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Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, W Scottsdale Hotel Featured In “Bachelorette" Wedding

Ashley and J.P., Photo: usmagazine.com“Bachelorette” fans, are you ready for Ashley Hebert and J.P. Rosenbaum’s much-anticipated wedding, “The Bachelorette: Ashley and J.P.’s Wedding,” on Sunday, December 16? For those living in the Valley, specifically in the Scottsdale area, you may spot a few familiar destinations during their bachelor and bachelorette parties. That’s right ― the couple celebrated their respective parties right here in Scottsdale, and you’ll also spot W Scottsdale Hotel.

Not only will viewers have the chance to watch Ashley and J.P.’s bachelorette and bachelor parties, which took place two weeks before the wedding, but viewers will also follow the couple as they plan and prepare for the wedding ― from the dress fitting for Ashley’s dazzling custom-made gown, designed by Randi Rahm, to the couple mapping out the big day with their wedding planner. The wedding guest list includes Trista and Ryan Sutter, Jason and Molly Mesnick, Ali Fedotowsky, Jillian Harris, Deanna Pappas, Sean Lowe, Roberto Martinez and Ryan Park.

Ashley and J.P. are the second “Bachelorette” couple to ever walk down the aisle. Their wedding will be officiated by Chris Harrison, the host of the “Bachelor” franchise.

“The Bachelorette: Ashley and J.P.’s Wedding” is a production of Next Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Television. Mike Fleiss and Martin Hilton are executive producers.

“The Bachelorette: Ashley and J.P.’s Wedding

When: Sunday, December 16, 9-11 p.m.
Where: On the ABC Television Network

Photo: Dru Bloomfield - At Home in Scottsdale, Flickr

Scottsdale’s Annual Green Building Lecture Series Scheduled for September

Green Building Lecture: Scottsdale’s Annual Green Building Lecture Series will be back in full swing come September first.

The Green Building Lecture Series is free and open to the public, and address sustainability issues such as environmentally responsible and healthy building practices and energy efficiency.

This will be the 12th lecture series event about green building hosted by Scottsdale in order to inform and educate building owners, developers and builders, and design professionals on sustainability practices.

The lectures are held on the first Thursday of every month from September 2011 to June 21012, excluding January, with the first lecture for the 2011-2012 year titled “What Happens When Green Becomes Code?”

The International Green Construction Code (IgCC) was recently adopted by the Scottsdale City Council and is the core of the city’s Commercial Green Building Program. The lecture in September will educate the public on IgCC and how it will make “going green” easier to obtain for developers of multi-family and commercial housing.

Other lectures in the series will include topics on reusing rainwater, cooling and heating options for the home, green projects around the Valley and water saving techniques.

The Green Building Lecture Series will feature practitioners and experts speaking on the green topics each month to address key issues pertaining to sustainability and going green.

The monthly events will take place at the Granite Reef Senior Center in Scottsdale, from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

[stextbox id=”grey”]If You Go:
Green Building Lecture Series
Granite Reef Senior Center
1700 N. Granite Reef Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85257

Roka Akor Butterfish Takaki

Minimalist Decor At Roka Akor Allows The Food To Shine

Don’t let the understated decor of Roka Akor fool you, for the true masterpiece awaits you the moment you take your seat. Simple furnishings — wood floors and tables and stone-like walls — let the cuisine take center stage. Roka Akor Interior

The centerpiece of the restaurant is the massive robata grill powered by charcoal and maintained by attentive chefs who carefully grill, glaze and garnish. The grand grill sits in the middle of the restaurant, allowing guests to watch everything as it is being made.

Roka Akor has journeyed far to reach Scottsdale. The original restaurant opened in London, with other locations opening in Macau and recently in Hong Kong. With such an international resume, it seems surprising that this chain would choose Scottsdale to open its flagship U.S. location. Yet, here it is and we couldn’t be any happier to have it.

Roka Akor Black CodDescribed as Japanese Robatayaki cuisine, the menu has endless options to choose from. From traditional sushi to great grill items, Roka Akor has myriad dishes. We began the evening with a traditional component of a Japanese meal: edamame. The steamed edamame with sea salt was the perfect beginning for the feast that awaited us. Tasty cocktails were in abundance, with shochu infusions being the top draw. The vodka-like alcohol is distilled from wheat or barley and Roka Akor carries several flavors. The cocktails also serve a dual purpose, according to the menu: The raspberry shochu helps to improve memory, and the shiso lime schochu is listed as aiding in “great skin and blood tonic.”

Next, we selected appetizing snacks from the cold and warm starters. The butterfish tataki melted in your mouth and the white asparagus and yuzu shallot dressing rounded out the flavor. Favorites of the evening were the spicy beef and kimchi dumplings, lightly fried to crispy perfection. The grilled asparagus topped with sweet sesame and the grilled eggplant were also well received. When dining at a Japanese restaurant, sushi is always a must. We ordered a variety of familiar rolls, shrimp tempura, spicy tuna and softshell crab, to please the palate and none disappointed.

With plenty of delectable robata dishes to choose from, we settled on a range of flavors; a grilled salmon teriyaki, lamb cutlets, and duck breast basted with honey and sansho pepper. The lamb was everything you could ask for — tender, juicy and infused with Korean spices. But the pièce de résistance was the grilled Madagascan tiger prawn. The massive marine crustacean is the world’s largest species of prawn and was certainly the star of the meal. Grilled on the robata, the prawn was flavored with yuzu Roka Akor Barkoshyu chili paste, a tangy spice that gave it just the right amount of zing.

Our meal was paired with a few tasty side dishes. One standout was the rice hot pot, precisely described as “Japanese risotto.” The rice dish was comprised of various mushrooms and wild plants cooked in harmony to create the quintessential texture of risotto.

If you’re not too worried about breaking the bank, for nearly $20 an ounce, the Japanese wagyu beef sirloin can only be expressed as exquisite. It is, after all, recognized as one of the best beefs in the world. Our small tasting was given compliments of the chef, thanks to a chance remark that caught his attention.

For dessert, we decided on the Roka Akor platter, which proved quite a sight to see. Served on a large stone plate, the platter included a wide variety of tastes, textures and colors to please all. Four delicate scoops of sorbet in flavors ranging from raspberry to green tea were placed on a huge cube of ice in the middle of the plate. For the chocolate lovers, the platter also included a moist, chocolate cake filled with a molten green tea center. A final unique taste found on the platter was the chawan mushi, a Japanese custard with strawberries and honeycomb.

Presentation is key to Roka Akor’s appeal. Everything is served on rustic stone plates, intentionally simple to draw attention to the food. With a no-fuss approach to making great-tasting food and serving it up in style, Roka Akor is sure to be in the Valley for the long haul. Welcome aboard.