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Taste America Headed To The Valley Featuring Local Chefs
The James Beard Foundation’s 2019 Taste America presented by Capital One cross-country culinary series returns to the Valley of the Sun Sept. 19-20 for a weekend of food-filled events.
Traveling to 20 cities this year, Taste America celebrates the country’s diverse culinary culture and the important role that chefs play in advocating for a more delicious, sustainable and equitable food world.
Phoenix’s weekend-long itinerary will kick off on Thursday, September 19th with a “Raising the Bar” reception at Seventh & Union at Young’s Market Company at 6:00 p.m. Guests will enjoy a walk-around reception, meeting and greeting participating rising star mixologists Kyla Dahl from Pigtails Cocktail Bar, Keifer Gilbert from Toca Madera, Chanel Godwin-McMaken from Little Rituals, Matt Steward from UnderTow, and Henry Whittaker from Century Grand.
At the reception, guests will be able to enjoy an array of cocktails prepared by the mixologists and a variety of tasting items prepared by the chefs — Christopher Brugman of Castle Hot Springs, Dom Ruggiero of Hush Public House, Tamara Stanger of Cotton & Copper, Brett Vibber of Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine and Juan Zamora of Chula Seafood.
Taste America’s weekend in Phoenix will continue on Friday, September 20th, starting at 7:00 p.m. with a gala benefit dinner at The Royal Palms Resort & Spa featuring a culinary team comprised of Arizona’s top chefs, including Taste America’s Visiting All-Star Tiffany Derry. The evening commences with a pre-dinner reception featuring five celebrated local chefs Cat Bunnag from Glai Baan, Stephen Jones from The Larder & The Delta, Tandy Peterson from Mowry & Cotton, Ryan Swanson from Kai, and Claudio Urciuoli from Pa’La .
Visiting National All-Star Roots Chicken Shak Chef Tiffany Derry and Local All-Star Chef Danielle Leoni of The Breadfruit and Rum Bar will create a three-course menu for the guests. The evening also includes a silent and live auction and will conclude with a dessert reception created by Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop Chef Danielle O’ Day and Royal Palms Resort & Spa Chef Hollie Layman-Sanders.
A portion of the proceeds from the benefit dinner will directly contribute to the Foundation’s Scholarship Programs.
The weekend will conclude with Owning It, part of the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs. The industry-only workshop will bring together around 60 women who are in the idea or growth stage of a food related business, and give a select number the opportunity to pitch their idea to a team of local investors for funding. The women who participate will walk away with the tools necessary to drive their visions forward, and ultimately help advance more women as leaders in the culinary industry. Applications are open until September 9th.
The Foundation has partnered with Food Recovery Network to ensure that Taste America events are Food Recovery Verified, meaning that all surplus food from these events will be recovered and donated to hunger-fighting nonprofits, who support food-insecure individuals, in each city. Through Food Recovery Verified, the Foundation can do its part to reduce food waste and hunger at the community level. This year marks the seventh time that the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America has visited Phoenix. Expanding for the first time to span nearly a full year, Taste America 2019-20 will also be traveling to: Atlanta; Boston; Charleston, SC; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles; Louisville, KY; Miami; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Nashville; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Portland, OR; San Francisco; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.