Photos: Taste Chandler culinary festival

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The first-ever Taste Chandler culinary festival took place Saturday night in downtown’s A.J. Chandler Park. Nearly 1,000 people sampled food and drink from 38 restaurants.

Taste Chandler

Acclaimed fine-dining restaurant Cork was probably the most-sought-out restaurant of the festival. Its offering included grilled goat (pictured), duck breast and confit, mac and cheese with barbecued pork belly, beef tartare and carrot cake with a spiced cream mousse.

Taste Chandler

Jaime Hoffman and Bryan Graffice dealt with the longest lines of the evening as people waited patiently for samples of SanTan Brewing Company‘s ales. The brew pub’s raspberry-stuffed mushrooms also were a hit.

Taste Chandler

Urban Tea Loft owner Glynis Legrand‘s husband Eric, left, and chef Nick Oltarsh were handing out three kinds of scones, as well as …

Taste Chandler

… a deliciously thick sweet potato soup.

Taste Chandler

People were scooping up Latitude Eight‘s spicy Thai lettuce wraps as fast as owner David Fliger could make them.  He also was serving Thai iced tea.

Taste Chandler

I loved the early-evening musical set by Sarah Vanell. If you get a chance to hear her sing, do it.

Taste Chandler

D’Vine chef Ramon Rice brought the heat with his barbecued pork belly with habanero vinaigrette.

Taste Chandler

Chandler residents Shannon and Tony Dufresne, owners of artisan ice cream wholesaler Crave, cooled things off with salted caramel ice cream with toasted almonds.

Taste Chandler

As darkness fell, temperatures dropped into the upper 70s, perfect weather to enjoy the wines in the outdoors.

Taste Chandler

Marketing guru Sara Putnam led the Whole Foods delegation, which …

Taste Chandler

… was barbecuing sliders on a large grill.

Taste Chandler

Serrano’s, the longest-operating restaurant in Chandler, gave away miniature beef chimichangas and chicken flautas.

Taste Chandler

Besides three different kinds of grilled bratwurst, Von Hanson’s Meats was handing out cold samples of three sausages.

Taste Chandler

Becky Smeraldo was slicing loaves from Simply Bread, which recently moved  into the city by buying out a pair of Chandler bakeries.

Taste Chandler

A couple of festival attendees pose for the camera.

Taste Chandler

Juice, a new casual wine bar coming to Downtown Ocotillo in December, made its Chandler debut with …

Taste Chandler

… plates of bruschetta. The owners said Juice will be similar in concept to popular Postino and the Roosevelt in Phoenix.

Taste Chandler

Murphy’s Law owner Roger Baldwin was showing his Irish spirit.

Taste Chandler

What’s a culinary fest without an ice scuplture? This one was courtesy of 42Below Vodka.

Taste Chandler

A festivalgoer takes a break on one of the park’s grassy areas.

Taste Chandler

Silent auctions were held for a variety of prizes, such as this gift basket from businesses in downtown Chandler.

Taste Chandler

VIP guests leave the courtyard of the Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort, where Kokopelli Winery was pouring wine and chefs from Bernard’s at Ocotillo were conducting cooking demos.

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