If you were one of the lucky ones to snag a ticket to the annual Devoured Food + Wine Classic, we hope you've recovered from your food coma by now! Despite the threat of rain, this year's foodie frenzy was a great success. The clouds parted about halfway through the day on Saturday, and Sunday was a beautiful day with abundant sunshine and perfect temperatures.
The Phoenix Art Museum's courtyard again served as an excellent backdrop for over one hundred of Arizona's best restaurants, chefs, food producers, wine makers, distillers and craft beer makers. Now that construction was complete on the Phoenix Theater, there was plenty of space for attendees to meander about. There was hardly a wait at any of the restaurant booths to grab a sample due to the record number of participating restaurants. It seemed an impossible task to sample every single dish offered, although I know some individuals were successful!
All participants brought their A-game this year, aiming to wow the attendees with their innovative creations. Foie gras seemed to be the popular ingredient of 2014, with foie gras filled cone topped with a smoked almond, slice of fig, and sprinkle of za'atar from Petite Maison, foie gras sliders from Relish at the Phoenician, and a foie gras mousse from Kai.
Some of the offerings of Devoured 2014, from top left & clockwise: Fresh vegetable salad from Phoenix Public Market Cafe; Sharp cheddar topped smoked herring on guava jelly and a slice of breadfruit from The Breadfruit; Foie gras cone from Petite Maison; and Mexican Street Corn from Barrio Cafe.
Attendees needed something to wash down all of these amazing dishes, and Arizona wines, beers, and spirits happily met this challenge. Devoured continues to be a great occasion to celebrate Arizona's burgeoning wine and growing craft beer industries. Attendees could sample a variety of wines from the region, from Grand Canyon Winery in northern Arizona to Dos Cabezas Wineworks at Arizona's southern border, and a variety of others. With over 100 licensed craft breweries in Arizona, the craft beer scene was represented well with Four Peaks Brewing Co., Mother Road Brewery, Prescott Brewing Company, and many others.
The Devoured Food + Wine Classic has become Arizona's most spectacular and acclaimed food and wine festival, and has really established Phoenix and Arizona as major culinary destinations. This isn't only good for our tummies, but it greatly benefits the local Arizona economy. Being labeled as a culinary destination opens up many doors for opportunity. Travelers will bookmark Arizona on their bucket lists, restaurants will open and create local jobs, and residents of our local communities will be proud of their home towns and be happy to call Arizona home.
We thought each dish at Devoured 2014 was a winner, but you can check out who won a medal for their outstanding culinary efforts from Arizona Republic food critics Howard Seftel and Jennifer McClellan by clicking here. We're already dreaming about what these amazing chefs will come up with next year, and looking forward to the continued celebration of Arizona food and beverage.