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Summer’s in Sight

As we approached the gateway to summer, we came to you live this weekend from a place where it’s all about fun in the sun…Loews Ventana Canyon Resort at the iconic Flying V Bar & Grill!

Rock Saul, Adam Lehrman, Matt Russell & Chef Ken Harvey

Our celebrity co-host was the Tucson Foodie himself, Adam Lehrman, who talked about his digital destination for deliciousness and future expansion plans. Chef Janos Wilder of Downtown Kitchen & Cocktails and the Carriage House also swung by to share the details of an event in Paris next month that will showcase Tucson’s culinary and cocktail culture! Flying V general manager Rock Saul sat down with us as well to present a colorful line-up of his summertime libations that demonstrate the beauty of agave. And then we ate, which means that Ken Harvey, executive chef at Loews Ventana Canyon, was in the house! He talked about the culinary spirit at Loews, how that translates to the center of the plate, and other things going on property-wide with a delicious note.

Fresh ahi tuna served atop a horseradish pommes puree

We also enjoyed some of the Flying V’s seasonal selections, including pork tacos, pasilla-rubbed calamari, and an off-the-hook ahi tuna dish that rendered us all speechless. See you at Loews this summer!

 

Delhi’s Deliciousness

Svaadisht! That’s the Hindi exclamation after taking a bite of something truly delicious. And we surely heard svaadisht in surround-sound on this live broadcast from New Delhi Palace!

Yatin Parekh, Rita Connelly, Matt Russell & Naval Parekh

Our celebrity co-host was food writer Rita Connelly, the Well-Fed Foodie herself, who got us up to speed on her latest food and beverage headlines as well as news on a new book deal. We then turned to Luke Anable of the Good Oak Bar to learn how he’s been celebrating Arizona Rose Week. New Delhi Palace’s owner Yatin Parekh sat down with us as well to talk about how they imbibe in India, and Exhibit A was a round of Snake Charmers and Bollywood Buzzes! He then told us a tasty story about the regional interpretations of Indian cuisine while walking us through his menu of authentic Indian dishes. We thoroughly enjoyed the tandoori lobster tails and the peshawari lamb chops which were delivered to the table in a pressed copper bucket known as a balti.

Peshawari lamb chops with Indian spices, submerged in a rich and delicious sauce

Get over to New Delhi Palace and shout svaadisht for yourself!

 

Viva Elvira

We headed downtown this weekend to find out what’s behind the buzz at one of the most vibrant destinations on the culinary and cocktail circuit – Elvira’s!

Zulema Echevirel-Felix, Jared McKinley, Matt Russell, Oscar Saenz, Patricia Taylor, Ruben Monroy, Eric Harding & Thomas Spooner

Our celebrity co-host was Jared McKinley, publisher of the new Meow Magazine, who got us current on his multi-media adventures and the latest news from his garden at Rancho Gatito. We were then honored to welcome Zulema Echerivel-Felix and Patricia Taylor, co-authors of the hot new book Buen Provecho: Treasured Secret Flavors. The stories in this book are just as fascinating and fun as the recipes! Since today was World Cocktail Day, we sat down with Elvira’s bar manager Eric Harding who gave us a sneak peek of what he had planned for a new cocktail menu. One of these beauties was a cocktail made with mezcal and a roasted street corn syrup! Elvira’s owner/chef Ruben Monroy and general manager Thomas Spooner then walked us through their menu and its regional influences. Tasting the baja mussels and a burger inspired by the streets of Barcelona took this show to a whole new level.

Baja mussels, with chorizo, jalapenos, chile caribe, white wine, saffron, cream, and grilled baguette.

We wrapped up with Elvira’s chef de cuisine Michael Byrer and sommelier Oscar Saenz as they discussed an upcoming Night with Truchard wine dinner. Viva Elvira!   

 

Derby in the Desert

The 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby served as the perfect backdrop for this Derby Day show from Southern Arizona’s expression of Churchill Downs, Three Canyon Beer & Wine Garden!

David Arnce, Jonathan Hebert, Matt Russell, Kyle Blessinger & Cory Jochems

Our celebrity co-host was David Arnce, principal of The Shop Beer Co., who got us current on his line-up of suds and what’s making brews news in his Tempe taproom. We also sat down with Cory Jochems, certified sommelier with Quench Fine Wines, who revealed his personal picks for wines that go well with the great outdoors (like Derby parties!). Jonathan Hebert of Mr. Cookman’s New Orleans BBQ truck also rolled in to the conversation with his take on southern cuisine. And his ribs? Righteous! We also got caught up with Kyle Blessinger, GM of Three Canyon, who talked about his desert oasis for beer and wine lovers and how his “third of an acre of outdoor drinking space” has become so popular.

A flight of beers from The Shop Beer Co.!

We closed out the show with a flight tasting of beers from The Shop Beer Co. What a photo finish!

 

Our Turn

Finally. It’s our turn!

Those of us in the food media proudly serve as judges throughout the year at events where top chefs battle it out in heated competition. But the tables were turned this weekend when local food journalists were the ones competing in the kitchen as area chefs sat in judgment over us. And we captured all the energy on this live broadcast from the Tucson Food Media Pulled Pork and Cocktail Throwdown, featuring pork butts from Beeler’s Pure Pork!

All the competitors and judges for the epic throwdown

Guests on the show included representatives of the three teams: On the Menu Live (Matt Russell, Scot Litteer and Brian Thacker), 520 Eats (Jamie Rice, James Blue, and Chris Cohen), and Tucson Foodie (Adam Lehrman and Jackie Tran). We also interviewed the judges to get their perspectives on the competition: Chef Travis Peters of The Parish, Chef Ben Caballero of HUB Restaurant & Ice Creamery, Butcher Ben Forbes of Forbes Meat Company, and Chef Daniel Thomas of BIRD Modern Provisions & Bar.

On the Menu Live’s winning dish: griddled corn cake with Hatch chiles, hickory-smoked pork butt with a Tennessee whiskey and vinegar sauce, fried pickles, chiltepin dust, and a smoked paprika crema

The judges announced the winners live on the show…Best Dish went to On the Menu Live and Best Cocktail went to 520 Eats. Can’t wait for next year’s event!