The food critics (and the public) were eating out of our hands (quite literally!) at this year’s Devoured Phoenix Culinary Classic, on March 9-10. Arizona’s premier annual culinary event showcased the fine food and drink producers and purveyors and was hosted by Phoenix Art Museum, Local First Arizona and Devour Phoenix.
Tonto and Cartwright’s chefs cooked up their favorite dishes in the company of culinary excellence, amid the strongest field assembled in Devoured’s four-year history (nine if you count the 2005-09 incarnation of the festival, when it was called West of Western).
Chef Ryan Peters (above) from Tonto, went all out showing his talents with an Arizona inspired Ancho Chile Seared Diver Scallop, Smoked Arizona Sweet Corn Puree, Crispy Berkshire Bacon, Avocado Foam, Hand-Picked Prickly Pear Gastrique.
While Cartwright’s Chef Montez (above) Crane had the perfect warm dish fitting the less-than-perfect colder weather, with his Cheyenne Indian Buffalo & Chipotle Sausage, Fresh Herbed Spätzle, Braised Red Cabbage with Mesquite Wood-Smoked Bacon.
The great news is that folks at the Devoured event really ate up our delicious cuisine, as well as honoring it with awards, praise and rave reviews.
Howard Seftel, The Arizona Republic’s restaurant critic, awarded GOLD to both Tonto Bar & Grill and Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House.
- He extolled Cartwright’s offerings with, “The flavors of the Southwest jumped out at you in the buffalo sausage goosed up with chipotle, teamed with herbed spätzle.”
- His mouth-watering comments on Tonto’s delights were also done to a T, “The two longest lines were at…Tonto, and the public nailed it. They were waiting for sublime scallops, moist and briny, sautéed to sizzle and adorned with roasted corn puree. This is how restaurants impress at a food festival.”
Taryn Jeffries, Phoenix Bites staff writer, bestowed Tonto with the honor of being in the top 5 at the Devoured Culinary Classic for our Ancho Chile Seared Diver Scallops and paid tribute to these tasty treats with delectable kudos, “These little rounds of perfection were served with a smoked Arizona sweet corn puree, crispy Berkshire bacon, avocado foam and a hand-picked prickly pear gastrique. Word must have traveled fast as the line was long for this offering but definitely worth the wait.”
Jess Harter of Mouth by Southwest, the #1 source for food and drink in the East Valley, named Tonto as Best of Show (first runner-up) and described the Tonto tent where, “…at least a dozen people always were waiting patiently while the chef seared scallops a half-dozen at a time.” Then, the description went on with, “Here’s what people were waiting for: a seared scallop topped with a crispy piece of bacon. It was placed atop a sweet corn sauce and beneath an avocado puree. Totally worth the wait.”
Gwen Ashley Walters, News & Nibbles writer for Pen & Fork, commented that, “Tonto Bar & Grill brought one of the best dishes (I wasn’t the only one who thought so based on the day-long lines). Who can resist a perfectly seared scallop with sweet corn puree and a snippet of bacon for good measure?”
Chef/owner Eric Flatt of both Tonto Bar & Grill and Cartwright’s Sonoran Ranch House, worked the cowboy side, dishing up bison sausage with sautéed red cabbage and Fresh Herbed Spätzle. Also on hand for the event were Amanda Malcolm, manager of Cartwright’s, Operations Manager Smith, Shari Flatt, and Courtney Nash.
We’re all ecstatic to share our Devoured successes, and are particularly delighted to have brought home the bacon (as well as using it with our tasty scallops and buffalo sausage!).
Look for us (and satisfy your sweet tooth) at our next big culinary event, where Pastry Chef Amanda Crick and Assistant Pastry Chef Erin Glassburn take on the Caramelpalooza 2013 candy-making challenge on April 5, 2013. For more information visit: http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bella/2013/02/caramelpalooza_2013_call_for_c.php.