Eats & Drinks
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
The first keg of Western Rivers Ale will be tapped on August 1 at the “Tapping into Conservation” Launch Party at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center in Phoenix, from 6:30 -9:30 p.m. The launch party, unlike anything else in the Valley this summer, will feature live music from local band World Class Thugs. Admission is free, and beer will be sold for $3 each; ages 21+. Western Rivers Ale will debut among Four Peaks Brewing Company’s already popular line of craft beers. This beer, however, is on a mission: to raise awareness of the plight of the Western Yellow-Billed Cuckoo, just designated as “threatened” in October 2014.
“Conservation is something everyone should be concerned about,” said Steven Prager, a Teacher-Naturalist at Audubon Arizona and the leader of this initiative. “Connecting a beer with bird conservation is a way to promote awareness of the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo to a wider audience.”
The Yellow-Billed Cuckoo’s population has declined due to reduced natural river habitat. A combination of drought, invasive species, over-allocation, and unsustainable management threaten the Colorado River and its tributaries as well as the wildlife and communities that depend on them. Western Rivers Ale also aims to draw new members to the Western Rivers Action Network, Audubon’s grassroots network of 35,000 citizens across three states who take action to preserve rivers in the western U.S.
After the launch party, Western Rivers Ale can be purchased at both Four Peaks Brewing Company locations in Tempe and Scottsdale until August 31 – or until supplies run out. There will be a second brew this winter featuring the Sandhill Crane. The initiative also includes Toyota Together Green and the Phoenix Center for the Arts.
Audubon Arizona is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization with the mission of connecting people with nature, using science, education, and advocacy to protect Arizona’s birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and earth’s biodiversity.
Four Peaks Brewing Company seeks to provide consistent high-quality beer, food and service in a community-based atmosphere. The company has won many awards, including Thrillist’s “Best Brewery in America” (2015), the Travel Channel’s “Favorite Craft Brewery” (2014), and five Great American Beer Festival medals.
Images courtesy of Audubon Arizona
Creative hands often find themselves bound for some newer incarnation of New York City, be it Portland, Denver, or an unclaimed corner of Austin, Texas. But next week, five local chefs and one Scottish bartender will show you exactly why, when it comes to the culinary arts, Phoenix is the preferred destination for some of the most creative minds in the industry.
The 2015 Ripe Awards, to be held this Saturday evening at the Phoenix Art Museum, will honor local chefs for their edible feats and unmistakable contributions to the Arizona culinary scene. For the first time since the awards were created, the public was invited to submit nominations for their favorite culinary artists, which were then reviewed by judges from the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Art Museum and Men’s Arts Council.
The explosive growth of downtown Phoenix, coupled with a local community that wants the diverse food options to match their growing city, has caught the attention of talented entrepreneurial chefs from around the world, and resulted in the eclectic range of food options we currently enjoy. And according to award recipient Stephen Jones, it’s never been a better time to be cooking in Phoenix.
“In the 8 years that I’ve been here, right now it’s at all time high … with some of the local chefs doing their own thing,” he said.
Chef Stephen’s impact on downtown can be felt the moment you walk into the DeSoto Central Market, where he not only heads up yard bird + the larder, but also manages the menus for DCM Burger, Walrus & the Pearl, and Tea & Toast Co.
After coming to Phoenix for love, he stayed for the food. And after getting familiar with the local food industry and meeting a few influential chefs, he saw the potential and decided to stay.
“And for the golfing. I love to golf,” he added.
Chef Stephen will be joined by local chefs who are making a name for themselves with dishes your palette will recall fondly.
Chef Lori Hashimoto of Hana Japanese Eatery, Chef Cullen Campbell of Crudo and Okra, Chef Jeff Kraus of Crepe Bar, and Chef Scott Holmes of Little Miss BBQ, where carnivorous impulses are set loose upon the world.
As a special bonus, this year will also feature the first ever bartender recipient, Bitter & Twisted’s principal barman and proprietor Ross Simon, whose precious Gaelic soul serves up dreamy adult beverages to the thirsty masses.
The Ripe Awards were the brainchild of the Men’s Art Council, a non-profit organization that works to support the Phoenix Art Museum through community events. Men’s Art Council member and Chairman of the Ripe Awards, Kenneth O’Connor, says the amount of talent present in the Arizona cooking scene right now is overwhelming, and he can’t wait to celebrate these five chefs and amazing mixologist.
“The valley just seems like it’s exploding with all these restaurateurs,” he said, and whittling those many talented chefs down to five was incredibly difficult. But thanks to the public submission element of this year’s awards, the council felt they were more in tune with the chefs who were actively making an impact in their local communities.
“These are folks, who through their talents and their efforts, are getting the valley noticed as a food destination. And they’re also people who are looking to carry the torch to the future, and create a synergy here in the valley,” he added.
Attendees can expect of night of incredible flavors spent in the company of some of the most beautiful art in Phoenix. The main attraction will be the chefs, who will each offer tastings of their signature dishes, and winning mixologist Simon will be paired with Arizona Distilling to create alcoholic magic.
The event will also feature live music, local wineries and breweries offering samples, bread supplied by Noble Bread, a silent auction, and according to O’Connor, “a little surprise.”
The awards ceremony will take place at the Phoenix Art Museum this Saturday, July 25, at 7 p.m. where bites and drinks will take place, and many a wandering craving will be satisfied.
WHAT: 2015 Ripe Culinary Fest + Awards Celebration
WHEN: 7:00 p.m., July 25, 2015
WHERE: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004
COST: $55 per person, tickets available at: www.RipePHX.com
Proceeds go to support arts programming at Phoenix Art Museum
Photography: Grace Stufkosky
DPJ’s Wire series delivers news and information straight from the source without translation.
Uptown Farmers Market partners with Local Restaurants and C-CAP for Summer Chef Series. Series strives to inspire and educate home cooks using seasonal Arizona products.
Uptown Farmers Market has joined forces with local restaurants, chefs and C-CAP to host its Summer Chef Series at the market each Saturday through the summer 2015. Each week, the Summer Chef Series will feature a different chef from throughout the valley using seasonal Arizona products to inspire and educate home cooks. We have two goals for this Series. The first goal is to help customers learn how to transform seasonal items into simple, delicious summer recipes; over and over we see this is best accomplished through a personal demonstration at market. The second goal is to help our customers learn which restaurateurs are actively engaged in sourcing locally and show that we, as a market, support these restaurants.
“The idea of a summer chef series came from a conversation I had with Chef Justin Beckett,” says Bo Mostow, Uptown Farmers Market Manager. “He wanted to get involved and I wanted to implement an educational market component. We see so many folks who don’t know the name of certain vegetables, let alone how to prepare them. So, together we worked out the details.” Mostow continues, “What started as a small, fun project quickly grew as we threw this idea out to the neighborhood, local businesses and chefs.”
While the Summer Chef Series is still in development, the current chef line up includes Chef Jimmy Ducas and Chef Joe Hobsen of Lon’s at the Hermosa, Chef Rebecca Tillman of The Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak, Chef Justin Beckett of Beckett’s Table and Southern Rail, Chef Wade Simpson of Bistro on Wheels, Chef Matt Fenton of Tarbell’s and Chef Bernie Kantak of The Gladly and Citizen Public House, with additional chefs in talks for August.
C-CAP has created an internship for this series, and will have students on site assisting the Chefs with demonstration and sampling. In addition to the weekly demonstrations from local chefs, the Summer Chef Series will feature a raffle for four $50 gift certificates to the featured restaurant of the day. All products & recipes used in the chef-driven demonstrations will be locally produced and highlighted on recipe cards.
“Initiatives such as the Summer Chef Series provide us a forum to highlight exactly what farm to table food means, “says Chef Joe Hobsen of Lon’s at the Hermosa, “while at the same time educating the community and practicing Michael Pollan’s concept to ‘shake the hand that feeds you’.”
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Now A Little About You . . .
David Krietor has served as CEO of the newly-formed Downtown Phoenix, Inc. (“DPI”) since April 8, 2013. In that time, he has begun work with community stakeholders to develop the downtown we want. “Your Downtown” shares his thoughts and DPI’s progress with the downtown community and beyond. Read the other chats here.
On June 17, the Phoenix City Council unanimously approved a new five year contract for Downtown Phoenix Inc. (DPI) to manage the core Enhanced Municipal Services District. Thanks to everyone who voiced their support to Members of Council. While the Downtown Phoenix Partnership (DPP) remains a major partner overseeing services in the core, our new contract ensures we have a collaborative and coordinated approach to managing our increasingly dynamic downtown.
With the retirement of long-time Deputy City Manager (DCM) Rick Naimark, City Manager Ed Zuercher has announced the latest Table of Organization by promoting Karen Peters and Mario Paniagua to DCMs. In addition, the work of all deputies is now aligned by function: Public Safety (Milton Dohoney), Economic Development (Paul Blue), Community Services (Deanna Jonovich), Transportation & Infrastructure (Mario), Environment & Sustainability (Karen), and Administration (Toni Maccarone). Searches for Budget & Research Director and Aviation Director will commence soon.
In other downtown Phoenix news…
- American businesses flocking to downtown (just not in Phoenix)
- Arizona sees biggest population increase since 2008
- ASU partners with LinkedIn, Markle Foundation to help future jobs market
- Celebrate local businesses during Independents Week, through July 5
- Conference celebrated Phoenix’s independent side
- New Southeast Phoenix RAPID bus service connects commuters to downtown
- Phoenix plans to ride rails to economic prosperity
- Tallwave’s downtown program launches inaugural startup class
- Tiffe Fermaint’s Baby Teith fashion line finds Kickstarter success
- What 80 Orlando delegates took home from Phoenix (and it wasn’t t-shirts)
- Downtown workers coping with hot temperatures
- AIA placemaking series continues with “Shop in the City”
- Chilean developer building condo lofts, live-work units in Evans Churchill
- Filling in empty spaces: Portland St. condo developers look for renaissance
- Lafferty planning St. Ambrose condominiums at 12th St. & Van Buren
- Mitsubishi sells Downtown Phoenix tower for $94M
- New Uber center opening in downtown Phoenix
- Phoenix’s office buildings battle vacancy rates, downward pressure on rents
- UA, Banner to expand downtown biomedical campus
- Where are the architects, AIA panel asks?
- Arizona sports fans vote downtown Phoenix as Coyotes new home
- ASU research might change your mind about ticket scalpers
- Back downtown? Phoenix mayor reaches out to Coyotes
- Phoenix councilman pushes for dual Suns-Coyotes arena, mall, grocery store
- Super Bowl generated $295M in direct spending, $719M in overall impact
- The Sordid Travels Of A Cubs Fan: Phoenix
- The Upper Deck Tour: Chase Field, Phoenix
- Volleyball festival returns to Phoenix Convention Center
- Arizona Opera, Arizona Theatre Company raise $1.5M
- Downtown Phoenix gets new murals
- Go “Into the Woods” with Valley Youth Theatre
- Phoenix Arts and Culture Office seeks art educators
- Phoenix’s Central library becomes light spectacle on solstice
- Roosevelt Row holds Building Blocks fundraiser
- Summer art exhibits to catch at ASU
- Downtown Phoenix chophouse closing doors after 14 years
- Grocery store could be coming to downtown, ASU area
- Now Open: The Counter Custom Built Burgers
- 100 Favorite Dishes 2015: The 301 Pizza at Forno 301
- Phoenix entertainment district will allow alcohol sales near churches
- Ripe Festival and Awards showcase local culinary leaders
- Short Leash Hot Dogs to open in old Downtown Deli spot
- DeSoto’s Walrus & The Pearl: oysters & sparkling wine in downtown Phoenix
- Westin Phoenix Downtown overhauling Province restaurant
- Concert honors Phoenix refugee community
- Local families give out food, water at Phoenix shelter
- Phoenix & Blacksburg top 2015 Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards
- RadiatePHX hosts “Let’s Move, PHX!” rally at DeSoto Central Market
- Teens become doctors, nurses in UA “Summer Scrubs” program
DPI’s What’s Happening Guide for the week of June 29 to July 5 is ready to go. It’s an excellent recap of, yes, what’s happening in our downtown. You can review and download a copy by clicking here. And that reminds me, when was the last time you visited our Facebook page? Nearly 35,000 Phoenix aficionados “like” it and we hope you do too.