Restaurants, bartenders announced for Devour Culinary Classic

Above: Copyright: rawpixel / 123RF Stock Photo Restaurants | 1 Feb, 2017 |

The Devour Culinary Classic week of events has always featured many of the Valley’s most loved chefs and restaurants. This year, the event will also engage more chefs and restaurateurs from all types of backgrounds, winemakers, breweries, distilleries, farmers, local food producers and artists over one week than ever before.

This initial list of participants is subject to change, and changes will be reflected on the Devour Culinary Classic website. The confirmed list of participants for all events is below.

Only a limited number of general admission tickets remain for the Culinary Classic on Sunday, and tickets are still available for all other Devour Week events. Tickets are completely sold out for Saturday for the Culinary Classic.

Devour Culinary Classic, Saturday, March 4 Participants:

Featured in the VIP Lounge

  • Lori Hashimoto, Hana Japanese Eatery – Lori Hashimoto is a chef and co-owner of Hana Japanese Eatery. Lori finds inspiration by combining old world Japanese tradition with her 4th generation Japanese American heritage. Hana Japanese Eatery has been named one of the nation’s top 20 Japanese restaurants by Travel & Leisure and top 10
  • Arizona restaurants by Zagat. Lori and Hana Japanese are Devour Phoenix Restaurant Coalition members and long-time favorites of the Devour Culinary Classic.
  • Kelly Fletcher, Tuck Shop – Chef Kelly Fletcher’s acclaimed cuisine combines various styles and regions creating a unique version of Classic American. A Scottsdale Culinary Institute Alum, Chef Fletcher has been a local fixture holding tenure at Valley institutions.
  • Robert Porter, The Thirsty Camel – A member of the United States Bartenders Guild, Robert has successfully competed in several bartending competitions and regularly teaches interactive mixology classes to the delight of attendees. When he’s not busy working on his latest libation, Robert is also an accomplished artist and professional Graphic Designer. Robert takes a great deal of pride in blending creativity, technical expertise, and a desire to provide his customers with an exceptional and inspiring experience.

Chef demonstrations on Saturday will feature Michael Babcock and Clayton Craw of Welcome Hospitality and guests from Ramona Farms and Pivot Produce.

All Restaurants & Participants:

  • AJ’S Fine Food
  • Aioli Gourmet Burgers
  • Alto Ristorante at the Hyatt Gainey Ranch
  • Artizen, Crafted American Kitchen & Bar
  • Barrio Café
  • Cafe Lalibela
  • Cibo
  • Clever Koi
  • Crudo
  • Desert Rose Steakhouse
  • Doughbird
  • Espresso Italia
  • Flying V at Loews Ventana Canyon
  • Frasher’s Smokehouse
  • Helio Basin Brewing Company
  • Dust Cutter Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel
  • Joe’s Midnight Run
  • Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn
  • MATCH Cuisine & Cocktails at FOUND:RE Phoenix Hotel
  • NoodleBar
  • O.H.S.O. Brewery + Distillery
  • Otro Café
  • Phoenix City Grille
  • Pomegranate Café
  • Press Coffee
  • Redthai Southeast Asian & Shabu Fondue
  • Roastery of Cave Creek
  • Sierra Bonita Grill
  • St Francis
  • T.Cook’s at Royal Palms Resort and Spa
  • Tavern Americana
  • The Coronado PHX
  • The Dhaba
  • The Kak Shop
  • The Vig
  • True Food Kitchen
  • Urban Beans 24 Hour Bar and Café
  • Wren House Brewing Company
  • Mrs. Klein’s Pickle Company
  • Aloha Cakes AZ
  • Cookie Girl Cookie Shop
  • Doc’s Artisan Ice Creams
  • Fairytale Brownies
  • Kettle Heroes Gourmet Artisan Popcorn
  • LJ’s Gourmet Caramel Popcorn
  • Peanut Butter Americano
  • [POPPED] Artisan Popcorn
  • Sweet Treats Ice Cream
  • Urban Cookies Bakeshop

Devour Culinary Classic, Sunday, March 5 Participants:

Featured in the VIP Lounge: 

  • Chef Jeff Smedstad, Elote Cafe – Jeff Smedstad is the author of The Elote Café Cookbook, and is chef and owner of Elote Cafe located in Sedona, Arizona. A graduate of Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Jeff has been cooking professionally for over twenty years, most of which has been dedicated to Mexican cuisine. Before opening Elote Cafe, he was the chef and partner for Los Sombreros Mexican Restaurant located in Scottsdale Arizona for 12 years.
  • Lauren Klein, High Spirited Cupcakes – A self-taught baker, Lauren has been a flour-child since the age of three. The hunger for new trends and crazy ideas, and drive to perfect her craft, and challenge her creativity has propelled HighSpirited Cupcakes from a hobby to something much more. The world of spirits is boundless, and each combination of spirits lends itself to a whole new world of flavor.
  • Ross Simon, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour – In 2006, as London became saturated with new bars and great bartenders, Ross decided that he wanted to bring his trade, knowledge and love for cocktails to the United States, Arizona specifically. Since moving stateside, Ross has worked for a number of well-known bars across Arizona; re-organizing and building each venue’s bar menu and team training to implement menus to their fullest potential. In 2014, Ross finally got to fulfill his dream and open his own bar, Bitter & Twisted Cocktail Parlour in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

Chef demonstrations on Sunday will feature Bernie Kantak of Citizen Public House and The Gladly making a special announcement, as well as members of the the Arizona Vignerons Alliance including Maynard James Keenan and Dale Sparks with a side-by-side tasting of Tempranillo wines.

All Restaurants & Participants: 

  • AJ’S Fine Food
  • Beckett’s Table
  • Bitter & Twisted & Tacos Chiwas Collaboration
  • Café Tranquilo @ The Clarendon Hotel and Spa
  • Churn
  • Citizen Public House
  • CRUjiente Tacos
  • Deseo at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa
  • Different Pointe of View
  • District American Kitchen and Wine Bar
  • Federal Pizza
  • Frites Street
  • Green Nami
  • House of Tricks
  • Hula’s Modern Tiki
  • Joyride Taco House
  • La Piazza al Forno
  • Litchfield’s at The Wigwam
  • Mariposa Latin Inspired Grill
  • Merkin’s Vineyards Tasting Room & Osteria
  • Modern Tortilla
  • Nico Heirloom Kitchen
  • Phoenix Public Market Cafe
  • Postino Winecafe
  • Quiessence at The Farm at South Mountain
  • Roka Akor
  • Shift
  • Sosoba Phoenix
  • Southern Rail
  • Tammie Coe Cakes
  • The Breadfruit & Rum Bar, Leoni’s Focaccia
  • The Gladly
  • The Larder + The Delta
  • The MARKET Restaurant + Bar by Jennifer’s
  • The Parlor Pizzeria
  • Virtu Honest Craft
  • Windsor
  • Worth Takeaway
  • Mahfam Artisanal Handcrafted Foods
  • 24 Carrots
  • Tazzina di Gelato
  • Mamma Toledo’s The Pie Hole
  • NutWhats
  • The OKB Old Kentucky BBQ Sauce
  • Zak’s Chocolate

Devour Culinary Classic Wineries (Both Days) 

The Devour Culinary Classic is pleased to partner with Quench Fine Wines and will be sampling the following local and regional wines for both Saturday and Sunday at the Devour Culinary Classic:

  • Dos Cabezas Wineworks (Arizona)
  • Caduceus Cellars (Arizona)
  • Callaghan Vineyards (Arizona)
  • Sand Reckoner Vineyards (Arizona)
  • Page Springs Cellars (Arizona)
  • Arizona Stronghold Vineyards (Arizona)
  • JP Chenet
  • Farm Collective
  • Klinker Brick Winery
  • Keenan
  • Circo Vino Imports
  • Failla
  • Appellation Wine Co
  • Cannonball Wine Company
  • Adelsheim Vineyard
  • Vino del Sol
  • Vias Imports
  • 220 Imports
  • Hedges Family Estate
  • New House Vintners
  • Alcohol by Volume
  • Clos du Val
  • The Drop
  • Spotlight Brands
  • Love & Squalor
  • Vinum
  • Owen Roe
  • Lieu Dit

Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition 

The Devour Phoenix Bartending Competition will take place Sunday, February 26, at 3:00 p.m. at DeSoto Central Market in Phoenix (915 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004). Designed to celebrate Phoenix’s cocktail culture, bartenders from nine metro-Phoenix bars and restaurants armed with a selection of Arizona’s best locally distilled spirits convene for a mix-off of epic proportions. Participating bartenders will go head to head in a series of three rounds, shaking it to compete in the final, mystery basket round for the title of Arizona’s Star Bartender in 2017. Tickets will be $40 each.

The 12 bartenders that will compete for the 2017 title have been selected and will compete in a series of heats followed by a final round that will determine Arizona’s Star Bartender:

  • Tim Avery – Joyride Taco House
  • Matt Bermudez – Welcome Diner
  •  Jake Foster – The Parlor
  • Janessa Hilliard – St. Francis
  • Danny Kang – The Gladly
  • Michael Liberatore – Citizen Public House
  • Liza Loewenhagen – The Vig
  • Matt Minsky – hulasmoderntiki
  • Gavin Pena – Clever Koi
  • Manny Pena – The Windsor
  • Kapono Rowe – DeSoto Central Market
  • Jaong Woo – Otro Cafe

Seven Chef Singh Along

The 7 Chef Singh Along is a culinary event organized by the Arizona Seven, a collection of top Valley chefs dedicated to raising awareness of our world-class culinary scene and working to bring the James Beard Award back to Arizona. The event will take place Wednesday, March 1, at 5:30 p.m. at Singh Farms’ new location in Tempe. During this family-style wine-paired dinner, each chef will prepare a single course that highlights both their distinctive style, and the bold flavors of Arizona. Each course will be paired with a fine Arizona wine from local producers. Tickets will be $160 each, which includes gratuity and tax.

The original “Seven Chefs” are bringing along a couple of friends to create an unforgettable meal presented by ten of Phoenix’s top chefs:

  • Justin Beckett – Beckett’s Table, Southern Rail
  • Kevin Binkley – Binkley’s
  • Cullen Campbell – Crudo, Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails
  • Jacob Cutino – Homeboy’s Hot Sauce
  • Kelly Fletcher – El Chorro
  • Josh Hebert – Posh Improvisational Cuisine
  • Scott Holmes – Little Miss BBQ
  • Stephen Jones – The Larder + The Delta
  • Bernie Kantak – The Gladly, Citizen Public House
  • Gio Osso – Virtù Honest Craft, Nico

Palette to Palate

Palette to Palate will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 2 in Downtown Phoenix, a location will be announced when it is secured. The event blends the visual arts and culinary arts by pairing chefs and painters to interpret each other’s work for a show that is at once unique and insightful into the worlds of the two artists. The evening will feature Arizona wines and award winning chefs, paired with regional artists who will unveil new works at the event. A full lineup of participants will be announced at a later date. Tickets will be $40 each.

This year’s artist and chef combos include:

  • Chrysa Robertson of Rancho Pinot paired with Chad Little
  • Charleen Badman of FnB paired with Tom Budzak
  • Doug Robson of Otro Cafe paired with Hugo Medina
  • Michael Babcock of Welcome Diner paired with JJ Horner

Devour Film Screening: Elements

Devour Film Screening: Elements at FilmBar on Friday, March 3, at 5:30 p.m. This event is in partnership with Andrew Gooi of Food Talkies and the production team at Bite Magazine. Guests will get to experience the six elements and individuals captured in “Elements” while sampling creations from the featured chefs and makers including Jeff Kraus of Crêpe Bar (smoke), Ross Simon of Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour (ice), Julie Meeker of Mother Bunch Brewery (water), and more. Tickets are $30 each.

Guests that will be in attendance include a majority of those featured in the Elements films:

  • Brian Konefal of Coppa Cafe
  • Akos Szabo of Match Cuisine / FoundRE
  • Derrick Shields of The Farm at Agritopia
  • Julie Meeker of Mother Bunch Brewing
  • Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar
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