The time has come to dine and gallivant around town for the 35th Annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival! In 2012, the Scottsdale Culinary Festival was voted "Best Annual Event" by AZCentral.com, "Best Culinary Event" by Arizona Foothills Magazine and the event took home six AzTEC (Arizona Talent in Event Concepts) Awards. Every year eager stomachs raise funds that are donated to numerous arts and arts education charities, with over $3.5 million distributed since 2002. With the help of your appetite, we can raise even more in 2013. Two of the week's 10 events were featured on Sonoran Living. Here is more information:
Wednesday, April 10 - The Chocolate & Wine Experience: Imagine if Wonka's Chocolate Factory was situated in Napa Valley and you were granted an exclusive tasting - a night worthy of a golden ticket that would bring together life's sweetest indulgences and most robust flavors. Fantasy becomes reality at the Scottsdale Culinary Festival's Chocolate & Wine Experience. The Valley's finest pastry chefs and chocolatiers will unite with an incredible selection of wineries at Talking Stick Resort's Fire Garden. At this hugely popular event, guests can bite into a truffle, wash it down with a big, bold Cabernet, or go a little wild with chili infused chocolate mousse while sipping Syrah. $50 per person.
Sunday, April 14 - Wine Country Brunch: Unwind at the all-inclusive 25th annual Wine Country Brunch and feast upon an array of the Valley's most delightful brunches. Taking place at the Scottsdale Resort & Conference Center, guests will sample and vote for their favorite dishes from Valley restaurants such as returning champion Amuse Bouche, Tryst Café, Village Tavern and more. The winning restaurant will receive a Scottsdale Culinary Festival ™ Best Brunch Award. In addition to brunch items from the participating restaurants, cheese and fruit platters, carving ham and prime rib, eggs benedicts, flaming coffee and flaming banana foster stations will be available. Those attending can discuss varietals with on-site wine sommeliers while tasting wines from six vineyards. Guests will sip on Mimosas and Bloody Marys while perusing alluring silent auction items; be wowed by Randall Hedden as he creates large murals of rock legends, while painting to their own music; and admire 19 extravagant cakes designed and decorated by Valley pastry chefs and culinary students who will be participating in the first ever Take the Cake - Decorating Competition. $65 per person.
Rancheros Eggs Benedict (Serves 4) Hollandaise Sauce 1 Shallot, finely diced ½ cup White wine 2 tablespoons water 8 large egg yolks 1 lb. clarified butter melted and warm1 teaspoon lemon juiceSalt Place the shallot in a small casserole with white wine, simmer over low heat until liquid is almost evaporated. Add water and egg yolks while whisking constantly over low heat. Keep on whisking until mixture thickens stopping before the egg yolks get curdled. Off the heat slowly whisk in clarified butter until completely incorporated. Season with lemon juice and salt. If the hollandaise is too thick, add warm water until right consistency is reached. Keep warm but do not let the sauce reach over 140°F. Poached Eggs 8 large eggs (as fresh as possible) 2 quarts of water ¾ cup white vinegarIce water In a medium stock pot bring water to a boil. Add vinegar and bring to a simmer. Break the eggs into ramekins. Stir the water (it will help the eggs keep in motion and not stick to the bottom) and add the eggs to the water, pouring them quickly and as close to the water surface as possible. Cook the eggs until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about two to three minutes. With a slotted spoon take the eggs out and chill them in ice water to stop the cooking. Carefully take the eggs out of the water and keep cold until ready to use. Salsa Roja 3 jalapenos, seeds and white ribs removed 1 hatch chili, seeds and white ribs removed 8 vine ripe tomatoes, halved and cored 1 medium onion, diced 3 whole peeled garlic cloves 1 tablespoon tomato paste 3 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon salt Fresh juice from 1 lime 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro In a bowl toss chilies, tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, oil, cumin and salt. Place mix on a baking sheet, roast in a 375°F oven for about 30 to 35 minutes until vegetable skins start to brown. Transfer all vegetables but the tomatoes into a food processor and process for 10 seconds. Add tomatoes and process for 10 more seconds. Transfer to a bowl and add cilantro and lime. Correct seasoning with salt and more lime if needed. Keep warm until ready to serve. To Assemble 4 English muffins cut in half 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives 1 quart simmering water Toast muffins in a broiler or a toaster cut side up. While toasting, place the poached
eggs in the water for two minutes. Place two halves of English muffin on each plate, top with warm salsa. Carefully lift the eggs out of the water and place each egg on top of the salsa. Cover the eggs with hollandaise sauce and garnish with chives. Serve immediately with a side of roasted breakfast potatoes.