With the inaugural “Desert to Dish” Culinary Weekend weeks away (October 22-24, 2015), Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia has a full line-up of weekend events ranging from true farm-to-table dining experiences, exclusive tours of Arizona farms, and one-of-a-kind interactive opportunities with six renowned chefs from across the country. With Camelback Mountain as its backdrop, this food and wine weekend offers an unmatched foodie experience in the heart of the Sonoran Desert. The “Desert to Dish” weekend festivities challenge the award-winning chefs from some of the nation’s most notable food hubs in a series of guest-interactive culinary events over three days.

“As we started planning for “Desert to Dish”, we knew we wanted the focus to be on Arizona’s rich agriculture along with showcasing the dedication and passion our local farmers put into bringing diversity and attention to the Southwest,” said Michael Cairns, executive chef from Omni Scottsdale Resort. “We have a talented group of chefs from around the nation joining me in this culinary celebration– many from areas that are known for their abundant agriculture – so I’m thrilled to share with them what we have to offer here in Arizona.”

Visiting chefs joining Chef Cairns, include:

  • Executive Chef, Brandon Foster of award-winning Vesta Dipping Grill in Denver
  • Joey Beato of Chicago’s Community Tavern and Chicago Magazine’s pick for ‘Top 4 Chefs to Know’
  • Dakota Weiss, former Top Chef Texas contestant, and Executive Chef of Sweetfin Poke in Santa Monica along with the soon-to-open Estrella on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip
  • Joe Magnanelli of San Diego’s CUCINA urbana & enoteca restaurants, awarded Gayot’s Hot 25 Restaurants in the U.S.
  • Eater Dallas Chef of the Year, Brian Luscher of award-winning restaurant The Grape and recent nominee of the Top 50 New Restaurants in the U.S. by Bon Appétit, Luscher’s Red Hots, both located in Dallas.

The weekend kicks off as chefs and VIP package holders set out to procure a wide selection of ingredients with an all-access pass to 15 area specialty farms, ranches, and food purveyors; including Queen Creek Olive Mill, Crows Dairy, and Rousseau Farming Company. These exclusive behind-the-scenes experiences not only offer decant sampling, but also insight on traditional and innovative farming practices. During these excursions, chefs will source many of their ingredients they will use as their centerpiece for the culinary creations to come later in the weekend.

The weekend continues with unique, educational culinary classes featuring each of the master chefs, local purveyors, as well as a Chilean wine tasting experience with Master Sommelier, Fred Dexheimer, who recently partnered with Omni Hotels & Resorts to enhance the brand’s wine footprint across properties in North America. The crowning moment will be a friendly culinary showdown onSaturday, October 24, 2015, which raises money for The James Beard Foundation Scholarship Program. The finale event will showcase the chef’s skills as they compete in individual and group challenges – transforming a secret ingredient and the delicious bounty from the farm tours into one-of-a-kind dishes for the audience to savor. The final vote rests in the hands of the guests, as they will crown the first “Desert to Dish” champion.

Guests may purchase individual tickets to the food and beverage pairing events for $125 per person. For those wanting the ultimate culinary journey, VIP “Desert to Dish” travel packages are also available, which include access to the exclusive farm tours with the Chefs, master culinary classes plus private dining receptions, all while staying in luxurious accommodations at Omni Scottsdale Resort. Event details and stay packages may be purchased online at www.DesertToDish.com.