homage to her residence near Camelback Mountain. This gelato is a nice balance of flavors and textures that don’t seem to have much in common at first, but they blend really well together.
Where I ranked it: No. 1
[Editor’s Note: This was in my top three, but that’s in large part due to the fact that Tracey Dempsey used all of my favorite flavors in one gelato.]

Honey Toasted Almond Biscotti
Gio Osso, Virtu
“I grew up eating with toasted almond bars from the neighborhood ice cream truck, so I used that as my inspiration and added salt for a more sophisticated taste,” says Osso. If you like sweet, then this flavor is for you. It was tasty, but the sugary sweetness overwhelmed the nuts.
Where I ranked it: No. 3
[Editor’s Note: This flavor was actually a bit too salty for me — though I do love some almonds and salted caramel.]

White Chocolate Stracciatella
Josh Hebert, Posh
The cherry and chocolate combination was nothing new and exciting. It was subtle and refreshing, but rather middle of the road.
Where I ranked it: No. 6
[Editor’s Note: I agree here. I think the flavor was delicious but lacked the novelty of the other competitors.]

Sage Brown Butter & Candied Cashew
Josh Bracher, The Second Story Liquor Bar
The candied cashews had an amazing flavor. It was the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
Where I ranked it: No. 5
[Editor’s Note: Yep. This was a balanced cup of sweet nuttiness.]

Carrot Cake
Keenan Bosworth, Pig & Pickle
This was a good idea with bad execution. It tasted nothing like carrot cake, although you could really taste the goat cheese in the gelato.
Where I ranked it: No. 7
[Editor’s Note: Maybe I built this flavor up more in my head because I love carrot cake; I eat it every year for my birthday. However, I did like the incorporation of the goat cheese. It was in my top five.]

Chocolate Sorbet with Smoked Almonds and Caramel
Walter Sterling, Ocotillo (set to open later this year)
A chocolate gelato won last year’s competition, so Walter Sterling chose something with chocolate in hopes of stealing the trophy, but we think his dreams are about to be dashed. The chocolate was very bitter, the caramel wasn’t as pronounced as it should have been and the nuts were too large and crunchy.
Where I ranked it: No. 8
[Editor’s Note: This vegan dark chocolate sorbet was delicious. You really do have to like bitter chocolate, though. When I was vegan, I learned to really love dark chocolate so I don’t think that’s going to be a problem. If anything, this is one of the more decadent flavors better enjoyed in small portions.]

Mole
Michael Dowd, Urban Vine
Mole is an ambitious flavor with 17 different spices and nutella folded into this gelato for a spicy explosion on your tongue. It tasted like a kid grab handfuls of every spice he could find in a middle-eastern market and mixed them together with chocolate milk.
Where I ranked it: No. 10
[Editor’s Note: This was in my top three. It reminded me of eating peppery German gingerbread, Lebkuchen, as a kid.]

Sweet Corn with Truffle Honey
Matt Carter, The Mission & Zinc Bistro
It was hard to taste the corn or honey over the overpowering thyme in this gelato flavor. The layers of corn and blueberry would have made a better impression
Where I ranked it: No. 4
[Editor’s Note: I agree, but the sweet corn ice cream is a must-try. I can still kind of taste it as I type this.]

Smoked Banana Pudding
Scott Holmes, Little Miss BBQ
“We’re a BBQ place, we had to smoke something!” says Scott Holmes. This is a simple idea with complex flavors and a delightful finish. Well done!
Where I ranked it: No. 2
[Editor’s Note: Yes! Remember those vanilla wafer and banana puddings your mom made for pot lucks? This is the next level of that. There could have been a bit more caramel to balance every bite into perfection, but overall this was a top three flavor.]

Gelato Spot Locations:

Biltmore/Arcadia
3164 E. Camelback Rd.
Phoenix, AZ  85016
602.957.8040

40th St. & Greenway
4010 E. Greenway Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85032
602.494.4010

Old Town Scottsdale (Wood Fired Pizza & Gelato)
4166 N. Scottsdale Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ  85251
480.425.8100

frequent flier miles - airline tickets to fulfill wishes

Frequent Flier Miles Can Help Grant Nearly 100 Wishes This Summer

The lazy days of summer may have begun for some of us, but Make-A-Wish Arizona is gearing up for one of the busiest wish granting summers on record…and your frequent flier miles can help!

Nearly 100 Arizona children battling life-threatening medical conditions will have their one true wish granted before the new school year begins, and the majority of these wishes require air travel. Some of those trips include a wish to meet the Pope, a wish to meet President Barack Obama, and a wish to see the turtles in the Galapagos Islands.

Donating frequent flier miles through the foundation’s Wishes in Flight program is easy – and the miles never expire once they’ve been donated.

“We are asking travelers to donate airline miles which we will use to help grant wishes of children who need to travel to reach their wish destinations,” said Elizabeth Reich, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “When you donate airline miles you free up other resources that can be used to grant wishes. An added benefit is that most airlines also waive baggage fees when miles are donated. Baggage fees add significant costs to wishes. ”

Many major airlines based in the United States allow members of their frequent flier programs to donate airline miles to Make-A-Wish Arizona If you have frequent flier miles with Delta, US Airways, Continental, or United, you hold the ticket to a child’s wishSM.

Every traveler can be part of a life-affirming wish. All it takes is a simple airline miles donation.

To donate frequent flier miles to Make-A-Wish Arizona, visit www.wishaz.org and click on Ways to Help or call 602-343-9437 to donate over the phone. If don’t have miles to donate but you’d still like to support the foundation, you can make a monetary donation by visiting www.wishaz.org

az biltmore - make-a-wish sweet 16 birthday

Biltmore Helps Make Wish Come True

There was a time when Shelby might not have lived to see her 16th birthday, but after receiving a life-saving heart transplant Shelby is celebrating this milestone with a Sweet 16 party thanks to Make-A-Wish Arizona and the Arizona Biltmore Resort!

Shelby was only two months old when she was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition. After two open heart surgeries doctors determined that a heart transplant was Shelby’s only hope for survival. Now on the road to recovery, Shelby’s wish for a Sweet 16 party will be granted on Friday night at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.

“The Biltmore has been a longtime supporter of Make-A-Wish Arizona, said Elizabeth Reich,” President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Arizona. “When they decided to help us grant this wish and arrange to have everything donated for the party we were thrilled. Having support from the community is essential for granting wishes. We are extremely grateful.”

A special thanks goes out to all the valley business who donated everything from food to décor and entertainment for Shelby’s wish.

  • Event Team
  • Pacific Events
  • Casino World
  • Let Them Eat Cake
  • Transtyle
  • Gourmet Foods
  • European Foods
  • Sysco Foods
  • Shamrock Foods
  • Jonathan Robbins Bakery
  • Up Church Candy Company
  • Shamrock Dairy Farms
  • Koerner Company
  • K and M Meats
  • Make-A-Wish Arizona
  • Arizona Biltmore Resort

For more information on Make-A-Wish Arizona and the Arizona Biltmore Resort, visit their websites at arizona.wish.org and arizonabiltmore.com.

Elizabeth Reich - AZ Business Magazine January/February 2012

Elizabeth Reich, Make-A-Wish Foundation Of Arizona

Elizabeth Reich, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona, discusses how Make-A-Wish was founded, its challenges, how they make wishes happen and more.

Elizabeth Reich

Title: President and CEO
Company: Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona


What is something people don’t know about Make-A-Wish?

Most people don’t know that it was founded here in Arizona in 1980 after some DPS officers and a customs agent learned of a boy with leukemia whose one wish was to become a police officer. They decided to help make his dream happen. He got a uniform, was checked out on mini-motorcycle, and the experience was very meaningful to him. When he died, he was buried in the uniform and he was issued. After the officers saw the impact the wish had on the boy and his family, they said , ‘We should do this again,’ and it grew into what it is today. We have 62 chapters in the U.S. and we are in 35 countries worldwide. Make-A-Wish is Arizona’s gift to the world.

Video by Cory Bergquist

What has been your biggest challenge in this struggling economy?

We are 100 percent dependent on dollars from people and corporations to make our wishes come true and those dollars are fewer and farther between. People know that Make-A-Wish does great things, but sometimes they don’t see them as necessary things.

How do you show them that they are a necessity?

Fortunately, a 2010 study of more than 2,000 Make-A-Wish families and volunteers shows the impact of a wish beyond that moment — the impact on the family, the impact on the volunteers and the impact on that child through the rest of his or her life. Many of our Make-A-Wish children live to be adults. That wish experience has impact on their ability to recover from their illness. So as a result of the wish impact study, we can now say our wishes are not a ‘nice to have,’ they are a ‘need to have.’

What is your most rewarding moment at CEO of Make-A-Wish?

It’s always the most recent moment. There was a young lady who graduated early from high school and was No. 3 in her class. Originally, her wish was to go to Italy. But her wish changed. She said, ‘I want to focus on school. I want to focus on becoming a doctor.’ So her wish was for a laptop computer. Not only was her wish for a laptop granted, but she got an iPad, an iPod, and a desk to put the laptop on. She was so gracious and so thankful. It’s something that is going to enrich her life for years to come and it was her one true wish.

Are there common threads in the wishes?

Our wishes fall into four categories: I wish to be, I wish to go, I wish to have, or I wish to meet. But more and more, kids today are adding a fifth category: I wish to give. They use their wishes to give back. We are working with one girl whose wish is to have a national forum where she can talk about the importance of being a bone marrow donor. We are working with morning shows right now to arrange a platform for her so she can get her message out.

How do you make the wishes happen?

We have wonderful staff members called wish managers. They have to be part travel agent, part logistician, be multi-skilled, and have to work in concert with our volunteers. When you’re granting 251 wishes, like we did last year, you’re dealing with a lot of logistics and a lot of juggling. I like to say that we cry here every day. We cry for good things and we cry for bad things. But we know what we’re doing makes a difference for that child and for that family and that feels so good.

Vital Stats: Elizabeth Reich

    • Joined Make-A-Wish Foundation of Arizona in 2010
    • Graduated from Whittier College with a degree in political science
    • Previous jobs include vice president of advancement at Childhelp; CEO at VisionQuest 20/20; and vice president of development at Banner Health Foundation
    • From 1998-2003, was executive director of what is now called The Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families, consisting of the Governors’ Divisions for Women, Children, Prevention of Family Violence, Drug Policy, Volunteerism, Community Outreach and Character Education
    • Raised money to support Banner Desert Medical Center and Banner Children’s Hospital in Mesa. Led the first stages of a capital campaign, successfully obtaining several seven-figure gifts

Arizona Business Magazine January/February 2012