Local Foodie News

Leah LeMoineAugust 26, 2021
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Photo courtesy Hotel Valley Ho 


All the news that’s fit to nosh.

Cerveza vs. Vino: Beer or wine? “Why not both?” to quote my hedonistic partner. ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho continues The Versus Series next week with a Beer vs. Wine dinner. Homegrown Four Peaks Brewing Company will be pitted against California’s The Prisoner Wine Company in head-to-head pairings with four courses. This dinner’s lineup includes a duck and citrus salad, Wagyu beef cheek with purple yam purée and a decadent chocolate mousse bar with whipped ganache pudding, each paired with one beer and one wine. Diners will vote and a champion will be announced. $129/person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations required: 480-421-7997.  

Coffee Time: After opening the first Starbucks on the Navajo Nation in Window Rock in 2017, Bashas’ Diné Markets is adding two more outposts of the world’s most famous coffee chain. The Tuba City location opened last week and the Kayenta location will open in October. “It’s our honor to expand the Starbucks offerings at our Bashas’ Diné Markets,” says Johnny Basha, vice president of special projects for Bashas’ Family of Stores. “We continually listen to asks from the communities we serve, including our Navajo customers, and we are excited to provide convenient access to the products and services that the Navajo Nation wants.” Bashas’ gives 25 percent of its profits from each Bashas’ Diné Market to the Navajo Nation and, through this, has contributed more than $48 million toward educational scholarship and economic development. “We value our longstanding partnership with the Basha family and are excited to see the expansion of the Starbucks franchise on the Navajo Nation,” says Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. “The new location within the Tuba City Bashas’ Diné Market will provide more jobs and options for community members and a world- renowned storefront that is familiar to visitors and tourists. This will also provide a boost to the economy, help to keep revenue on the Navajo Nation, and promote the ‘Buy Navajo, Buy Local’ initiative.”  

Here’s the Story: Second Story Liquor Bar has a new executive chef. Glendale native Matthew Kassman will helm the kitchen at Scottsdale’s hottest perch for cocktails and globally inspired food. Kassman’s CV is impressive: He’s worked under legendary chef Thomas Keller at Bouchon and The French Laundry, at world-renowned restaurant Per Se, and at The Aviary and WS New York. “The culinary world is a small one, and over the years I’ve heard so many great things about Second Story Liquor Bar, especially the food,” Kassman says. “It’s a quaint place, and the kind of place where I will really be able to develop something special.”   

Philanthropic Fish: Want a healthy meal that helps others get access to the same? Valley meal delivery service Eat Clean Phx is offering a special entrée the week of August 30. In partnership with local influencer Lola, the company will be offering its take on Lola’s go-to dish to cook at home: wild-caught salmon with pesto served with orzo with freshly grated Parmesan. Eat Clean Phx will donate $1 from every salmon and orzo dish sold to United Food Bank to fight childhood hunger. The company regularly partners with charities on similar specials. 

Brunch Update: I told you, every week there’s brunch news! 

  • The Ainsworth PHX: This buzzy spot near the newly renamed Footprint Center (Phoenix Suns’ arena) is giving educators a little boost with its #BrunchGivesBack campaign. From September 4-6, teachers who show their badge from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. will receive a short stack of pancakes on the house. In the coming weekends, the same offer will be extended to members of other groups who bring their badges: police, fire and military (September 11-12); nurses, doctors and medical professionals (September 18-19); and veterinary field workers (September 25-26). 
  • Maple & Ash: The glitzy Chicago transplant continues to boost its brunch game. The latest addition: large-format cocktails that serve two to four people (potentially more, depending on alcohol tolerance – M&A does have a strong pour). The B.A.E. (Big Agave Energy), Boujee & Boozy and Spill the Tea all look tempting. The Scottsdale steakhouse is also adding whiskey and mezcal flights to its cocktail program.  

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