New About Town: Ghost Ranch, The Churchill, Ramen Hood

With the kids back in school, I find myself back to exploring the food scene, and there is no shortage of new openings in the Valley from which to choose.  Most recently, I have checked out three new spots in the Valley, from Tempe to downtown Phoenix and North Scottsdale. First of all, there is Aaron Chamberlin’s new concept, Ghost Ranch, a healthy take on …

Mont Saint-Michel

During a trip to France over the summer, I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of visiting Mont Saint-Michel, a tidal island and abbey in the region of Normandy that is one of France’s most recognizable landmarks.  Located at the mouth of the Couesnon River, Mont Saint-Michel was considered a strategic fortification.  Tides can vary greatly, as much as 46 feet, making the island …

About Town: Zookz, Jake’s Unlimited, Mountain Shadows, Teriyaki Madness

New To Downtown Zookz – Best Toasted Sandwiches ‘Round Voted Phoenix Magazine’s Best Sandwiches for many years running, Zookz, has opened a 2nd location downtown at 1 North First Street.  I popped in to visit with founder & owner, Carole Meyer, while learning a bit of the history behind these delicious round pressed sandwiches.  Carole was raised in Libya by her grandmother, who delighted in …

The Organized Fairy

I recently had the pleasure of collaborating with Malka Rodal, aka The Organized Fairy, who, with the blink of an eye like Barbara Eden in I Dream of Jeannie, turned my kitchen pantry from a cluttered mess into beautiful rows of labeled bins and canisters. Malka has been organizing for 9 years, since she was pregnant with her first child.  She started by helping friends …

About Town: Unicorn Milkshakes, Breakfast Tacos and Veggie Bowls at Bobby-Q

July Show Stopper at the Hotel Valley Ho The monthly creation by Pastry Chef Audrey Enriquez at Cafe ZuZu in the Hotel Valley Ho, whimsically called the “Show Stopper” milkshake, habitually tops the list of my favorite eats in Phoenix.  This month, she features the Unicorn Shake, a mixed berry milkshake decorated with a funfetti cupcake, marshmallows, cotton candy, a rainbow lollipop, whipped cream, a white-chocolate-dipped …

10 Hot Topics from Aspen Food & Wine Classic 2018

As the temperatures have been in the triple digits here in Arizona, I wanted to turn my attention to what was hot at the 2018 Aspen Food & Wine Classic.  It was my sixth year to attend, and each year is just as fun as the previous, if not more.  While it is difficult to narrow it down to just 10 Hot Topics, I have …

Father’s Day at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Louisiana native, Paul Fleming, has left a lasting mark on the restaurant scene in my adopted home of Arizona.  From opening Ruth’s Chris on Camelback Road in 1985, to developing P.F. Chang’s in 1993, to the rolling out of Pei Wei Asian Eatery and most recently Paul Martin’s American Grill, Paul Fleming has been a leading innovator in the restaurant industry.  After selling his Ruth’s …

About Town: St. Francis, PNPK, O.H.S.O.

ST. FRANCIS Local favorite, St. Francis, on Camelback Rd. east of 1st Street has been sold to new owners.  Aaron Chamberlin, owner of Phoenix Public Market Cafe, Tempe Public Market Cafe and Taco Chelo, has sold St. Francis, his first Phoenix restaurant, and plans to focus on new projects, including a New Mexican-inspired restaurant called Ghost Ranch (the name of Georgia O’Keeffe’s famous adobe abode …

Wrigley Mansion

When I moved to Arizona in 1993, the restaurant scene was a bit smaller than what you experience today.  However, you would recognize a few names – trailblazers, if you will – of the AZ dining scene: Vincent Guerithault, Mark Tarbell, Chris Bianco, Nobuo Fukuda and Christopher Gross, to name a few.  Speaking of Christopher Gross, I was thrilled to hear that the James Beard …

Where to Sleep, Drink and Eat in Sonoma County, CA

We just returned from a wine-soaked weekend in Sonoma County, CA, and I wanted to share with you some of my favorite recommendations!  xoM Where to Sleep? Hotel Healdsburg, h2hotel, Harmon Guest House Fifteen minutes from the Santa Rosa Airport, at the confluence of the Dry Creek, Alexander and Russian River Valleys, Healdsburg is a quaint town that is an ideal spot from which to …