Devour Culinary Classic is returning to the Desert Botanical Garden on Feb. 25 and 26, 2023, after a three-year hiatus.
Organized by Local First Arizona, Southern Arizona Arts and Culture Alliance and Desert Botanical Garden almost 15 years ago, this culinary festival has since been hailed by the New York Times as the best culinary festival in the Southwest, where hundreds of the Valley’s chefs, food purveyors, wineries and artists came to offer a taste of Arizona.
It all began with a desire to shine “a bright light on our local chefs and restaurants, bringing our community together to celebrate the place we love,” said Kimber Lanning, CEO and Founder of Local First in a news release. And that’s what they plan to do again in 2023.
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What to expect at the 2023 Devour Culinary Classic
This year’s event will be very similar to the one held in 2020, said Lynita Johnson, Local First Arizona’s director of marketing and brand strategy.
Attendees will have the opportunity to sample food prepared by the participating restaurants and drinks from the wineries, bars and breweries during the event.
There will also be judges, including food critics and writers from national publications, who will anonymously taste the food and categorize the medalists into gold, silver, bronze and no medal.
In 2020, a fifth category of double gold went to the restaurants that received gold from all the judges.
Judges will be announced on the Devour Phoenix website in the coming months.
There are a few changes guests should be aware of. “We have reduced the number of entries each day from 1,500 to 1,200 to ease the commitment of participating restaurants,” said Johnson.
And, unlike in past years, rather than seven days, this time, the event will take place over two days and there will not be a seven chefs dinner.
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Which restaurants and wineries are participating?
The final lineup of participants for the 2023 Devour Culinary Classic has yet to be announced, but according to Johnson, they are expecting over 100 wineries and 50 breweries alongside the usual bevvy of restaurants.
Past participants have included Beckett’s Table, Binkley’s, Bitter & Twisted, Bourbon & Bones, Café Lalibela, Cibo, Citizen Public House and FnB.
“It will be the same great event the community knows and loves,” said Johnson.
When can you get tickets to Devour?
Tickets go on sale for this 21 and older event at devourphoenix.com starting Nov. 5.
Two types of one-day tickets will be available: General admission for $125 and Early Entry for $200.
General admission entitles the guests to access the Desert Botanical Gardens to sample the food, enjoy live music and access the Quench Beverage Garden and wine sales area. It also includes a commemorative wine glass and yoke.
In addition to the general admission perks, the early entry package allows for a 90-minute early entrance to the event, which means shorter lines for food and beverage samples, as well as priority parking, access to the indoor Devour Lounge and two tickets to the Desert Botanical Garden to use at a future time.
The festival will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, and Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023. Tickets are good for entry for one person for one day. Early access starts at 10 a.m.
Details: Devour Culinary Classic at the Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix. devourphoenix.com
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Devour Culinary Classic returns to Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix
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