AZCentral.com Food & Wine Experience The Grand Tasting – Sunday

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For $65.00 subscribers of the Arizona Republic Newspaper paid for unlimited samples from many of the Valley’s Best Forking Restaurants, assorted booze, exciting chef demos, interactive displays and forking more.

This experience was set up at the Scottsdale Fashion Plaza in Tents in the parking lot behind Macy’s Department Store. The weather was a perfect eighty degrees with some slight breezes. It was just right for lots of forking grazing.

Our gastronomic adventure was suppose to start at 12:00 at AJ’s Festive Entertaining Pavilion were they set up a full forking supermarket offering various offering of delectable looking samples. Sadly I had to forfeit almost all of Aj’s offerings if I wanted to make it to the 12:15 All Star Panel Featuring Chef’s Paul Bartolotta, Michael Ginor, Aaron May, Chuck Hughs and special guest Gram Elliott. They spoke about changing restaurant trends and touched on authenticity in restaurants. They shared their personal stories and there was some humor and laughs.

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Had time to get a sampling of BBQ tasty Beef  and Kimchi from Little Miss BBQ.

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And got a great cocktail pasted out to me from the ending presentation from award winning mixologist Branden Casey.

This ended around 1:00 and I was forking hungry and thirsty.

Then I thought we’d see one more presentation out of the 6 total presentations I could have seen.

Saw Graham Elliot cook up a few things. He took questions.

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One woman asked him why did you use red onions instead of white. I was going to ask my forking question of how the fork do you clean morel mushrooms because I am forking convinced that you can’t. (see my posting on morel mushrooms) I just kept quiet and got my husband to run us some snacks. After Graham Elliot’s presentation I had little time to make the rounds and not enough time to get my ten drinks I paid for.

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Had some salmon from Switch Restaurant and Wine Bar. I didn’t take any notes and forgot what the relish was but it was interesting. Wasn’t my favorite for fish.

Second Story Liquor Bar made up a little chicken fried beef with horseradish potatoes.

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It was tasty but I didn’t forking get the chicken fried connection.

Tried smoked trout rillette from Quiessence.

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A bit smokey for me but not too shabby.

My picture doesn’t do this display justice.

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Scramble did tasty French Toast.

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Wild Tiger, Little Tiger put out shrimp and salmon in medium/spicy red curry.

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Maybe the only thing I tried that I’m sorry I didn’t come back and take a second was from the Citizen public house/Gladly. The one plate that was super special was the lavender cured cobia with coconut tapioca. It was super interesting with a texture that was very unique. I wonder if this dish is ever offered at either of the restaurants. I sure would love to order it.

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Tasty bite of fish from the crudo.

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The lemon mini cupcake from Arcadia Cupcake was very forking good. The tiny cake had lemon curd under the cream.

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Bootleggers offered pickled deviled eggs with truffle oil.

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One of the unexpected tastier plates I tried was from Rancho Pinot. It was Moroccan spiced chick pea stew. It was very satisfying with lots of flavors and textures.

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The Crepe bar handed out unusual but pretty soup. The flavors were a little too strong for me.

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Saffron squash ravioli from Taggia was pretty darn good.

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The Dabba’s Chicken Tikki Masala.

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Red Thai/Shabu Fondue made these tiny Red Curry Chicken Lollipops. That very flavorful tender and tasty. I could have eaten several of them.

A few places do make very good food at their restaurants but I felt they didn’t shine as they should have at the experience.

The burger from Ingo’s Tasty Food wasn’t as delicious as from the restaurant.

The pasta and hand made mozzarella from La Piazza al Forno isn’t close to the delicious food they serve up at their restaurant either.

The guacamole from Los Sombreros was ok but doesn’t represent the interesting and different central Mexican Food they offer.

A few places ran out of food before the festival was over and the Aj’s closed up before the festival was over so I missed that too.

The experience was mostly outstanding. I just felt it ran short on time. Three hours just wasn’t enough time for this event. I felt I also eat the food too fast and felt fuller than when I do the Devoured Festival.

But……

I Hope to forking do it next year!

 The Forking Truth

The Forking Truth

 

 

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