In revisiting the post I wrote regarding the Devour Phoenix Culinary Classic of 2017, I noted my intention to attend both days of the tasting event in 2018. However, by the time I purchased my tickets in December (tickets went on sale in September), the tickets for Saturday were already sold out. I realize this was such a rookie move for a culinary classic geek like me, and I was extremely disappointed in myself. I even went onto Craig’s List for the first time in my life to see if I could either upgrade to VIP and/or buy a Saturday ticket. Would you believe there was such a demand for the Devour tickets that people were offering to trade their Justin Timberlake tickets??? I am thrilled that the event has become so popular, as it showcases the valley’s extremely talented and burgeoning culinary scene. However, I also realize I cannot wait until the last minute to purchase what has become one of the hottest foodie events in town.
This year, the setting was the majestic Desert Botanical Gardens, offering plenty of space for 10 zones, or “experiences”, with chefs, bartenders, and local food and drink exhibitors. On a perfect 65 degree Fahrenheit day, Hubby and I donned our wine tasting lanyards and sunscreen, and set out to taste dishes from old favorites, like The Gladly and St. Francis, and to discover some new spots to tick off our date night list. The following is a smattering of my favorites, and, yes, we tried them all while saving a little room for the beverage tastings. BTW, the best thing I learned yesterday: a friend suggested I become a member of Local First Arizona (Localist) to be apprised of the sale of Devour Culinary Classic 2019 the moment they become available, so that is the nugget I leave for you. Subscribe to Localist here.
PS Last year, I believe on my FB page referencing the Devour Culinary Classic, someone commented something along the lines of, “Overpriced event for snooty, rich people”. So, I am the first one to admit to being very snooty about food…in fact, I would say that being “snooty” about food is the definition of a “foodie”. But I have to address the “overpriced” comment. A ticket to Devour Phoenix costs $105. That includes admission to the Desert Botanical Gardens (usually $24.95) plus 4 hours in which to indulge in food and drink, prepared by some of the best chefs in the valley in one of the most beautiful settings. Plus, I feel the object here is to make sophisticated food more obtainable. Just sayin’. Let me know what you think in the comment section below. xoM
All photos by Marci Symington for texAZtaste.com.