The Scottsdale Culinary Festival: Cooks and Corks
On November 6th, Cooks and Corks returned to the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. Presented by the Scottsdale League for the Arts and Earnhardt Cadillac, the charitable organization that hosts the annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival, this al fresco event featured an array of mouth-watering dishes from some of Arizona's best chefs paired with wine, beer, and spirits. As we strolled through the picturesque Fountain Terrace, we were entertained with live music from acoustic artist Jared Blackstone and the Joe Costello Syndicate and a performance of a scene from The Producers by the Scottsdale Community Players. All net proceeds supported the non-profit Scottsdale League for the Arts in its effort to promote arts and arts education organizations.
The Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa at the Montelucia was represented by Executive Chef Michael Cairns and Executive Sous Chef Marcos Seville. Their dish was steelhead trout with romanesco cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and beet-cranberry puree.
Chef Mel Mecinas of Talavera at the Four Seasons served Press Coffee-crusted venison loin with braised cabbage and mole.
Chef Joey Cavaretta of Proof carved slow-roasted filet with loaded potato hash and smoked gouda sauce.
Chef Chris Nicosia of Sassi made a porcini-roasted veal loin with creamed porcini mushrooms and truffle butter.
Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza of Barrio Cafe brought her signature guacamole with pomegranate seeds, and cochinita pibil topped with pickled red onions.
Chef Todd Allison of T. Cook's at the Royal Palms plated seared ocean trout with chorizo, haricot verts, and finger lime.
Executive Chef Richard Boyer and Executive Sous-Chef Lee Hilson of The Phoenician offered guests two dishes - tuna arancini topped with guanciale, along with miso ramen with soba noodles, shaved Kobe beef, shiitake mushrooms, and a 64 degree quail egg.
Not pictured: Chef Matt Carter of Zinc Bistro, The Mission, and House Brasserie made one of my favorite dishes of the night: Tomato veloute with crispy speck, poached clams, charred cucumber, fennel and Gruyere. Chef Travis Garner of Capital Grille served beef tenderloin with Kona rub, caramelized shallot sauce and Sam's mashed potatoes as his crowd-pleaser.
Sweet treats were were served by two of my favorite pastry chefs - Lance Whipple of The Four Seasons Scottsdale and Country Velador of Super Chunk and Cowboy Ciao. Chef Whipple's wonderful desserts included an almond milk ice cream with almonds and caramel brandied apple, s'more cookies, and pumpkin macarons.
Chef Country spoiled the crowd with a choice of chocolate budino with whipped cream, almond cocoa cookie, and coffee toffee, and her "John and Yoko" (honey cake, cinnamon tres leches, mascarpone whipped cream and honeycomb candy).
Wine, spirits, beer, and Press Coffee were also poured.
More than one person told me this is one of their favorite culinary events, and from these pictures of happy attendees, it seems they agree. A can't miss event!
I received a complimentary media invitation to this event.