Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame on Monday, November 13 at Wrigley Mansion’s Garden Room

By Lynette Carrington

Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame on Monday, November 13 at Wrigley Mansion’s Garden Room

Save the date for the 26th annual Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 at Wrigley Mansion’s Garden Room. Presented by Scottsdale League for the Arts, this year’s star-studded soiree is going to be the biggest and best year yet. Local TV news personality, Jamie Cerreta, will emcee the evening’s ceremony bringing an upbeat elegance to the festivities.

The Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame promises to be a fun, food-filled cocktail party and award ceremony celebrating the best and brightest in the Valley’s food and beverage industry. Tickets to the 26th annual Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame are $35 and include small bites. A cash bar will be available.

Nominees for the 2017 Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame include:

Chef of the Year

Christopher Nicosia- Sassi

Jeff Smedstad, Elote Café

Jeremy Pacheco – Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn

Anthony DeMuro – Different Pointe of View

Best Upcoming Chef

Joshua Amonson – Bourbon & Bones

Rochelle Daniel – Fat Ox

Richard Hinojosa – Crujiente Taco

Matthew Taylor – Mora Italian

Restaurateur of the Year

Hard Knocks Hospitality

S. Barrett Rinzler - Square One Concepts, Inc

Wild Thyme Group

Mixologist of the Year

Keifer Gilbert – Counter Intuitive + UnderTow

Matt Farrow – Iconic Cocktail Co

Joshua James – Clever Koi

Fernando Bambaren – Virtu

Brewer of the Year

Preston Theony – Wren House

Derek “Doc” Osborne - Pedal Haus Brewery

Chad McClelland -Goldwater Brewing Company

Brian Helton – Helton Brewing Company

Winemaker of the Year

Sam Pillsbury – Pillsbury Wine

Kent Callaghan- Callaghan Vineyards

Maynard James Keenan - Caduceus Cellars/Merkin Vineyards

Food Truck of the Year

Aioli Gourmet Burger

Left Coast Burrito

The Great Pho King Food Truck

Waffle Love AZ

Food Writer of the Year

Taryn Jeffries – Phoenix Bites

Sarah & Matthew - Geeks Who Eat

Dominic Armato – AZ Republic

Lifetime Achievement


Alex Simons Lifetime Achievement*

John Fontana – Arizona Arts Alliance

For the next couple of weeks, the voting period will be open to a select group of chefs, mixologists, media, farmers, organization leaders and board members who will vote for this year’s inductees. The voting body includes the Scottsdale League for the Arts membership, the food and beverage community, the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau and all past recipients of the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awards.

All winners will be announced live at the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame on Monday, November 13, 2017. The event will take place from 6:30-9 p.m. at Wrigley Mansion’s Garden Room, 2501 E. Telawa Tr., Phoenix.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit:

*The Alex Simons Lifetime Achievement Award was established to recognize exceptional commitment to the arts in Arizona. Alex was a founding member of SLA and volunteered much of his time to the arts in Scottsdale. His family established an endowment for the award upon his death in 2001 to keep the memory of his love for the arts alive. The Scottsdale League for the Arts will be honoring John Fontana with the award this year for his work and dedication to the Arizona Art Alliance and the Veterans Outreach Program.

About the Scottsdale League for the Arts

The Scottsdale League for the Arts is a 501(c)(3), non-profit volunteer organization of accomplished men and women who support artists, arts programs and arts education through fundraising and special events. In order to offer continuous value and assistance to the arts, the League awards all net funds raised to a variety of arts focused organizations through a grants program. For more information, visit:

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