The azcentral Food & Wine experience is a two day event food & libation festival. Around 50 different Arizona Restaurants and many wines, beers and spirits are there for sampling. The headlining attraction was Martha Steward and cooking demos.
We were finally at about an average temperature for November and were at around 80 degrees with ZERO chance of rain. Guess what…..it rained for a short time and then it poured but only for a short time.
My Forking Gripes……
For the most part most of the food I tried was good. I was very disappointed with the wines I tried. Even the VIP ticket didn’t bring on as fine wine as we had in years past. After trying three wines that sucked I didn’t want anymore wine. The VIP bathrooms were really great last year and it seemed they used a different company and the bathrooms were air-conditioned but not much different than porta potties. Another gripe were the stemless wine glasses they used this year. Stemless glasses are for swirling at a table and are not good to be carried around for long periods of time. My wine sling doesn’t work with a stemless glass and it was difficult to carry a glass and get food.
Now I’m over most of the gripes and now I am on the food.
Well lets see some of what I saw and some of what I tasted.
There was a nice little layered dessert and octopus by Match Cuisine and Cocktails. (I thought this was from Match Cuisine….but in the newspaper it reads that this was from The Boulders????) I didn’t take notes so my bad if I am wrong.
Mowry and Cotton at the Phoenician offered Lamb Tacos and fancy Charred Tuna.
One tequila, two tequila, three tequila…..FLOOR!
The Crepe Bar didn’t serve crepes….?…..They served a Liver Mousse with Buttery Fancy Radishes……
This Pasta and Cheese was from AJ’s. Is a very impressive display. They used what is maybe a hallowed out $1,000 dollar wheel of cheese to serve pasta in. But plain pasta with just cheese is very boring even if it is expensive delicious cheese.
This I didn’t try but it was maybe the most unusual offering at the festival. A push pop with duck liver mousse, apple, dates, pistachio, some sort of gel and apple sorbet. It came from PY Steakhouse.
A very tasty Steak with tabasco onions from Bourbon & Bones Chophouse & Bar
AJ’s Pork Tacos
Handlebar Diner offered Duck Tamales
Chef Christopher Collins really brought it on with Wally’s Fried Chicken Sandwich, Grassroots Short Rib over super SPICY HOT Jalapeño Cheese Grits, Twisted Grove Shrimp Salad and Sweet Provisions Lemon Tart and his Super Magic Bar…..WOW what a spread he brought. I think half the food I ate came from here and it all was great!
The Market by Jennifer made a really nice little spread too! Really good Potato Chips with Pimento Dip, Korean Style Beef, Yummy Little Chicken Drums and Milk & Cookies.
Some of Aj’s Fine food offerings……This might have been in the VIP tent. Maybe I’ll ask if they will sell me some finger limes…..None of the AJ’s near me carry them….. 🙁
It was really hot and crowded in the AJ’s VIP tent…..hope my deodorant didn’t fail.
AJ’s offered a fancy couscous salad that was made with this bottle oil, vinegar, lemon and herb dressing. It actually was amazing. The salad and the dressing were really surprisingly good.
AJ’s offered Butternut Squash Risotto that came from a box. It was horrible. AJ’s also offered another appetizer……It looked pretty but I got a raw crisp slice of sweet potato with some toppings. These were the only things I tried that were Forking Awful…..both not edible…YUCK!
But then AJ’s had a killer cheese table….so MANY HIGH END cheeses…….so I guess they redeemed themselves after the previously mentioned dishes.
That was Day One of the azcentral Food & Wine experience 2017.
Let’s see what happens tomorrow.