The first Check Please Arizona Festival took place April 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at CityScape downtown Phoenix, Arizona. A KAET-TV Channel 8 event, featuring restaurants from the TV show of the same name, Check Please! Arizona.
The show features three guests who recommend one of their favorite restaurants and each dines then reviews their experience in a round table discussion. Now into their 3rd season for Arizona, Check Please! Arizona gives the viewer expanded information about their dining options in the Phoenix metro area and Arizona. Robert McGrath is the host of this half-hour program, a James Beard award-winning chef and restaurateur.
For their first festival I thought it was fantastic. Where else are you going to find chefs Christopher Gross, Eddie Matney, Chris Bianco, James Porter, Mark Tarbell, Nobuo Fukuda, Robert McGrath, Jeremy Pacheco, Dean Thomas, Michael Mullins, Kierstin & Snir MorBJ Hernandez, Randy Walters, Aurore de Beaudy, Tim Briggs, Rory Hewitt, Jose Hernandez and more all in place at the same time.
Combing chefs with our local PBS channel is just a great mix. Focused on our community supporting independent owner operators.
I wished I would have seen more of our culinary students there which will be a focus of mine for next year. The opportunity to hear chefs Chris Bianco, Christopher Gross, Nobuo Fukuda, and Robert McGrath in the James Beard Discussion Panel was a true high point for me. Working on editing the video I took from the event that I will post once finished. Thrilled to have had the opportunity to capture some of their discussion and a chance to talk with them. I think I’m officially a chef groupie.
Personal favorite tastings were from Chef Rory Hewitt of Phoenix City Grille with Eggplant with goat cheese and this Buttermilk Pie from their in-house baker Shelley from Shelley’s Specialty Desserts. Delicious. Chef Tim Briggs of Flancer’s sampled their popular Goat Cheese Bruschetta and was layered with flavors. Chef Eddie Matney of Eddie’s House sampled his Israeli Fattoush Couscous and wish I had room for more.
I already knew before I arrived I was going to enjoy this event and excited they are planning on another event for next year that I’ll happily promote.