Devoured culinary fest makes debut this weekend

Here’s the excuse you were looking for to put your diet on hiatus: The inaugural Devoured culinary festival debuts this weekend.

Chefs from more than 50 of the Valley’s top restaurants will offer samples of their most popular dishes Saturday and Sunday in the sculpture garden of Phoenix Art Museum.

The event, initiated by Local First Arizona, also will include wine and craft beer tastings, food seminars, cooking demonstrations, art exhibits, films and live music.

Admission, $65 for one day or $90 for two, includes all food, drink and activities.

Some restaurants will participate both days; others will be there either Saturday or Sunday. A sample of their scheduled offerings:

• Chicken mole, cochinita pibil and shrimp pibil from Barrio Café’s Silvana Saloido Esparza, who was just nominated for a James Beard Award;

• Fresh-pulled mozzarella, local farmers market ragout and homemade pasta from Caffe Boa’s Payton Curry;

• Reconstructed Monte Cristo sandwiches from SanTan Brewing’s Dennis Martinez;

• Double Check Ranch meatballs from FnB’s Charleen Badman;

• Crab cake sliders with chipotle cole slaw from The Phoenician’s Paul Carter;

• Breakfast of Champions (pound cake with house-made frosted flake ice cream) from Cowboy Ciao pastry chef Country Velador;

• Goat milk fudge from Fossil Creek Creamery’s John Bittner.

Aaron May (Mabel’s on Main, Over Easy), Matt Carter (Nine/05, The Mission, Zinc), James Porter (pictured at top, Petite Maison), Christopher Gross (Christopher’s Crush) and Damon Brasch (Green) will be among chefs giving hourly demonstrations on stage.

Hourly seminars will be held by speakers ranging from Raymond Sokolov, author of the Wall Street Journal’s Eating Out column, to Arizona winemaker Eric Glomski.

“Blood Into Wine,” a new documentary featuring Glomski and business partner Maynard James Keenan, will be shown at 11:30 a.m. both days.

Festival attendees also will have full access to museum galleries, including the current “Ansel Adams: Discoveries” exhibition.

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave.
How much: $65 for one-day admission, $90 for two days; free parking in Viad garage across Central Avenue.
Info: (480) 657-7333 or

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