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Phoenix Art Museum To Host Ripe Awards, Awarding Valley's Top Five Chefs

The Phoenix Art Museum has announced the Valley’s top five chefs who will be recognized at the annual Ripe Awards on January 31. The chefs include Josh Hebert of Posh, Charleen Badman of FnB and Bodega, Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House, Greg LaPrad of Morning Glory Cafe and Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Cafe and Barrio Queen.

These diverse and gifted chefs have been identified for their yearning passion for cooking by creating exquisite dishes that embody artistic vision and culinary expertise.

Ryan O’Donovan, member of the Men’s Arts Council, says, “The fusion of art and the culinary arts combining to raise awareness of the gifted chefs and artisans residing in the Phoenix metro area is monumental and stands to be recognized.”

About the chefs:

Ripe Awards chefs

(Left to right): Bernie Kantak, Charleen Badman, Silvana Salcido Esparza, Greg La Prad and Josh Hebert

Bernie Kantak, Citizen Public House First up is Bernie Kantak, chef and co-owner of Citizen Public House in Scottsdale. Not only has Kantak made quite a name for himself in the Valley, but he has also been featured on the Food Network and covered in the pages of Food & Wine and Bon Appetit. Kantak’s reputation revolves around his groundbreaking menus that make the locals crave his delicious delicatessens.
Charleen Badman, FnB and Bodega Up next is Charleen Badman, executive chef and co-owner of FnB and Bodega in Scottsdale. Badman’s approach to cooking involves simple and ingredient-driven recipes that build the overall foundations of her restaurants. Badman received formal training under some of the world’s best female chefs, making her a huge threat in this year’s awards.
Silvana Salcido Esparza, Barrio Café and Barrio Queen Silvana Salcido Esparza, executive chef and owner of Barrio Café and Barrio Queen, was inducted into the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame and nominated for the James Beard Award — so this award show isn’t her first. Esparza incorporates a Mexican flare that lures her loyal customers in and makes them go wild. With her experience and loyal followers, Esparza definitely has a chance for the Ripe award.
Greg LaPrad, Quiessence and Morning Glory Café Next is Greg LaPrad, chef and owner of Quiessence and Morning Glory Café. With his fascinating culinary style influenced in Tuscany, LaPrad’s method to cooking is unlike anything Phoenix has seen. With his innovative slow food movement, LaPrad has not only won the hearts of the locals, but he has made quite a name for himself in the Valley.
Josh Hebert, Posh Josh Hebert is the executive chef and owner of Posh in Scottsdale. Posh is a one-of-a-kind restaurant and the Valley’s first venue to serve “improvisational cuisine.” Hebert has trained in some of the world’s most notable kitchens and his passion for the culinary arts seeps through every bite.

This class of truly talented professionals will be honored on January 31 at 6:30 p.m. at the Phoenix Art Museum. Guests will be wined and dined as nominated chefs serve up their signature cuisines. Guests will also have the chance to view a spectacular art show from local artist Lalo Cota. Tickets are $65 — and be sure to come with an empty stomach.

For more information about the Ripe Awards, visit ripephx.com.

Ripe Awards

Where: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
When: January 31, 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $65 per person (purchase tickets here)
Website: ripephx.com