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.
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.
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.
Urban Tea Loft owner Glynis Legrand‘s husband Eric, left, and chef Nick Oltarsh were handing out three kinds of scones, as well as …
… a deliciously thick sweet potato soup.
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.
I loved the early-evening musical set by Sarah Vanell. If you get a chance to hear her sing, do it.
D’Vine chef Ramon Rice brought the heat with his barbecued pork belly with habanero vinaigrette.
Chandler residents Shannon and Tony Dufresne, owners of artisan ice cream wholesaler Crave, cooled things off with salted caramel ice cream with toasted almonds.
As darkness fell, temperatures dropped into the upper 70s, perfect weather to enjoy the wines in the outdoors.
Marketing guru Sara Putnam led the Whole Foods delegation, which …
… was barbecuing sliders on a large grill.
Serrano’s, the longest-operating restaurant in Chandler, gave away miniature beef chimichangas and chicken flautas.
Besides three different kinds of grilled bratwurst, Von Hanson’s Meats was handing out cold samples of three sausages.
Becky Smeraldo was slicing loaves from Simply Bread, which recently moved into the city by buying out a pair of Chandler bakeries.
A couple of festival attendees pose for the camera.
Juice, a new casual wine bar coming to Downtown Ocotillo in December, made its Chandler debut with …
Murphy’s Law owner Roger Baldwin was showing his Irish spirit.
What’s a culinary fest without an ice scuplture? This one was courtesy of 42Below Vodka.
A festivalgoer takes a break on one of the park’s grassy areas.
Silent auctions were held for a variety of prizes, such as this gift basket from businesses in downtown Chandler.