Last spring at our school auction, Hubby and I, along with some friends, bought a desert dining experience with a local company, Cloth & Flame. As a result of following their Instagram page, I had been fascinated by the idea gourmet dining in the desert under the stars in the company of great friends. When the appointed date rolled around, sixteen of us were picked up at 5 pm in Paradise Valley, battled traffic for about an hour, before arriving just before sunset at the base of the Superstition Mountains. As we rolled out of the van, the setting laid before us was nothing short of awesome.
In 2013, entrepreneurs Matt Cooley and Olivia Laux started Float Balloon Tours, a company specializing in sunrise and sunset hot air balloon ride adventures. “Cloth” refers to the envelope, or fabric, of the balloon, and “flame” is the burner. This clever idea evolved into farm-to-table outdoor dining (à la Outstanding In The Field), and there are plans for a luxury camping retreat in the near future.
While privately catered dinners are part of their offering, they host dinners en plein aire throughout the year in various locations around our great state, such as Slide Rock in Sedona, and Sonoita in the Arizona wine country, the dates and prices of which can be found on their website here. They have an on-site chef, Aurore Kasinsky, and frequently partner with local chefs, such as Huss Brewery, Justin Beckett with Beckett’s Table and Stephen Jones from The Larder + The Delta. I have signed up for their next dinner on April 17, when for the second year running, they are closing down Central Avenue for a uniquely downtown Phoenix experience. The guest chef will be announced the week prior to the dinner. Who will be joining me? xoM
Cloth & Flame
All photos by Marci Symington for texAZtaste.com.