Helio Basin Brewing Company owners, Mike Conley and Dustin Hazer, bring something unique to the Arizona dining scene. In their mission to raise awareness for Arizona beer and cuisine, they have found a partner in Chef Tamara Stanger, a Utah native with a passion for Arizona. Supporting local farms and small businesses, the team at Helio Basin has created a menu decidedly Arizona-centric. What does this mean? Some have described the cuisine as Native American. And one can certainly argue that it contains Native American elements, such as the O’odham White Tepary Bean Purée. However, I feel it’s more than that. I am reminded of an episode I watched from the Netflix show, Chef’s Table, about Magnus Nilsson, chef and owner of Fäviken in Sweden, who forages the subarctic for ingredients at his Michelin two-star restaurant. To quote Chef Nilsson, “If you have everything all the time, there is very little motivation to create something new, and possibly better.” Like Magnus Nilsson, Chef Stanger’s preparations draw on her knowledge in foraging in a challenging environment. At a recent Spring Equinox Dinner at Helio Basin, Chef Stanger celebrated spring as one of her favorite times to forage with the desert in full bloom. Each course was paired with a Helio Basin beer that highlighted the flavors in each dish. It was an eye opening experience, to see how Chef Stanger forages from the bounty of the desert to bring exceptionally fresh ideas to the table. Bon Appétit! xoM
Helio Basin Brewing Company in 2016 was voted by Beer Advocate as one of the Best New Breweries in the US.
3935 E Thomas Rd, Phoenix 85018
All photos by Marci Symington for texAZtaste.com. I was hosted at this event, but all opinions are my own.