The Unvegan

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Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame 2017

This Pho King guy.

The James Beard Awards may be a big deal nationwide, but in my years in LA and Pittsburgh, I didn’t feel like there was enough official recognition of local talent. Not so much in Arizona, which just had its Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame Awards. The event was at the snazzy Wrigley Mansion in the Phoenix Biltmore area and had some light apps to go with the awards.

Phoenix Bites? More like Phoenix writes.

While the apps were good, this night was all about the winners, which were:

Food Truck of the Year: The Great Pho King Food Truck (and the winner was a white dude, so we live in a post-racial world and that is definitely something to celebrate)

Food Writer of the Year: Taryn Jeffries – Phoenix Bites

Gnocchi crushed the apps.

Brewer of the Year: Derek “Doc” Osborne – Pedal Haus Brewery

Winemaker of the Year: Sam Pillsbury – Pillsbury Wine

Mixologist of the Year: Keifer Gilbert – Counter Intuitive + UnderTow

These berry cheesecakes were very pleasing.

Restaurateur of the Year: S. Barrett Rinzler – Square One Concepts, Inc

Best Upcoming Chef: Rochelle Daniel – Fat Ox

Chef of the Year: Christopher Nicosia – Sassi

Lifetime Achievement: Chris Bianco – Pizzeria Bianco

Alex Simons Lifetime Achievement: John Fontana – Arizona Art Alliance

Congrats to all the winners!