James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Returns to Phoenix

Two-day event includes Raising The Bar reception and Gala Benefit Dinner

The James Beard Foundation’s 2019 Taste America presented by Capital One cross-country culinary series returns to the Valley Sept. 19 – 20 for a weekend of food-filled events. Traveling to 20 cities this year, Taste America celebrates the country’s diverse culinary culture and the important role chefs play in advocating for a more delicious, sustainable and equitable food world.

Phoenix’s weekend-long itinerary will kick off Sept. 19 with a Raising The Bar reception at Seventh & Union at Young’s Market Company. Guests will enjoy a walk-around reception, meeting and greeting participating rising star mixologists Kyla Dahl from Pigtails Cocktail Bar, Keifer Gilbert from Toca Madera, Chanel Godwin-McMaken from Little Rituals, Matt Steward from UnderTow and Henry Whittaker from Century Grand. They will benjoy an array of cocktails prepared by the mixologists and a variety of tasting items prepared by the chefs  Christopher Brugman of Castle Hot Springs, Dom Ruggiero of Hush Public House, Tamara Stanger of Cotton & Copper, Brett Vibber of Cartwright’s Modern Cuisine and Juan Zamora of Chula Seafood.

Taste America’s weekend in Phoenix will continue Sept. 20, with a Gala Benefit Dinner at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa featuring a culinary dream team comprised of Arizona’s top chefs, including Taste America’s Visiting All-Star Tiffany Derry. The evening begins with a pre-dinner reception featuring five celebrated local chefs Cat Bunnag from Glai Baan, Stephen Jones from The Larder & The Delta, Tandy Peterson from Mowry & Cotton, Ryan Swanson from Kai and Claudio Urciuoli from Pa’La.

Visiting National All-Star Roots Chicken Shak Chef Tiffany Derry and Local All-Star Chef Danielle Leoni of The Breadfruit and Rum Bar will create a three-course menu for guests. The evening also includes silent and live auctions and will conclude with a dessert reception created by Danielle O’ Day, Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop chef, and Hollie Layman-Sanders, Royal Palms Resort & Spa chef.

A portion of the proceeds from the benefit dinner will directly contribute to the foundation’s scholarship programs.

The weekend will conclude with Owning It, part of the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs. The industry-only workshop will bring together around 60 women who are in the idea or growth stage of a food related business and give a select number the opportunity to pitch their idea to a team of local investors for funding. The women who participate will walk away with the tools necessary to drive their visions forward, and ultimately help advance more women as leaders in the culinary industry. Applications are open until Sept. 9.

This year marks the seventh time the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America has visited Phoenix. Expanding for the first time to span nearly a full year, Taste America 2019-20 will also be traveling to: Atlanta; Boston; Charleston, South Carolina; Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; Louisville, Kentucky; Miami; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Nashville; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

Taste America Phoenix 2019

Sept. 19 – Raising The Bar reception at Seventh & Union at Young’s Market Company, 6 p.m.

Sept. 20 – Gala Benefit Dinner at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa, 7 p.m.

For more information, visit jamesbeard.org/tasteamerica.

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