Arizona Wine and Dine Festival returns to Scottsdale this week
Some of the top chefs from restaurants around the Valley will be on hand Thursday night for the Arizona Wine and Dine Culinary Festival at Scottsdale Quarter. Attendees will be able to sample various dishes and pair them with boutique wines and craft beers.
The focus of this year’s event will be on hotel dining, with chefs from several Valley resorts expected to offer some of their favorite dishes.
“Our goal is always to keep the trend, follow the trend and set the trend,” said Four Seasons Scottsdale Executive Chef Mel Mecinas. “It is a fun event to get all the chefs [together], and at the end of the day, we have fun.”
Mecinas and Four Seasons food and beverage director Bryan Feigenbaum said that hotels are setting the trend when it comes to flexible dining.
“If you’re staying in a hotel and you go in the restaurant, there is this expectation that if I want something, a specific dish, then you’re going to make it happen,” Feigenbaum said.
He said some guests see the actual menu as secondary and like to modify an existing dish. In some cases, guests want the resort’s version of a dish they had somewhere else.
“If you’re in a stand-alone restaurant you’re going to be a little more resistant to being flexible,” Feigenbaum said.
Mecinas said it might mean a little more work for him and his staff, but when a customer wants a certain dish, you can’t say no.
“You got to make it happen,” Mecinas said. “[It] might take a little longer, I might not have all the ingredients that you want but I’ll make it as close as possible.”
Another thing Feigenbaum said is trending is a “foodcation.” That’s where people travel to a place where food is one of the top, if not the top priority of the trip.
“Historically the restaurants have been the afterthought when you’re traveling and when you’re picking a hotel,” Feingebaum said. “People [are now] looking at the dining section, whether it’s on the website or the collateral piece. [It is] as important as the room and as important as the location because of how important food is in people’s lives right now.”
Free garage parking is available for the Arizona Wine and Dine Festival and attire is business casual.