Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance (SAACA) and Casino Del Sol have announced a fresh, new culinary affair in Southern Arizona, with the Casino’s Executive Chef, Ryan Clark leading the vision. The Arizona Farm & Food Festival will tap the talents of Arizona’s outstanding chefs as they are paired with local farmers markets and purveyors. The teams will be tasked with inventing creative recipes that demonstrate the virtues of the locally-sourced ingredients.

The family-friendly event will bring together food producers, makers and enthusiasts in the spirit of collaboration, at Casino Del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater on Nov. 10, 2018. Event highlights will include live cooking demonstrations, food samplings, Heirloom Farmer’s Market “Taste the Market” tent, hands-on workshops, children’s activities, a Farmer and Growers Pavilion, and an opportunity to meet and interact with the chefs and producers. Local spirits purveyors will be prominent at the festival in the interactive wine and beer tent. Libations from the region’s breweries and distilleries will be offered, along with guided tasting tours for the over 21 crowd.

Nonprofit and advocacy organizations dedicated to strengthening our local food system and distributors and retailers focused on local and sustainable foods will participate in the event.

The menus, that are specially created for the event, will be sourced from a broad range of local products that could include items like tomatoes, squash, mushrooms, grass-fed beef, pistachios, cholla buds, or Saguaro seeds, among many others. Each chef will focus on a primary ingredient to reveal its full flavor-potential.

The buzz around the event has begun to spread, and some chefs have already registered to participate in November. Confirmed participants include: Black Mesa Ranch Goat Cheese, Boca Tacos y Tequila, Casino Del Sol, Commoner & Co, Heirloom Farmer’s Market, J.W. Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa, Local First Arizona, Loews Ventana Canyon, Maynard’s Market, Pima Community College Hospitality Leadership, Pivot Produce, Prep & Pastry, Reilly Craft Kitchen, Three Wells Distilling, Tucson City of Gastronomy, Tucson CSA, and Tucson Foodie. Confirmed sponsors include: Sedona Water, Shamrock Foods Co, and Stern Produce.


Chef Ryan Clark is a force in the culinary world and has been increasingly in demand nationally and internationally for his talents as chef, teacher, and restaurant consultant. His passion for farm to table cuisine has been an ongoing focus of his career, and the event is an opportunity to share that passion on a large scale. “This festival is unlike any event that we have in the region,” said Clark. “Each station will be a unique opportunity for guests to interact with the chef preparing the dish, the farmer that produced the food and the brewer or distiller of the paired beverage, all served in one bite. The Arizona Farm & Food Festival is about providing a food-experience that facilitates building relationships and strengthening our community in an impactful way.” Chef Ryan is currently the executive chef of Casino Del Sol where he oversees all culinary operations for the Forbes Four Star award-winning casino resort.

The Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance produces several culinary festivals throughout the year that highlight the region’s vibrant culinary arts scene. This inaugural event represents a new partnership and a new model for the nonprofit organization, creating fresh avenues for integrating arts experiences that capture the spirit of the event. “The Arizona Farm & Food Festival is an investment in the sustainability of Arizona’s cultural food heritage and connecting chefs and restaurants with local food producers supports preservation of our culture,” said Kate Marquez, SAACA Executive Director. “Arts and culture provide foundational contributions to communities’ well-being. By supporting and developing innovative arts programming, we help create communities capable of positive, diverse and equitable public dialogue and action.”


Tickets for the Arizona Farm & Food Festival are $35 for General Admission, which includes access to the AVA Amphitheater for the Arizona Food & Farm Festival, live cooking demos, activities, and 10 sampling tickets from participating chefs. Alcohol will be available for purchase. Second-tier tickets are $50 and include all General Admission benefits, as well as 10 wine, beer and spirits samplings for those over 21 only. Tickets are on sale now at

AZ Farm & Food Festival

When: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at 12:00 PM – 3 :00 PM

Where: Casino Del Sol’s AVA Amphitheater, 5655 W Valencia Rd, Tucson, AZ 85757

Tickets: $35 General Admission, $50 Upgraded Ticket with Alcohol Samplings

Phone: 520-797-3959 x 105