Arizona Gourmet Living Spring 10



Arizona Gourmet Living Spring 10
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
Spring • 2010
food & wine
Dining Through Tucson covers 15 restaurants across five
areas of town. Enjoy!
14 F R O M T H E K I T C H E N
Introducing Tucson Chefs Foruz Alireza of Alibaba, Sonny
Chu of Fusion Wasabi and Todd Martin of Tucson Tamale.
Great chefs, great restaurants.
Matt Firth of Market Restaurant Group shares his passion
for culinary cocktails and offers a behind-the-scenes look at
the making of a specialty cocktail.
Wine options for summer staycations and barbecues from
wine connoisseur Jeanne Christie.
the finer things
Take a gallery walk through several Tucson art galleries.
at home
Decorate your home with furnishings and products from
Tucson’s favorite home décor shops.
body beautiful
Discover great spots in Tucson for style and fitness.
escape ‘n explore
What is a staycation and how might taking one save you
money? Check out the Tucson resorts that have great
packages for your staycation.
in every issue
From the Editor
Events Calendar
Great Recipes of Arizona
from the editor
From the
Tucson spring has sprung and we are inching towards our three-digit
summer temps, so sit down with a chilled glass of wine and enjoy this
issue of Arizona Gourmet Living. We’re still in the midst of some
revamping, and this spring edition is the first to go digital! Go online
This issue offers you some great reasons for staying in Tucson even in
spring and summer when our desert heat reaches its apex. No matter
what the season, Tucson has fabulous dining and resort options. In this
issue we highlight 15 restaurants in our Dining Through Tucson feature,
and four resorts with great staycation packages for summer fun. There’s
also a wonderful feature on mixology and specialty cocktails, our always
popular Best Bets for beauty and fitness, and of course, a calendar for
what’s happening in Tucson in the next few months. Don’t miss Jeanne
Christie’s regular wine column. This month she offers great options on
wines that not only go well with barbecues but can bring you a sense of
Europe, right in your own backyard. Finally, be sure and check out the
gallery reviews in the Artistic Impression feature. Tucson is brimming
with talented, original artists. Take our gallery guide and an afternoon
and explore Tucson’s artistic side.
Desert heat in Tucson does not mean there’s nothing cool to do in the Old
Pueblo this summer!
Arizona Gourmet Living continues to evolve, so stay with us as we explore
living the gourmet life, right here in Tucson.
Editor In Chief
Senior Editor
Associate Editors
Wine Editor
Art Director
Graphic Designer
Advertising Sales Director
European Advertising Sales
Administrative Manager
Circulation Manager
Arizona Gourmet Living is published
four times a year by Oser Communications Group
©Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
Executive and editorial offices located at:
1877 N. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ 85715
T 520.721.1300, F 520.721.6300
Karrie Welborn, Senior Editor
[email protected]
European offices located at: Lungarno Benvenuto
Cellini, 11 50125 Florence, Italy
T 055.657.5629, F 055.657.5631
Subscriptions for one year (4 issues) are $21.95,
two years (8 issues) are $33.95. Please allow
6–8 weeks for your subscription to begin.
Checks, VISA, MasterCard and American Express accepted.
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
dining through tucson
AZGL goes on a tour of the Old Pueblo’s best eateries.
By Carrie Bui
As the heat of summer kicks in, step out of your kitchen and enjoy
one of Tucson’s great restaurants. Arizona Gourmet Living
has selected just a few of our favorites for
every side of town. Bon appétit!
AZUL at La Paloma
For a bit of Mediterranean cool in a scenic Foothills setting,
try AZUL at the Westin La Paloma resort. The restaurant
offers a Mediterranean-inspired menu and signature cocktails,
all amidst the deep blue lighting, cozy seating and views of the
Catalina Mountains of this sophisticated yet casual spot. Start
with the House Charcuterie, then move on to AZUL’s Seafood
Cioppino and pair it with an antioxidant-rich Royal Blue
Martini, made with acai blueberry vodka. Breakfast is served
6:30 a.m.–11 a.m., lunch from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and dinner is
available from 5 p.m.–10 p.m.
3800 E. Sunrise Drive • Tucson
520.742.6000 •
Tavolino Ristorante
This favorite north side Italian restaurant is celebrating
their recent move to a new location. Dark wood floors,
brick walls and high-backed booths combine to create
an intimate neighborhood atmosphere. A private dining
room opens onto a private patio area for special events,
and a Chef ’s Table situated near the kitchen offers guests
the opportunity to enjoy a more private dinner specially
created for them. The restaurant continues to offer the
same fresh salads, made-to-order pastas, seafood and
desserts from the previous location as well as some new
specialties such as open-fire rotisserie meats and woodfired pizzas. There is also a salumeria, an Italian meat
market, with authentic, Italian cured meats.
2890 E. Skyline Drive • Tucson
520.531.1913 •
This family-friendly restaurant offers traditional
Mexican fare in a lively and festive atmosphere.
Regulars come often for the chile rellenos or the
excellent fajitas. The fajitas are made with your choice
of chicken or steak and served with a choice of corn or
flour tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, rice and refried
beans. Have fun during happy hour in the cantina,
Monday through Sunday, 3 p.m.–7 p.m. with drink
specials, selected half-price appetizers and their
ongoing $5 taco special.
4717 E. Sunrise Drive • Tucson
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
Silver Saddle Steakhouse
When you’re looking for a juicy steak to slice into on the south side,
the Silver Saddle is a good bet. Their USDA Prime and Choice cuts
of meat are grilled over mesquite wood which lends an authentic
Southwest flavor to your steak. Your meal comes with a choice of
the soup of the day or the salad bar, baked potato or French fries,
and cowboy beans (pinto beans). If steak isn’t calling your name,
the restaurant also has a selection of seafood, including Alaskan
king crab legs and lobster tail. The restaurant can get pretty busy so
calling ahead is recommended.
310 E. Benson Hwy. • Tucson
Agave at
Desert Diamond Casino
This casually elegant restaurant at Desert Diamond Casino makes
a great spot for dinner after a leisurely day of gambling or a
terrific spot to celebrate a special occasion with the whole family.
Sit by a window overlooking the casino plaza and admire the
blooming cottonwoods as you feast on fresh American cuisine.
Agave’s new menu features a variety of steak and seafood dishes
including a 10-ounce flat-iron steak and a salmon dusted with
Pacific Rim spices such as coriander, garlic, thyme, cocoa, brown
sugar and cinnamon and served with a ponzu-mustard sauce.
The restaurant is open every day from 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
1100 W. Pima Mine Road • Sahuarita
520.294.7777 •
Los Portales
Mexican restaurants are no stranger to Tucson,
but this South Sixth Ave. family-owned and
operated restaurant stands out from the crowd
with its signature dish, a Mole Poblano. The
dish is a grilled chicken breast topped with a
traditional mole, a chocolate and chili sauce,
sided by rice and refried beans. Customers keep
coming back to Los Portales for the delicious
Mexican meals as well as the energetic
atmosphere and friendly service. Los Portales
serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
2615 S. Sixth Ave. • Tucson
520.889.1170 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
The B Line
On A Roll
On A Roll made its mark on the downtown dining scene almost two years ago
with its hip atmosphere and fresh sushi. The restaurant has begun featuring live
jazz music on Thursday nights and a DJ spins neo-soul and R&B on Saturday
nights. On A Roll is also a favorite late night spot with its reverse happy hour
specials on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Try the sashimi wrap or the new
Kung Fu roll, made with cream cheese, shrimp tempura, spicy crab and avocado
on the inside and topped with roasted jalapeno and yellowtail.
63 E. Congress St. • Tucson
520.622.ROLL •
When you walk into The B Line, it’s hard not to be
immediately distracted by the revolving glass
dessert case. Choose from the restaurant’s eclectic
menu, place your order at the counter and watch
your order go zipping back to the kitchen on the
restaurant’s zipline. This locally owned operation
opened in 2002, and their attention to fresh, quality
ingredients in a casual atmosphere has made it a
Tucson hit. Try their most popular dish, the fish
tacos, made with mahi mahi, topped with cabbage,
avocado and Baja sauce on a corn tortilla and
served with a side of salsa, achiote rice and whole
pinto beans.
621 N. 4th Ave. • Tucson
520.882.7575 •
Maynard’s Market & Kitchen
Housed in Tucson’s historic downtown train depot, Maynard’s is a combination market
and restaurant. The market offers fresh foods, juices, and grab-and-go items as well as a
variety of wines, beers and a selection of household goods. Through the breezeway is
Maynard’s Kitchen, an intimate restaurant with a charming courtyard patio that offers
full views of the mountains and the occasional passing train. The menu changes
seasonally and Executive Chef Addam Buzzalini crafts dishes with locally grown
ingredients, including fresh citrus from the citrus grove adjacent to Maynard’s and
eventually from his forthcoming chef ’s garden.
400 N. Toole Ave. • Tucson
520.545.0577 •
Montana Avenue
For a more contemporary twist on an old favorite, visit Montana
Avenue, of the Fox Restaurant Concepts family. Wood beams and
tables combined with natural light streaming in through the large
windows makes for an inviting and casual atmosphere. Favorites,
such as macaroni and cheese, cheeseburger, and steak, are
upgraded. Montana Avenue’s macaroni and cheese shines with the
addition of grilled andouille sausage. Burger lovers can revel in twin
Kobe burgers topped with Wisconsin cheddar, red onion and
tomato, and steak takes on new meaning with the restaurant’s aged
New York steak with horseradish gratin and wild mushrooms.
6390 E. Grant Road • Tucson
520.298.2020 •
Dakota Cafe & Catering
It’s hard not to be smitten with the charming
atmosphere of Dakota Cafe. This bistro-style
restaurant, tucked away in Trail Dust Town,
offers casual comfort food. Stop in for lunch
Monday through Saturday, dinner Tuesday
through Saturday, or for Dakota’s new
Sunday brunch. If you find yourself there
around lunchtime, and can’t decide between
the extensive list of starters, soups, salads,
sandwiches and specialties, try the favorite BBQ
Southwestern Meatloaf Sandwich, homemade
meatloaf with Muenster cheese and mayonnaise
on a French roll.
6541 E. Tanque Verde Road • Tucson
520.298.7188 •
BZ’s Pizza
Diners who eat at BZ’s are offered more than just a simple
house salad and a slice of cheese pizza. Chef and co-owner
Brian Sorell trained at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute, and he
raises the bar for neighborhood pizza places with his
restaurant. Sit down in one of the booths running along the side
of the restaurant and start your meal off with the Brie en Croute
appetizer, brie wrapped in puff pastry and served with a roasted
garlic puree. When you’re ready for an entree, choose a fresh
salad, a classic sandwich or just go for the fresh from the oven
pizza. Build your own from a selection of toppings or choose a
specialty pizza, such as the Sicilian, topped with roasted
chicken, roasted bell peppers, onions and pesto sauce.
9431 E. 22nd St., Suite 137 • Tucson
520.546.1402 •
Kazoku Sushi
Open less than a year, Kazoku Sushi has already
gained a regular following. The restaurant offers
fresh sushi in a friendly and comfortable
atmosphere. The restaurant also offers a variety of
noodle and dinner options as well as lunch specials,
but what you can’t miss are their special sushi rolls.
For a spicy kick, try the Fireball, a roll stuffed with
extra spicy tuna, cream cheese, avocado, cucumber
and topped with tempura flakes, eel sauce and chili
sauce. Other notable rolls include the Mt. Halla,
albacore rolled with white onion, avocado, spicy
mayo, masago and green chili pepper or the “Y,” with
tamago, fried sweet potato, cucumber, spicy mayo
and masago.
4210 E. Speedway Blvd. • Tucson
C. I. Chu’s Mongolian BBQ
Design your meal exactly to your specifications at C. I. Chu’s
Mongolian BBQ. Walk through a buffet line and choose from a
variety of ingredients—meats, vegetables, white or brown rice,
flour or whole wheat noodles and seasonings—and watch as
the chef prepares your dish right in front of you. Fast, healthy
and reasonably priced, C. I. Chu’s is a fresh dining experience.
Don’t forget to enjoy your meal with a piece of the restaurant’s
signature sesame bread, made daily and grilled on a flat-top
skillet. The restaurant is open 11 a.m.–9 p.m., seven days a
week. C.I. Chu’s second location is on Tucson’s east side.
4540 E. Broadway Blvd. • Tucson • 520.881.4798
7039 E. Tanque Verde Road • Tucson • 520.886.8619
When you’re looking to add a little adventure to your
dining menu, head to Feast, located off Speedway
Boulevard between Columbus Boulevard and Alvernon
Way. Owner Doug Levy opened the restaurant in May
2001 as a gourmet take-out concept, but the place has
since evolved into a full-scale restaurant. The menu
changes every month here, and the dishes cross the food
spectrum, with an emphasis on out-of-the-ordinary
ingredients. Don’t be surprised if you find a rabbit dish
or a plate of sunchokes on this menu. The restaurant will
move to a new location in the fall.
4122 E. Speedway Blvd. • Tucson
520.326.9363 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
the fun
By Ellen Ranta
When customers enter the door at My Big Fat Greek
Restaurant, they are greeted by an enthusiastic staff, upbeat
Greek music, live dancing, and maybe even the sound of
broken plates in the background.
With a new location in Tucson slated to open the first or second
week of May, the traditional Greek dining experience will now be
more readily available to diners on the Northwest side of town.
“The new restaurant will be the largest full-service Greek
restaurant in the state of Arizona,” said Ryan Field, Owner of My
Big Fat Greek Restaurant.
The new My Big Fat Greek will be on the northwest corner of Ina
Road and La Cholla Boulevard at the Foothills Mall, in what used
to be El Paso Barbeque Company. This new location will replace
the one at 95 W. River Road.
Seven months ago, My Big Fat Greek also opened a new spot in
Sierra Vista, and Field said he is happy with the success his
restaurant has seen and is excited to be expanding despite the
tough economy.
“We have definitely been doing well across the board,” he said.
“People are more and more accepting of Greek food because it is
healthy and it tastes good.”
The new location will have the same lively atmosphere as all the
others, with belly dancing and live music. It also has a good-sized
bar, Field said, so it will play host to a great happy hour everyday
from 3 p.m.–6 p.m.
There will be plenty of special events and promotions for the
grand opening, Field said. He encourages guests to come check out
the new spot and enjoy the “great food and fun atmosphere.”
My Big Fat Greek’s newest location, 7265 N. La Cholla Blvd., will
open daily at 11 a.m. for lunch and dinner.
7131 E. Broadway Blvd. • Tucson • 520.722.6000
4177 E. Highway 90 • Sierra Vista • 520.459.1306
Coming soon: 7265 N. La Cholla Blvd. • Tucson
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
from the kitchen
Foruz Alireza, AliBaba Restaurant’s master chef, serves up a menu full of delicious Persian and Lebanese dishes.
AliBaba Restaurant probably catches the
eye of more than a few passing drivers with
its big, hard-to-miss store banner on the
northeast corner of Speedway Boulevard
and Tucson Boulevard. But the exterior
can’t even hint at the deliciousness of the
dishes within, all prepared by Foruz
Alireza, known to friends and co-workers
as Ali, AliBaba’s primary chef.
Ali hails from Turkey, where he learned to cook at the age of 12.
The first dish he ever learned to cook was Tas kebabı, a Turkish
dish with beef and vegetables cooked in butter. After earning a
bachelor's degree in interior design, he found himself working chef
jobs and gradually leaning away from his original career plans.
He came to the United States, Ali said, about two years ago, and
took this job in September 2009. New owner Nader Attar wanted
to spice up the menu with some new dishes, and Ali’s talent for
Lebanese and Persian food was exactly what he wanted.
At the start of the day, Ali comes into AliBaba and sets to
work making food for the day’s customers. He works quickly,
preparing a typical kebab in six to seven minutes. Everything
has to be fresh, naturally.
“All my marinades, all my vegetables—everything is fresh,”
Ali said.
Every morning, Ali prepares about 24 pounds of falafel. Then the
first customers start to trickle through the door. By day's end, that
24 pounds has usually dwindled down to nothing—a sign of the
food's universal popularity.
“Everyone likes falafel and hummus,” Ali noted.
Of the people who come through AliBaba’s door every day,
Ali estimates that about 50 percent are looking for something
vegetarian. AliBaba’s menu has a host of vegetarian options,
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
By Justyn Dillingham
from eggplant borani to okra stew to a variety of delicious
salads, topped with a special dressing made by the owner’s
daughter. There are also appetizers like lebni—creamy
condensed yogurt topped with dry mint and olive oil—and the
six grape leaves stuffed with lentils, parsley and rice.
Ali said his best dish is the rack of lamb, served with
hummus. He also recommends the joojeh kebab—a marinated
breast of chicken skewered and charbroiled—and the Chef ’s
Kebab Plate, which combines three kebabs: ground beef,
chicken and filet mignon.
All of AliBaba’s marinades are made with saffron, a spice made
from the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus. It’s an expensive but
inimitable flavor that adds a distinctive note to many of AliBaba’s
dishes, including the ice cream.
Ali prepares a fresh batch of ice cream two to three times a week,
mixing saffron and pistachio with vanilla, milk and other
ingredients and then refrigerating it, mixing it and finally letting it
freeze overnight before serving. He also mixes up smoothies—in
flavors ranging from pineapple to mulberry juice—and brews
batch after batch of hot Turkish coffee.
Crowds at AliBaba are steady throughout the week, but Ali said
the restaurant is extra-packed Friday and Saturday evenings, when
a belly dancer comes to entertain the customers.
As hard as Ali works, he often finds himself in the restaurant
even on his days off. The restaurant’s staff feels more like a
family than a staff, he said, with everyone pitching in during
busy hours to help out.
“It's a friendly atmosphere,” he said with a smile. “If I have a day
off, I'm in here.”
2545 E. Speedway Blvd. • Tucson
520.319.2559 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
from the kitchen
Fusion Wasabi’s Sonny Chu embraces challenges and adventures.
Names can be funny, especially restaurant
names. Sometimes they’re a reflection of
ownership. Others can indicate mood, or
perhaps what a diner can expect to find on the
menu. For Sonny Chu, Owner and Chef of
Fusion Wasabi, embracing a name has provided
one of the greatest challenges of his life.
“I have no comfort zone, no standard dish I
prefer to make,” said Sonny, standing behind the sushi bar at Fusion
Wasabi, the restaurant that has featured Sonny’s creative and daring
menu choices for almost six years now. “I think when you get
comfortable, you allow yourself to become lazy and settle in. I want to
constantly be breaking down the barriers put around me. (People)
think I’m a subdued sushi chef? Watch me play with fire on the
teppanyaki grill.” And the same is true in reverse. Sonny himself is a
fusion of very different worlds—a creative sushi chef one moment, a
dramatic teppanyaki showman the next. A white dry erase board
behind the sushi bar features the latest sushi specials he’s created from
daily experimentation. A Korean spicy sashimi
combo here, a scallop covered Pearl Roll
there, each just another few days
of brainstorming.
In fact, the entire menu reflects Sonny’s adventurous side. The
Orange Chicken, for instance, came simply from a late night craving.
“I came home with food one night, and my wife and family agreed that
they would’ve rather had orange chicken. The next day I came in and
for a week straight I experimented with batter and sauces until I found
the blend I liked.” It’s been on the menu ever since.
This is the most obvious recurring pattern in Sonny’s life:
identify a challenge, and then attack it relentlessly. As a young man
he traveled a lot, spending years in California and Hawaii before
moving to Tucson. He would arrive somewhere new, find someone
who had mastered something he wanted to learn, and take in as
much as he could. Food was always his favorite pursuit, but it
definitely wasn’t the only one.
Food just happened to be the one thing that kept sneaking back
into his life. “I used to be a young, single guy, working a job or
two just to stay busy, and I’d spend all my money eating at the best
restaurants, trying crazy dishes and seeing what was out there. I
tasted certain foods and decided I had to understand how to
produce those flavors.” Sonny smiled fondly as he remembered
the old days. “That was when I really fell in love with fish too.”
The truth is he always enjoyed seafood, but it was the fresh fish
of the Pacific that changed Sonny’s palate for good. To this day, his
favorite food both to prepare and to eat is raw fish. White fish, such
as halibut and sea bass, top Sonny’s personal menu.
“White fish generally has a crisp, clean taste. The flavor is not so
heavy that it drowns out the texture and freshness of the fish. That’s
why I have to use fresh fish. It’s the difference between good sushi
and all-you-can-eat sushi.”
This is why Fusion Wasabi has fish flown in and then taken
directly to Sonny, who along with his fellow chefs prepares and
stores everything their own way. “I don’t like too many outside
influences affecting my ingredients. I want the freshest cuts,
the best vegetables, the perfect sears. It’s important to get all
the pieces right, so the final product is perfect.”
Sonny laughed at the thought of listing the responsibilities he
takes on at Fusion Wasabi. His attention to detail, along with his
drive to be the best at everything, makes it
so that his hands are in everything. Just a
few short weeks ago, it was Sonny himself
standing alongside the health inspector,
explaining methods of storage and
cleaning at the restaurant.
“He handed me that A certificate, and it’s
just like seeing a customer’s eyes widen at
the first taste of a new creation. Those are
victories; those are the moments I know
I'm great at what I do.”
Through all his time at work, Sonny has
one word running through his mind:
Fusion. The name of the restaurant, the
name of the style he has developed. His
favorite ingredient, garlic, is true to this. A
sushi and teppanyaki chef whose must-have
ingredient seems more appropriate with a
good tomato sauce and breadsticks? It
speaks to Sonny’s willingness to go outside
the box. “Many people associate garlic with
an overpowering odor and taste, but when
it’s used correctly, it brings out the best
flavor. Average diners associate garlic with
Italian cooking, but it can enhance a dish
from almost any culinary background.”
Many of the dishes Sonny has created are
meant to further embody the idea of fusion.
Different rolls feature combinations of
Asian, Hispanic and Caribbean flavors, and
some rolls are simply unique. Sonny’s
Fusion Wasabi Special Roll is a marriage of
freshwater eel, crisp cucumber and fresh
avocado and strawberries on top. While he
admitted it was probably his signature dish,
Sonny pointed to concept as a better
signature than the food.
A customer told him one day that he’d
never eat sushi with fruit. Sonny decided to
change his mind, and within a week, he
had his special. In fact many rolls are
named for the customer who got Sonny
into creative mode. “I love it (when
customers give me ideas). I’m challenging
myself every day; it’s even better when my
customers challenge me.”
Fusion Wasabi is open from 11 a.m.–
2 p.m. Monday through Friday for lunch,
and 5 p.m.–10 p.m. Monday through
Thursday, 5 p.m.–11 p.m. on Friday,
4:30 p.m.–11 p.m. on Saturday, and
5 p.m.–9:30 p.m. on Sunday for dinner.
250 S. Craycroft Road, Suite 100 • Tucson
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
from the kitchen
for the
Tucson Tamale owner Todd Martin’s journey from office exective to corn artist.
By Ellen Ranta
Arizona Gourmet Living (AZGL) chats with
Tucson Tamale owner Todd Martin (TM)
about becoming a tamale expert.
AZGL: What sparked your interest in
cooking and food?
TM: I've been cooking since I was a kid and
always loved the creative aspects of it.
AZGL: How did you become a chef?
TM: On-the-job experience. I started as
a sandwich maker in a pub and over the
years worked my way through line
cooking to being the chef at my own
catering business in Denver.
AZGL: What is your favorite food to
eat? To make?
TM: I love cheese. Any kind, every
kind of cheese. I love cooking anything,
but for a simple meal at home I like
making pasta.
AZGL: What is your signature dish at
Tucson Tamale?
TM: We only make tamales so all of our
tamales are our 'signature' dish.
AZGL: How would you describe your
cooking style or cooking philosophy?
TM: Being a lover of food my whole life
and cooking since I can remember, I’m always on the lookout for
new experiences and certainly learning new techniques, processes,
recipes and flavors. So 14 years ago when my wife (she was my
girlfriend at the time) said, “We’re going over to my parents’
tomorrow morning to make tamales,” I was excited. We arrived at
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
8 a.m. to an incredible sight: five bushels of corn, 25 pounds of
freshly roasted green chilis, 18 friends and family, and five cases of
beer. After a full 10-hour day of making tamales I was in love. I was
already in love with Sherry, now I was in love with making tamales.
There’s an earthiness to making tamales. Like when you plant your
garden, you till the soil with your hands and nothing feels better
then the damp soil sifting through your fingers. When making
tamales there’s nothing like the feel of freshly prepared masa being
gently patted onto the smooth side of a corn husk. As you roll it you
are in awe of the beauty you just created. It’s hard work but the
rewards are well worth it.
AZGL: What prompted you to open
a restaurant?
TM: In my restaurant journeys I found
many a delicious green corn tamale but little
else to satisfy my craving for a really, really
good tamale. So I did what so many others
do, you make it yourself. Getting inspiration
from my need for something out of the
ordinary I started making my own. Friends
and family would come over and rave about
the incredible tamales. They wanted some
to take home but we hardly ever had
leftovers. I have over 25 different tamales in
my ‘portfolio’ (my online nickname is
cornartist—look for me on Twitter) and
am always trying new things.
In early 2008 I made the decision to
leave my executive position at a Fortune
500 company to make my tamales for
everyone. On Nov. 21, 2008 the Tucson Tamale Company opened
its doors and the rave reviews keep coming in.
2545 E. Broadway Blvd. • Tucson
520.305.4760 •
The Beverage House
“In the wine world, we’re unique,” said Jay
Bye, Corporate Director of Fine Wines,
“because we have quality wines, at affordable
prices that add ‘style’ to your wine cellar.”
Bye encourages attending the Friday
Night Wine Tasting (4 p.m.–6 p.m.). Bye’s
personal choices are poured with
accompanying Tasting Notes and a 20
percent discount on the featured wines.
Visit the website for details.
8660 E. Broadway Blvd. • Tucson • 520.296.9933
6250 N. Oracle Road • Tucson • 520.219.6424
It’s A Grind
Located in Plaza Antigua on River Road
and Campbell Avenue, It’s A Grind
Coffee House can provide that perfect
pick-me-up in a cup. Choose from
varietal coffees, rich espresso, blended
drinks, smoothies and flavored teas. The
eclectic coffee shop features modern jazz
and comfortable seating.
4205 N. Campbell Ave • Tucson
520.326.1981 •
Mina’s Thai
The restaurant offers Monsoon Valley
Wines, produced from the grapes of the
floating vineyards of Siam Winery. The
Monsoon Valley Red, a medium-bodied
wine, is recommended for red curries and
meat dishes. The Monsoon Valley White
with its citrus aromas complements steamed
and grilled seafood dishes as well as salads
and pad Thai noodles.
5575 E. River Road, #141B • Tucson
La Madrina Pizzeria
La Madrina serves up the best traditional
New York-style pizza in Tucson, along
with pasta and sandwiches. Check out The
Supreme, featuring sausage, pepperoni,
green bell peppers, onions, mushrooms
and black olives.
Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m.–8:30
p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.,
and Sunday, noon–8 p.m.
7872 N. Oracle Road • Tucson
520.742.2111 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
culinary cocktails
When it comes to cocktails, Matt Firth just might be able to
change your mind about what you think you know and like.
Before I met Firth, a principal in Market Restaurant Group, I
thought I didn’t like mojitos. However, after trying his kumquat
mojito, I was sold. Pretty good for a guy who never had even a
sip of alcohol until college.
Firth is the drive behind the culinary cocktails at Harvest
Restaurant, and he’s bringing the concept to The Grill at
Hacienda del Sol Resort with a new specialty cocktails menu.
He traces his mixology roots back to his time as a college
student at Northern Arizona University. His dad, Tom Firth,
also of Market Restaurant Group, owned his first restaurant in
Flagstaff, called Buster’s. The restaurant, said Firth, is famous
for a drink called Buster’s Bowl, a fish bowl of a drink that was
made with several different liquors and required two people to
order one drink. Firth asked his dad for the Buster Bowl recipe,
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
By Carrie Bui
and quickly became the resident bartender among his friends,
mixing up Buster Bowls at parties.
“As a kid, I always said I would never be in the restaurant
business,” said Firth, who studied finance in college. But,
perhaps it was unavoidable for a guy who grew up in the
restaurant business. After college, Firth worked in Tucson as a
loan originator, but didn’t really enjoy the job. “I guess I didn’t
really want to go down that path.” While on a beach in
Carlsbad, Calif. with his parents, his dad asked him if he
wanted to help out the Zona78 on River Road, which was going
through a difficult period. He said yes to the Zona78 offer, and
Firth said it ended up being “good for them and good for me.”
After helping to turn business around at Zona78 River, Firth
thought about opening a lounge in Tucson. He traveled to a few
large cities, including Los Angeles and Las Vegas, researching
lounges and looking for inspiration. That lounge idea didn’t
come to fruition, but his trip helped inspire a greater interest in
mixology. In fact, Hacienda del Sol’s culinary cocktail menu
includes Peppers!, modeled after the Peppers Delirious cocktail
Firth had at the former S Bar in Los Angeles.
At the same time the lounge concept fell through, Firth, his
father, and their partners in Market Restaurant Group, fatherson pair Rick and Kevin Fink and executive chef Ramiro Scavo,
were asked to open a restaurant in Oro Valley. The five opened
Harvest Restaurant in November 2008, focusing on seasonal
menus that emphasize the use of fresh, local ingredients.
Opening Harvest also gave Firth an outlet for his mixology
experiments. He said the restaurant was his “first opportunity”
to really begin playing around with culinary cocktails. “We
made (cocktails) a major focal point of the restaurant,” he said.
To do this, they implemented a seasonal cocktail menu.
Hacienda del Sol is now reaping the benefits of Firth’s passion
for mixology. Firth believes cocktails will be influential in
drawing young professionals to the resort. Up till now, the
resort has cultivated its vast wine collection, one that has drawn
a considerable amount of attention. However, wine, said Firth,
is probably a more intimidating option for a younger crowd,
both in selection and price. Those who are inexperienced in
wine have more difficulty discerning between quality levels.
Culinary cocktails will help bridge the age gap, and at the same
time introduce a new element to the restaurant. The use of
fresh, local ingredients stays true to the Market philosophy.
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
The culinary cocktail menu at Harvest begins with
considering produce that is available fresh and locally, similarly
to how the chef considers the seasonal produce offerings for the
menu. Firth told his bartenders they are “chefs” behind the bar,
and stressed taking their drinks seriously through the use of
quality ingredients and striving for consistency. He walked me
through how he tests a featured ingredient in multiple drinks,
looking for a balanced cocktail to put on the menu.
At the time of our meeting, citrus fruits were deep in bloom,
and Firth decided to experiment with kumquats, fresh from the
trees on Hacienda’s property. He prepared a kumquat
marmalade ahead of time, simmering it with simple syrup and
water and blending it smooth. He’ll test the kumquat
marmalade as a featured ingredient in a variety of popular
drinks, including a margarita, a martini, a champagne cocktail,
and a simple cocktail as well as the aforementioned mojito.
As Firth combines ingredients, measuring carefully, he talks
about how the goal of a good culinary cocktail is to create a
balance between the flavors. Each drink he makes is an
experiment to find the balance, to taste the fresh kumquat, to
choose one that catches your attention. He makes a margarita—
tequila, sweet and sour mix, kumquat marmalade, shaken—and
taste tests it. “I want it to be a balance of all those flavors,” he
said. Firth declares the drink just a little too sweet, and tries
again, replacing the sweet and sour mix with fresh lemon and
lime juices. After both drinks, Firth comments that he could
still improve on it, but chooses to move on to the next drink.
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
By Mixologist Matthew Firth
Market Restaurant Group
2 ounces Hendricks gin
1 ounce fresh Myer lemon juice
1 ounce honey simple syrup
5 mint leaves
3 drops cocktail bitters
¾ ounce pasteurized egg white
Put mint in bottom of a cocktail shaker and crush with the back of a
spoon to release essential oils. (Do not muddle or grind; this will result
in a bitter flavor of chlorophyll and ground leaves, not the lovely
aroma and flavor of the essential oils of the mint.) Add about 5 or 6
ice cubes and remaining ingredients. Shake hard for about 10
seconds. Fill high ball with ice and contents of cocktail shaker. Top
with soda water.
Garnish with wheel of Myer lemon and mint.
He makes a mojito, muddling fresh mint from Hacienda’s
garden and combining it again with the kumquat marmalade,
10 Cane rum and lime juice with a touch of soda at the end.
These are classic drinks, and Firth notes that he’s not looking to
invent anything, but instead, he wants to be able to give drinks
a personal spin. “You want to make it your own way,” he said.
The champagne cocktail he mixes is simple, just the
champagne and kumquat puree. Firth notes that the kumquat
drives the drink forward, and compares it to a mimosa. His
next kumquat drink experiment is a martini made with
Hendrick’s gin. He also decides to throw in a little ginger and
elderflower as he warns, “I don’t know if this is going to be
good. This is going to be totally off the cuff.” He pours the
drink into a martini glass, comments that it’s strong on the
alcohol and that he doesn’t love the ginger.
He tries the drink again with no ginger, a little mint, less gin,
more elderflower and more kumquat marmalade. The second
drink comes out more successfully: “I like that better. It’s
definitely more round, and the alcohol doesn’t hit you as much.
It has more kumquat, which I like.”
To cap off our meeting, Firth prepares Peppers!, his favorite
drink. He muddles fresh red bell pepper and jalapeno together,
then adds in a few fresh mint leaves. The drink is made with
Aviation gin, a small-batch gin from Portland, and he pours it
over ice and tops it with soda water. He tastes it first, and
declares that it doesn’t have enough of a kick. Jalapenos are
tricky, he explains, because you never know how much spice is
in it. He muddles jalapenos twice more and adds it to the glass
in order to achieve the drink’s spicy finish. Firth garnishes it
with a slice of bell pepper and a sprig of mint. Peppers! tastes
lightly refreshing—it has a cool start from the bell pepper and
gin and finishes with a hint of peppery bite.
This demonstration is an example of how Firth and his team
crafted the specialty cocktails menu at Hacienda del Sol. The
process requires patience and effort, but the results are unique
cocktails made with care and attention. These are drinks meant
to be sipped slowly, to be savored as you consider their multiple
elements. An excellent culinary cocktail is just as satisfying as
that glass of aged wine or a gourmet meal.
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
on the vine
a wine barbecue
There are lots of reasons to stay home for vacation this year.
Perhaps you would rather put some extra money in your bank
account, reduce those credit card balances or just take a year off
from losing all that money converting dollars to euros. Even
though your heart is screaming for a trip to Europe, are you really
going to miss Germany, Italy or France? Maybe. Some folks go to
Europe for the sheer beauty of the mountains and their clean, cool
smells, others to be near water, whether it is the briny aromas of the
Mediterranean, or a refreshing lake or river. And then there is the
art and culture. But we also go for the food and the wine, yes, the
marvelous wine!
Why do European wines taste so much better when we are there?
In Europe, we experience wines from small producers who cater to
their locale and do not export. There, we do not taste the massproduced, mass-marketed wines that are exported and end up on
our supermarket shelves. Unfortunately, when we think of
European wines, most of our exposure has been with those
supermarket wines.
However, we are in luck living here in Tucson. There is a wine
shop that caters to European wineries whose philosophy is to make
handcrafted, artisan wines with a tiny production. Wine Depot on
Grant Road just west of Alvernon Way has an amazing selection of
these impossible to find wines. Frank Lietzau, who is originally
from Cologne, Germany, is the friendly and informative proprietor
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
By Jeanne Christie
who hand-picks wonderful wines during his trips to Europe. Frank
has special relationships with the European wineries who make
these lovely wines and is able to acquire them for limited export.
You won’t find Frank’s wines anywhere else. They are exclusive to
Wine Depot and you.
Keeping in mind that we are not going to Europe and are doing
a “staycation,” we now know where to find the European wine. So
let’s have some barbecues—European/American style. Lakes?
Mountains? Staying local, there are so many places to go. A couple
of favorites come to mind. My recommendations would be Lake
Patagonia, only about an hour south of town and Mount Lemmon,
just about an hour up from town.
The drive is, in itself, picturesque, lots of mountain vistas, colors
and silhouettes as you ride through Arizona hill country, full of
lush desert flora and fauna. Once you are there, Lake Patagonia has
everything you need, picnic ramadas with barbecue grills, right
next to a swimming beach. Trees and wildlife are abundant with
whitetail deer, blue herons, hummingbirds and much more. If you
want to throw in a fishing line, rent a canoe (or not) and try for
bass, bluegill and catfish. This is an idyllic setting with a 265-acre
lake that’s 2½ miles long. Ahhhh! Put me in that canoe!
Now, let’s think about the food for our lakeside barbecue, herbcrusted chicken thighs, German potato salad and pickled
asparagus. The herb-crusted chicken is easy. The night before you
go, liberally coat the chicken pieces with parsley, sage, rosemary,
thyme and garlic salt. Allow it to sit overnight in the fridge. When
you’re grilling the chicken add a pat of butter on top of the thighs
at the very end. German potato salad recipes
abound on the
Internet, but here is
an easy one: cooked,
potatoes (peeled or
unpeeled), minced
onion, celery seed,
minced fresh parsley
and mayonnaise. Easy
as can be, add a little
pepper and paprika.
The pickled asparagus
can be picked up at
your grocery store.
And now for the
wine. After consulting with Frank Lietzau at Wine Depot, we
decided on two wines. The first is Karl Pfaffman Trocken
Riesling in a full liter bottle for $16.99. What a deal! This is a
dry Riesling with a medium body and delicious minerality that
will match perfectly with the chicken. The second wine chosen
has to be the best Chardonnay from Germany I have ever
tasted—Weingut Bercher Burkheim Chardonnay Trocken Spätlese
2005 at $49.99. This golden wine has rich, explosive fruit and
oak with tangerine and vanilla flavors and a long, lingering
finish. Think of it—a wine that will make you think you’re on
the Yonne River in Burgundy, France, rather than the Rhein
River in Baden, Germany. Baden is the warmest wine region in
Germany and they produce some great Pinot Noirs in the area
as well as Chardonnay.
Next, it is time to head to the mountains, no, not the Alps, but
Mount Lemmon. When I am away, my vision of Tucson consists
of the Santa Catalina mountain range, Sabino Canyon and
Mount Lemmon. My mind wanders to the thought of hiking,
nestled in Sabino Canyon with the sound of Bear Creek and a
different view at each turn. There is always a feeling of how the
Catalinas seem to have outstretched arms, welcoming all and
the sight of Mount Lemmon, beckoning. How fortunate we are
to have such an incredibly beautiful, multi-faceted, breathtaking
mountain of excitement barely an hour away! Spectacular views
are awaiting you. Mixed conifers, pines and fir trees provide that
wonderful, clean, fresh forest aroma. Lots of picnic grounds up
top with tables and barbecue grills. The Alder picnic area is one
of my favorites, and we have spent many good hours barbecuing
and picnicking there.
O.K. We know the place, how about the food? The mountains,
having a more rugged feeling, call for beef. I am not talking burgers
but something more European. How about Steak Florentine? Easy
enough. To add an American touch, let’s include baked potatoes and
corn on the cob. For Steak Florentine, you’ll need your butcher to
cut a 2-inch thick porterhouse steak. The night before your alpine
barbecue, rub the steak well with fresh garlic. Bring along some
extra virgin olive oil and some lemon to sprinkle on your steak after
you have grilled it to a perfect rare. Then slice it into ½-inch cuts.
Cook the baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil in the coals and
grill the corn in the husk. Mmmm! My mouth
is watering just thinking about this barbecue.
It is time to reflect on some great matching
wines. Again, Frank at Wine Depot has come
to the rescue. Our No.1 choice is Italy’s
Demarie Nebbiolo d’Alba 2004 at $30.49,
from Piedmont. The Nebbiolo has great
concentrated berry fruit with a hint of
earthy mushroom and excellent balance and
length. We absolutely had to throw in a
couple of Bordeaux choices as well. La
Croix Chantecaille Grand Cru St. Emilion
2005 is a winner at $44.95; the 2005 vintage
produced stellar wines in Bordeaux. La
Croix Chantecaille St. Emilion 2005 has a
berry and earth bouquet with flavors of
cherry, berry, dark chocolate and plum running strongly through
the mid-palate. This is an elegant and well-balanced wine with a
smooth and lengthy finish. For our last selection, we picked
Chateau Relais du Cheval Blanc 2005 at $19.99, with flavors and
nuances of cherry, berry, pepper, earth, licorice and spice. What’s
not to like at that price?
So forget the autobahn and autostrada; who needs Europe when
we can have such a good time, barely an hour’s drive away?
(Remember to take a designated driver for the ride back down
from Mount Lemmon.) Bon appetit! Buono appetito! Guten
appetit! Have a great vacation (oops) staycation!
Again, many special thanks to my co-conspirator and fellow
staycation barbecue buddy, Dan McCoog. Also, many special
thanks to Wine Depot’s Frank Lietzau.
Jeanne Christie has been a wine professional for most of her adult
life, including wine writing, winery public relations and marketing,
wine education, wine buying and wine sales. Jeanne is a professional
Wine Judge as well and is currently a Wine Consultant for Wineovations. She can be reached at [email protected]
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
the finer things
Art at Café 54
Don West - Obsidian Gallery
Tucson’s galleries reflect the soul of an eclectic and creative community.
By Justyn Dillingham
Close your eyes and picture Tucson as it might look to a
newcomer, or a resident coming home after a trip around the
world. What impressions and images would your mind call up?
If anything makes Tucson the city it is—besides the cacti, the adobe
houses and the indelible whiff of wet creosote bushes in the air after a
summer drizzle—it’s our art galleries. Running the gamut from classy
to funky, with atmospheres that range from elaborate to casual, our
galleries reflect the soul of a city with creativity on its collective mind.
Some of these galleries, like the DeGrazia Gallery in the
Sun, at 6300 N. Swan Road, which celebrates the life of the late,
legendary Southwest artist Ted DeGrazia, are well-known
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
enough to be familiar to non-residents. But art galleries can be
found almost anywhere in town, and they often pop up in
rather unexpected places. There’s no better way to get to know
Tucson than by stepping inside one of these galleries.
If you want to begin your gallery venture by veering as far
out of the mainstream as art gets, your first move should be to
pay a visit to Dinnerware Artspace. The venerable gallery, now
in its 31st year, offers a glimpse of the Tucson art world at its
most unorthodox and unpredictable, with exhibitions ranging
from performance art to video art.
“We try to work with as many artists and groups as we can,”
the finer things
Art at Café 54
said gallery director David Aguirre. “It’s a high-volume activity,
because there’s so many artists in Tucson, and of course we
want to work with all of them.”
Past events have included last spring’s Pollos del Pueblo, an
exhibit which featured chicken-themed artwork; Ignite Tucson,
an event where people can stand up and speak for five minutes on
absolutely anything in the world; and Paperworks, a 2008 exhibit
featuring mostly three-dimensional works made out of paper.
Aguirre said that Dinnerware provides an artistic space for “career
people who don't really consider themselves artists” but still want to
express themselves. He said it was heartwarming to see people bring
their relatives in to see their artwork on display at a gallery.
Dinnerware recently opened at a new location at the Citizens
Art Studios, 44 W. Sixth St., which also houses other local
galleries, and Aguirre is working on a proposal for the city of
Tucson to turn the warehouse into a permanent arts center.
While Dinnerware receives public funding from the Arizona
Commission on the Arts, it has not been as strongly affected by
the slumping economy as many other establishments. “Partly it’s
that we’re not based on sales as a commercial gallery is,” Aguirre
said. “We’re based more on activity and on human resources. So
we’ve been able to thrive. We have ‘people power,’ basically.”
If you’re searching for a gallery that spans the art spectrum, head
to Jane Hamilton Fine Art, a gallery whose back story is as
Jack Eggman - Jane Hamilton Fine Art
intriguing as its displays. Owner Jane Hamilton went from sitting
on the floor of a tepee in New Mexico to running her own art
gallery in Tucson’s Catalina foothills. Her story began when she
opened Jane Hamilton Fine Art in Bisbee in 1992, and eight years
later made the move to Tucson. “I’m one of these people who did
something with $400 and four kids,” she said.
Collectors from all over the globe have found their way to
Jane Hamilton Fine Art, in Plaza Colonial (located at the
southwest corner of Skyline and Campbell), the prominent new
art and design center of the “four corners” area of the Foothills.
On May 8th, 11 a.m.–3.p.m., Pokey Park will be
demonstrating (in clay) how she creates her bronze sculptures.
If you’ve seen the three large sculptures at the corner of Skyline
and Campbell, you have seen her superb finished works. Earlier
in the spring the gallery featured George Bodine’s Love of Italy
paintings. “I have about 60 artists who represent the
traditional, the contemporary, the whimsical and the abstract.”
said Hamilton, “Come by and see for yourself!”
From Jane Hamilton Fine Art, you can choose to head just a
few minutes south to Obsidian Gallery and Obsidian 128.
Sometimes one gallery just isn’t enough to contain all the work
you want to display. It certainly wasn’t for Monica Prillaman,
Owner of Obsidian Gallery, who opened Obsidian 128 next
door in October 2009.
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
Steve and Katia Pflipsen - Obsidian Gallery
Tom Murray - Jane Hamilton Fine Art
Obsidian Gallery focuses on contemporary crafts, while
Obsidian 128 features contemporary fine arts and sculpture.
Obsidian Gallery is currently featuring the work of Sarah Perkins,
a professor at Missouri State University who does enamel work on
metal, and local artist Laurel Hansen, who paints. Obsidian 128 is
displaying the work of Don West, a mixed-media artist, Joe
Hatton’s expressionistic real-world inspired abstract paintings,
and the photography of Patricia Carr Morgan, who blends frames
from old movies with contemporary photos for a unique effect.
Downtown Tucson offers its share of unique galleries, but
one of the most original is Café 54, a lunch bistro that provides
training for adults recovering from mental illnesses and gives
them an opportunity to see their work on display.
“The art component was something I had designed into the
restaurant space, so that way we would be part of the downtown
arts community as well,” said Café 54 Executive Director Mindy
Bernstein. Café 54 also provides scholarship funding for these
artists, enabling them to preserve their existing artwork and
obtain the materials to create new works of art.
“So many people recovering from mental illnesses are
financially not well endowed as other people,” Bernstein said.
“Artists need to have a medium in order to express their gifts.”
In addition to providing the artists with the inspiration and
support they need to work, the cafe provides the community
with a unique and fascinating artistic perspective.
“We compartmentalize a lot of our citizens, (in terms of
them) being their illness or their disease, rather than being a
citizen with a disability,” Bernstein said.
To learn more about how to purchase a work you see on
display at Café 54, call 520.622.1907.
“The work people are coming out with just blows me away,”
Bernstein said. “It is so beautiful. It is a gift on so many levels.”
If reading about all these galleries has made you want to try
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
your hand at this art business yourself, you're in luck.
Art is often caricatured as something rarified, remote,
snooty—something done only by enigmatic, clove-smoking
French eccentrics. The perfect antidote to this kind of thinking
is to stop by Solar Culture, a gallery where anyone in the world
is free to display their art.
There are ground rules, of course: You can bring one large
piece of art or up to three smaller pieces, and you should bring
it in ready-to-be-hung condition—with a strong hanging
device attached—on the week of the show opening, Tuesday
through Thursday, in the afternoon or evening. Floor standing
pieces, or works that sit on a firm base, are also welcome.
From there, the sky's the limit.
Dinnerware Artspace
44 W. Sixth St. • Tucson
Jane Hamilton Fine Art
2890 E. Skyline Drive, Suite 180 • Tucson
10 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday through Saturday • 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sunday
Obsidian Gallery and Obsidian 128
4320 N. Campbell Ave., Suites 128 & 130 • Tucson
520-577-3598 •
10 a.m.–6 p.m. Monday through Saturday • 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sunday
Café 54
54 East Pennington St. • Tucson
11 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday through Friday
Solar Culture
31 E. Toole Ave. • Tucson
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
garden center
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
at home
Harlow Gardens has been a fixture in Tucson for 70 years. A
third-generation, family-run operation, the store has won local,
state and national awards for its beautifully innovative
landscaping. For two consecutive years they have been named
as one of the only two “revolutionary Garden Centers in the
Southwest” by Today’s Garden Center.
Harlow Gardens’ landscape designers create spaces that are
beautiful and usable, working with you to plan a patio for
entertaining, a play area for the kids or a quiet retreat for
yourself—your dream made real and touchable.
Maybe it’s being voted one of Tucson’s best places to work, or
maybe it’s just inherent in the mix, but the store prides itself on
making sure its customer service is also the best. Experts
cheerfully provide thoughtful answers to your questions. Visit
Harlow Gardens and discuss your “At Home” needs with some
of their great artists.
Cathy Fickhoff Negelspach loves horses and it is reflected in
her art. Using driftwood she creates fascinating sculptures,
each one unique and full of personality. Illene Hurley’s
paintings bring calm and contentment to the viewer. Her
paintings can handle the weather, but whether you want to
place them inside or out, they will always brighten and
invigorate their space. Ross Hartzell is inspired by the Sonoran
Desert to create handmade, unique steel and copper wind
sculptures. The sculptures are permanently lubricated and
sealed to last a lifetime. Watch the twirling shapes and discover
a sense of peace. Karen Palmer loves puzzles and took that love
into the world of art and design, creating mosaics of tiny tile,
fired in a kiln for unexpected results.
If you want to see what Harlow Gardens can do, just tour
the town and enjoy some of their projects—The Pioneer Hotel,
Pueblo Gardens, Tucson Medical Center, University of
Arizona, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the Foothills
Mall. Not so public, but very much the heart of the business
are the 2,000-plus private residences in Tucson and Southern
Arizona, that have been designed by Harlow Gardens. Stop
by the nursery or the landscape office and give Harlow Gardens
a chance to create beauty for you! With over 75 local, state
and national awards for landscaping excellence, you simply
can’t go wrong.
Nursery hours are Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and
Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Landscape office hours are MondayFriday 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
5620 E. Pima St. • Tucson
520.298.3303 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
at home
mexican and imported treasures
From the moment you see their signature grand mesquite
dining tables with stately chairs, dressers and exquisitely carved
beds it is apparent that Zócalo is unique. Their expansive
showroom is filled with a vast array of quality furniture and
home accessories. Authentic chandeliers of all sizes, sconces
and candelabras from simple to grand make a significant
design statement for any home. Mirrors used as art, and to
open up spaces, are everywhere in gold and silver leaf,
punched tin, carved wood and iron. If you are looking for
talavera and pottery, you will find a large selection of both
new and vintage. Zócalo is known to import one of the
most extensive collections of ceramic pineapples, from
Michoacan, in the Southwest. Milagro-covered hearts, crosses,
candlesticks, nichos and picture frames of all sizes invoke
divine assistance or gratitude for blessings received. The
owners, Robert and Karri, spent three weeks in Southern
Mexico this February, in search of unique Mexican treasures.
They are appreciative of the recent recognition as the “Best
South of the Border” shopping destination bestowed upon
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
their store by Tucson’s American Society of Interior
Designers, and are eager to maintain a level of excellence. They
continue to import upholstered furniture, of beautifully
embroidered fabric from Oaxaca and Guatemala that will
colorfully accent any room. An unparalleled selection of
intricate “Day of the Dead” Katrinas, some up to 3 feet tall,
make for interesting gifts. Lacquer ware from Olinala, pewter,
Amate paintings and intricately painted plates from Guerrero
are found throughout the store. They recently procured
works from several artists found in the premier reference
guide on Mexico’s finest artisans, “Great Masters of Mexican
Folk Art.” Many beautiful carved saints, museum-certified
religious oil paintings dating from the 18th century and folk
art are amongst their varied collection. If you appreciate gallery
quality inventory at direct import prices visit Zócalo. Custom
orders accommodated.
3016 E. Broadway Blvd. • Tucson
520.320.1236 •
Preserve the
Life of Your Roof
Most people do not realize that a flat roof is a
two-part system. Felt paper and tar are your
water barriers, and white elastomeric is your
sun barrier. The sun barrier protects your
water barrier from the harmful effects of
intense sunlight. Most flat roofers treat a
leaking flat roof with elastomeric only, never
repairing the water barrier.
Randall’s Rubberized Roofing uses
rubberized neopreme and a polyester fabric
to fully repair any breaks in the water
barrier. They then apply a double coat of a
top grade elastomeric, enhanced with
Titanium Dioxide for extreme reflection of
sunlight and therefore heat.
Roofs in Tucson, Ariz., generally
reach a temperature of around 140
degrees Fahrenheit, but with Randall’s
Rubberized Roofing coating, they can
reduce this to 100 degrees.
The coating is backed by a seven-year,
“no-quibble” warranty, is lightweight and
incredibly durable. The coating is also
green and eco-friendly, with a nine to
10 year expected life span. The entire
process is clean, quiet and odorless.
520.419.2144 •
Tune in to
La Raza 1210 AM
La Raza 1210 AM offers listeners of all ages
regional Mexican music from the ‘80s and
‘90s as well as today’s hits, with
programming that focuses on local news,
sports, politics and more. Listen throughout
southern Arizona and northern Sonora.
Tune in to La Raza 1210! For upcoming
events and more, check their website.
520.889.8904 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
at home
Although many families find turning to a restaurant cuts the
hassle of preparing a meal, others are resorting to outdoor
entertainment, in particular to barbecuing, as an economical
and fun way to cook a meal that’s easy, quick and worry-free.
That it also becomes a forum to host gatherings for family and
friends, is just a bonus.
“Studies show that people are spending more time at home,
based on either necessity or choice,” said Jeffery Sears, CEO of
Barbeques Galore, Inc. “Either way, Americans are thinking of
ways to enjoy what they have at home rather than spend money
on travel and restaurant dining.”
“Entertaining outdoors is my ideal form of hosting guests,”
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
added Sears, “because my backyard is an extension of my
indoor living space. There’s nothing better than bringing family
and friends together for great food and fresh air in a safe,
intimate environment.”
Extending your kitchen and dining room to the backyard patio
creates a wonderful gathering place for casual parties. “We find that
barbecue-lovers enjoy hosting family and friends in their outdoor
living areas with the grill or smoker the center of the event,” said
Deidra Darsa, manager, media and public relations for the
Virginia-based Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HBPA).
Don’t miss the fun! Fire up the charcoal, grab the apron and
start grilling!
great barbecue accessories
Kay Dee Designs’ Alert! The
Cook is Hot apron is a
combination of orange and
gold with black printing.
The apron ties in the back
and features an adjustable
neck strap.
The Vacu Vin Instant Marinater
uses the vacuum technology of
its food savers for marinating
meat, vegetables and fish. The
vacuum opens up the pores and
fibers in the food, allowing a
deep and instant marinating. It
works in as little as 10 minutes,
eliminating hours of advanced
preparation, and can be used
with any favorite recipe.
Sackso Enterprises LLC’s Grilly Goat Grill Set includes deluxe locking
tongs with a replaceable basting brush for turning and basting meats
and vegetables with a single tool. The tongs have no-slip grip pads for
comfort and a scalloped end to firmly grab grilled items without damage.
The 16-inch length keeps hands away from flare-ups. The
matching saucepot has a 2-cup capacity and includes a
cradle for the tongs. The slot-and-tab design
keeps the tongs in place over the pot,
helping keep the grill clean.
Both tongs and pot are
made of stainless steel.
The brush inserts are
includes the tongs,
saucepot and an extra
basting brush insert.
Use anywhere you would use string, toothpicks or skewers to hold your food together
while cooking on the grill, under the broiler or
in any pan on the stove. The foodloop flame is
flameproof to 2012°F/1100°C and is made of
highest grade of 18/8 stainless steel. It is
reusable and dishwasher safe, and it adjusts
from 2 inches to 6 inches in diameter.
The new Grill Mill from William Bounds can be
used for sea salt or peppercorns and features a
sophisticated design that will appeal to anyone
who loves to grill. Made of durable stainless
steel, the straight-sided design, with its textured
surface in the middle, makes for easy grabbing
while grilling and cooking, allowing you to grip
and twist without slipping. Inside, the mill
features the exclusive William Bounds stainless
steel ceramic milling mechanism that crushes
ingredients rather than grinding them. It’s fully
adjustable to produce a range of grinds from
extra fine to extra coarse. It is available in small,
measuring 5 inches tall, and large, measuring
9 inches tall.
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
at home
your home
Embellish Home Etc. located at 6761 E. Tanque Verde Road
just celebrated their second year in business.
What originally started as solely a home décor store has
expanded to include a large selection of unique and one-of-akind gift items, as well as jewelry and clothing.
Owners Dawn Scully and Kim Samuels love scouring the
home furnishings and gift markets to find the perfect gift items
and home accessories to bring back to their store.
In addition to the special treasures found at their retail store,
the owners continue to offer their trademark “Décor to your
Door” service. It is a very personalized service that allows them
to bring items from the store into your home on a trial basis.
Their customers love this service because it allows you to try
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
out a variety of home décor items in your home before you
purchase. It is often hard to make the right choice when you are
shopping because it is difficult to imagine how a particular
item might look in your own home. Once you see lamps or
artwork in your home compared against other options, it is
much easier to determine what piece best suits your home and
lifestyle. Their “Décor to your Door” service takes the
guesswork out of decorating your home.
Stop by or call them today to find out how they can
EMBELLISH your home!
6761 E. Tanque Verde Road • Tucson
520.512.5200 •
Local Salon Owner
Launches New Hair Care
Product Line
By Carrie Bui
Jason Ashkenazi, owner of SOHO Hair Studio, announced the
launch of his new hair care line, SOHO Designer Hair Care
Products last month.
To start the line off, Ashkenazi’s first product release is
Bohemian Bombshell, a dual action product designed to
enhance curls when used with a diffuser, and achieve volume
when sprayed at the hair’s roots and blown dry. Bohemian
Bombshell features a blend of jojoba oil and aloe vera. The oil
works as a natural hydrant and closely mimics the pH and oils
naturally produced by the scalp, and the aloe vera serves as a
natural sunscreen to protect hair color from environmental
effects, said Ashkenazi. The product retails at $22 and can be
purchased at SOHO Hair Studio.
Ashkenazi was motivated to create his own hair care product
line after researching the products he was using within his
salon. He was dissatisfied with the amount of detergents and
sulfites found in many hair care products, ingredients that are
actually “worse for your scalp and hair color,” he said. SOHO
Designer Hair Care Products are made of mostly natural
ingredients with a few safe synthetics. The products are
detergent-free, sulfite-free and paraben-free.
SOHO Designer Hair Care Products was also designed “to
leave as small an environmental footprint as possible,” said
Ashkenazi. The products are bottled in precycled packaging,
which saves bottles from being thrown away, and the bottles
are recyclable.
SOHO Hair Studio opened last August in the Art & Design
building at 6th Street and 6th Avenue. “Hair is pretty practical,
but also has a very artistic feel to it,” he said. The studio also
shows original artwork from local artists with regularly
changing exhibits. SOHO Hair Studio offers a complete array
of hair services and is always accepting new clients.
439 N. 6th Ave., Suite 139 • Tucson
520.326.1258 •
Jabez Studio Offers
Everything You Need
For color correction ($55+), weaves, perms, up-dos, relaxers, basic
cuts and colors, as well as nail treatments including acrylics ($55)
and paraffin ($10), come to Jabez.
Jabez also offers full-body waxing ($120+). Open TuesdayFriday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
3900 W. Costco Drive, Suite 140 • Tucson
520.297.1831 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
body beautiful
Readyfor a
L e a r n f ro m Ly d i a
Lydia Vasile’s first hair-dressing client was her most demanding.
She still remembers the first time she cut hair, and it was her
own. She disappeared from her parents’ sight one day when she
was a child and shocked her parents by reappearing with short
hair. After that, she dreamed of operating a hair salon aboard a
luxury airliner.
The next haircut she remembers came when she was in the
eighth grade, when her hair was cut by a neighbor. “She played with
my hair. She didn’t style it–just cut it,” Lydia said. After the cut, the
neighbor manipulated Lydia’s hair with her fingers to create a wave
in it. “The kids at school noticed right away,” Lydia said.
That haircut changed Lydia’s life. The revelation that simple
manipulation could change the appearance of both the hair and the
person under it inspired her. As time went on, she was more and
more drawn to the idea that she had found her adult career. “I said,
‘That’s it. I have to go to school to learn,’” she said. “I have a few
memories in hair.”
Plexus Pilates
At Plexus Pilates, one of the first things they try to teach new clients
is that exercise doesn’t have to be painful to be effective. Plexus
offers a variety of programs for almost any budget. “Our mission is
to bring pilates to a wider group of people,” said Jamie Scerbo,
owner of Plexus.
12130 N. Dove Mountain Blvd. • Marana • 520.745.2837
6761 E. Tanque Verde Road • Tucson • 520.745.2837
Re-opening after expansion
Plexus Central • Tucson• 520.745.2837
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
Her hairdressing career started in Europe and eventually
brought her to Tucson and to European Hair by Vasile on East
Broadway at Kolb Road, where Lydia specializes in hairstyles that
work with a woman’s age, hair type and lifestyle. A good haircut, a
brighter color, or a new style can make as much difference to how
a woman feels and how other people respond to her as it does to
how she looks, Lydia said.
“All the time I teach my customers that you feel good, you look
good,” she said. “When you’re ready for change, we can do it…. I want
you to look good.” The salon is open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
6923 E. Broadway Blvd. • Tucson
Super Savings
at Select Fitness
Beat the heat and get ready for summer! Select Fitness, the
Foothills’ Premier Personal Training Studio is offering indoor
group circuit classes and personal training sessions at reduced
prices. Get in shape and save money.
Call Select Fitness today to get started on your summer body
right now.
5501 N. Swan Road, Suite 150 • Tucson
520.299.1350 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
body beautiful
Be Pampered at
Sun Mist Tan!
Sun Mist’s premiere tanning boutique
offers a natural, flawless mist-on tan
that’s UV free, giving you that perfect
tan every time. The spa provides a
wide range of services and treatments
designed to pamper you from
head to toe. From a
deep-cleansing, ultrahydrating, or antiaging facial to a
marvelous massage—
restore your energy at
Sun Mist Tan.
7189 E. Tanque Verde Road
Tucson • 520.885.6478
Bert Seelman’s
Performance Fitness Systems
For a private workout with personal guidance, Bert Seelman,
Owner of Performance Fitness Systems, can tailor a workout and
health program for any individual over the phone. He also has a
variety of videos on YouTube to assist in long-distance training.
Seelman focuses on teaching clients why they are doing what they
are doing.
520.327.2929 •
One-Stop Beauty
Hairspraz offers everything you need. Stop by the salon for hair
coloring, highlighting, perms, cuts and great styles. Hairspraz
also offers manicures, pedicures and full body waxing.
Annabelle, Debbie, Erika and Ginnie will serve you with a smile.
Call for appointments.
9425 E. Golf Links Road • Tucson • 520.290.8112
Discover Your Style
at Chez Josef
Chez Josef specializes in personalized hair care. The salon offers
a no-charge evaluation so a prospective client can meet stylists,
talk about options for styling, color, length, etc. The salon offers
creative and unique jewelry from local artists. Chez Josef is a great
place to discover your own beauty style!
3010 E. Broadway Blvd. • Tucson
water for a
Beautiful Body
Bountiful Beauty Options
Belle Chic offers head-to-toe services with a commitment to
luxury, quality and class. Services range from haircuts to
occasion styles, basic massage to heated stone massages, herbal
body wraps, manicures, nail art, facials and other beauty
services. The boutique carries jewelry and clothing in unique
styles. The salon is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m.–6 p.m. and
Mondays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
6691 N. Thornydale Road (near Costco) • Tucson
520.544.7788 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
The human body is over 70
percent water so drinking plenty of
pure, healthy water is a great thing to
do. Culligan is an industry leader in
the most technologically advanced,
state-of-the-art water filtration
products available. You can’t beat
Culligan. If your aim is to keep your
body beautiful, Culligan is better
water, pure and simple.
1230 S. Campbell Ave. • Tucson
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
By Karrie Welborn
Miraval Arizona
Westin La Paloma
Miraval Arizona
escape ‘n explore
About five years ago a Canadian comedy called Corner Gas used the word “staycation”
when one of the characters in the sitcom pretended to be on a vacation but was in fact
camping in the backyard and sending postcards to friends, as if from exotic places. At
first just a funny word, it became a part of the hospitality world as the economy slipped
down and funds for “real” vacations were tight. By July of 2009 the word was listed in
Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary as one of 100 new words included in the 11th
updated print edition as well as online. The official dictionary definition is “a vacation
spent at home or nearby.”
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
Desert Diamond Casinos, Hotel and Entertainment
According to Treena Parvello, Director of Marketing and Public
Relations at Desert Diamond Casino, the staycation concept has
become quite popular, particularly during Arizona’s hot summer
months as Arizonans can take advantage of special packages to
escape the heat.
Visit any one of the three Desert Diamond Casinos and enjoy
the gourmet dining, casino gaming and live entertainment. For
an extended staycation at a first-class resort, visit the Desert
Diamond Casino & Hotel in Tucson where there are a variety of
packages from the Playcation to the It Pays to Live in Arizona
discount. The Arizona discount is valid Sunday through
Thursday. Advance reservations are required. Show your state of
Arizona drivers license or identification at check-in and receive
a 10 percent discount.
Also available are a Raising the Steaks package which includes a
deluxe room and a $50 food credit at The Steakhouse and the Life’s
a Buffet package, which includes a deluxe room and two meals at
The Buffet. Best of all, the Desert Diamond Casino Hotel is a taxfree establishment! Save more than 12.5 percent by staycationing at
the Desert Diamond.
Parvello said she believed the staycation is a concept that will not
fade as the economy improves. She added, “The consumer has had
a taste for this kind of offer and its packages, and thus the
expectation for this type of opportunity will remain.”
Desert Diamond Casinos are located in Sahuarita, Tucson
and Why. Be sure to check the website for more promotions
and packages!
The Doubletree Hotel Tucson at Reid Park
Right in the center of Tucson, minutes away from the airport
and equally close to downtown is The Doubletree Hotel Tucson
at Reid Park, an excellent place for a staycation. Who wouldn’t
love this 14-acre facility with its oasis in the desert feel and
great customer service. When you check in, you receive freshbaked welcoming cookies, a delicious way to begin your visit!
Sue Lemon, Director of Sales and Marketing at The
Doubletree, defines staycation as, “The ability to be a tourist in
your own hometown, offering more vacation time and less
expenses.” Lemon added that the guest demographics range
from single guests who book a room and then read by the pool,
to families who come for a weekend, visit the zoo or drive to
Old Tucson, to the retired guests visiting during the week. The
Doubletree is a tremendous draw here in the Old Pueblo.
Don’t miss the summer packages! The Freedom Fest for the
4th of July, which includes tickets to a concert, fireworks,
welcome beverages and Sunday brunch is a favorite. Another
favorite is the massage package. With three restaurants, Cactus
Rose Steak House with patio fireside dining, the Javelina
Cantina, and the Lobby Bar, you will always have the right
choice for your mood.
During your stay at the Doubletree you can take in the
Carnival of Illusion show, cross the street to the public tennis
courts or stay on campus for a massage or a trip to the pool to
swim some laps.
Enjoy your time away from work with a staycation at The
Doubletree at Reid Park!
7350 S. Nogales Highway • Tucson
520.294.7777 •
445 South Alvernon Way • Tucson
520.881.4200 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
escape ‘n explore
Miraval Arizona
If you’re in the mood for a holistic stay away from home, Miraval
Arizona is the place to go. Alisha Mahon, Director of Public Relations
explains, “As a destination retreat, Miraval offers an experience that
meets every guest where they are and delivers the personalized
experience that they want and need the most. A Miraval experience
can calm stressed minds, relieve exhausted bodies, console grieving
hearts, break negative behavior patterns, excite the senses, and
generally prepares the human spirit for a more magnificent life.”
Mahon defines the staycation concept as something that initially
exploded into the hospitality scene as a result of the economic
downturn. She believes that the concept is now so mainstream it
will not disappear once the economy improves. “Consumers,” she
said, “are discovering experiences right in their own backyards.”
Arizona residents can receive special rates at Miraval Arizona
from June 1 through Aug. 31 by calling 800.232.3969 and
mentioning the code: LOCAL. Guests must be Arizona residents.
Miraval is a dynamic place where continuous innovation and new
activities, services and experiences are always in the mix. Dragon
Yoga and Partner Yoga are new this spring, joining activities such as
hiking, fitness training, horseback riding, meditation, an evening
photography walk and wellness counseling.
Enjoy Miraval’s award-winning healthy cuisine with three gourmet
meals daily, unlimited snacks, evening hors d’oeuvres and nonalcoholic beverages including smoothies, fresh juices, coffees and teas.
Miraval offers a multiplicity of activities for mind and body—
and if all you want to do is relax in a luxurious room, or sunbathe
by one of the four pools, you can do that too.
Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa
If where to have a luxurious and beautiful resort experience is the
question, the Westin La Paloma is the answer. The Westin is
located on 250 acres in the foothills of the Santa Catalina
mountains, a jewel in a golden setting.
The Westin has seven pools, a waterslide and great dining. In
particular is AZUL, Westin’s newest restaurant. (Read more
about this fabulous restaurant in the Dining Through Tucson
article on page 6.)
Bill Petrella, General Manager of the Westin La Paloma, defines
staycation as “a local or regional ‘getaway’ so you can enjoy a
spectacular vacation in your own backyard.” The Westin offers
several packages for Arizona residents using local radio spots and
a direct mail promotion.
If a family staycation is in the works, remember Westin’s Kids’
Club. There is a kids-only pool and best of all, the longest resort
waterslide in Arizona, the Slidewinder. It’s 177 feet long! For those
who choose not to slide, enjoy the sun next to one of the five
swimming pools. If a non-water activity is what you prefer, don’t
miss the beautiful 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, the
tennis courts and the workout room. But if your real desire is to be
pampered, visit the Westin’s Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa.
Whether you come for a weekend staycation or just stop by the
restaurants for an evening of fine dining, the Westin is an elegant way
to relax, refresh and unwind. Speaking of unwinding, don’t miss the
daily “Unwind,” a Westin Evening RitualSM with local cuisine and wine
tastings, along with live regional entertainment. For a staycation or a
vacation, visit Westin La Paloma, you won’t be disappointed.
5000 E. Via Estancia Miraval • Tucson
520.825.4975 •
3800 E. Sunrise Drive • Tucson
520.742.6000 •
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
events calendar
May 6-9
Sonoita Quarter Horse Show
Sonoita Fairgrounds
Come check out the oldest quarter horse
show in the nation. For more information and
for details about the show, visit the website.
May 26–September 25
Summer Music Series
J Bar
Live music combines with drinks and the
culinary delights of Chef Janos Wilder at J Bar
this summer. The music plays Wednesdays
and Thursdays, May through August, and
Fridays and Saturdays in September.
May 29–31
Wyatt E
arp Days
For a weekend back in time, head to
Tombstone for Wyatt Earp Days, an annual
event with staged gunfights in the street, a
chili cook-off, street entertainment and an
1880s fashion show.
June 5
Meet Me Downtown 5K Night Run & Walk
Downtown Tucson
Join the Southern Arizona Roadrunners as
they help revitalize downtown and raise
money for the Tucson Children’s Museum.
The event includes live music, a film at the
Fox Theatre and free food from 10
restaurants for the runners.
June 5-Aug 1
Joe Deal, West & West:
Reimagining the Great Plains
Center for Creative Photography at The
University of Arizona. Come view Kansas
native Joe Deal's new series of black and
white photographs which focuses on the
Great Plains.
June 14-15, 17-20, 21, 27-28
Rum & Coke
Arizona Repertory Theatre
The University of Arizona’s theater program
presents this comedy about the Bay of Pigs,
one of the most infamous political events in
American history. The play contains adult
language and themes. Purchase tickets
online, in person, by fax or by phone.
Permanent Exhibition
The Pottery Project
Arizona State Museum
Come view over 20,000 Southwest Indian
ceramics which span 2,000 years and include
pieces from the Hohokam, Mogollon and
Ancestral Pueblo.
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
May 8-9 & 15-16
Queen Creek Peach Festival
Schnepf Farms
Visit the Peach Festival and enjoy hay rides
through organic peach orchards. Pick your
own peaches, watch celebrity chef
demonstrations, or do crafts. For more
information visit the farm's website.
Every Thursday
Cinema La Placita
La Placita Village plaza
Watch a classic movie in a beautiful plaza
setting every Thursday evening this summer
at 7:30 p.m. Enjoy a movie under the stars,
and all-you-can-eat popcorn. Suggested
donation of $3.
June 20
Father’s Day BBQ at Reid Park Zoo
Reid Park Zoo
Bring your dad to the zoo for a BBQ
dinner, BBQ demonstrations, power tool
exhibitions and live entertainment. The kids
can have dad help them make a wood craft,
or get painting. Dads even get a chance to
win a new grill. For more information visit
the zoo’s website.
AZGL’s calendar of events, exhibits and things to do in Southern Arizona this season.
Follow @AZGL on Twitter or become a Facebook fan to discover even more.
May 19
19th Annual Flavors of Phoenix 2010
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Phoenix
Come have a five-course dinner with 30 of
Arizona's top chefs. Each chef has their
own table and all food preparation is done
right in front of guests. Learn tips from the
experts. Proceeds benefit the American
Liver Foundation.
Every 3rd Saturday, summer only
Night Wings
Pima Air & Space Museum
Come enjoy 300 aircraft and learn about
aviation history. Take part in a walking tour of
the indoor hangars, hands-on activities,
space food tastings, air-rocket building
lessons and more, all at night! The event is
open from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Members and
children under 12 get in for free. Adult
admission is $10.
May 21-23
Bisbee Gem and Mineral Show
Queen Mine Tour in Bisbee
Admire gems and minerals from all over the
world at great prices. For more information
visit the website.
June 5
10th Annual Family Farm Day
Tolmachoff Farms in Glendale
Visit the farm for children’s activities, train
rides, corn husking, a watermelon eating
contest and crafts. There will also be food
samples. For hours and admission prices
visit the website.
June 6
Introduction to Reptiles of the Tucson Area
Colossal Cave Mountain Park
Join Ed Moll of the Tucson Herpetological
Society to learn about reptiles. Watch a slide
show, and satisfy your curiosity during the
question and answer session. Presentations
are at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Expect live critters at
both presentations!
July 4
“A” Mountain Fireworks
To celebrate Independence Day, watch the
“A” Mountain fireworks show, a Tucson
tradition. For a great view, grab a spot early
on top of one of the downtown parking
garages, or in the Tucson Convention Center
area. Fireworks begin at 9 p.m.
July 31-August 1
Sonoita Vineyards
Celebrate the upcoming harvest with a
grape-stomping contest, winery tours
and tastings, wagon ride and live music
at this 25-acre vineyard.
June 10-July 27
Native American Children's Art Exhibition
Tohono Chul Park
In celebration of the park’s 25th anniversary,
bring the kids out to enjoy works of art made
by Native Americans. For more information,
or for hours of operation, visit the website.
Every Tuesday
Hacienda del Sol Free Wine Tasting
The Grill at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
Every Tuesday evening during this summerlong event, wine aficionados and novices
alike are welcome to come sample a select
wine off of The Grill's 2,000-plus wine list.
Different wines and featured wineries each
week. This event is free of charge.
August 4-August 8
Southwest Wings Birding
and Nature Festival
Sierra Vista
This annual festival features guided and selfguided tours, exhibits and programs about
Southern Arizona birds and butterflies at this
Sierra Vista conference.
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
great recipes
of Arizona
By Sous Chef Keith Martin
Cafe 54 • Tucson
4 6-ounce filets Corvina or other sustainable firm-fleshed white fish*
Juice of one lime
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
Lime wedges and cilantro for garnish
Prepare salsa (see below.) Mix lime juice, oil, salt and pepper together and
brush on fish. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes or so while preparing
plantain chips.
For Salsa
1 small can black beans
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, minced (may substitute either milder or hotter pepper to taste)
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together and allow to rest in refrigerator for at least 4
hours to allow flavors to marry.
For Plantain Chips
1 medium green plantain
Juice of one lime squeezed into a bowl of salted water
Peanut or canola oil for frying
Salt and pepper
Slice peeled plantain into ½-inch thick slices and soak for 10 minutes
in salted lime water. Heat ¼ inch of oil to 325-350°F. Dry soaked
plantain slices on paper towels and fry 5 minutes a side until cooked
through. Remove slices to drain on paper towels while heating oil up
to 375°F. Flatten fried slices with the bottom of a bowl or mug to ¼inch thick and return to hot oil for a few seconds until golden and
crisp. Remove to drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and
pepper while still hot.
Grill or pan fry fish 2-3 minutes a side or until desired doneness.
Place 2-3 plantain chips on plate and place a piece of fish on the chips. Top
with salsa and garnish with a few lime wedges and a sprig of cilantro.
* Please consult
_recommendations.aspx for fish recommendations.
By Chef Scott Brayer
Vero Amore • Tucson
2 or 3 fresh ripe tomatoes
1 tsp fine chopped garlic
4-5 fresh basil leaves
⁄8 tsp salt
Sprinkle of black pepper
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf French baguette
Chop tomatoes in ½- to ¾-inch cubes. Julienne basil into 1⁄8-inch thin
strips. In a mixing bowl, toss all ingredients well and chill for one
hour. Just before serving, slice the baguette on a bias into 1-inch
thick slices. Spread on a sheet pan and toast for 3 minutes at 450°F
or until lightly brown. While still warm, top with cold Pomodoro and
serve. Serves 4-6.
Arizona Gourmet Living
Spring 2010
By Chef Nikos Panousos
Fronimo’s • Tucson
2 eggplants (can substitute with zucchini)
2 ½ pounds potatoes
For Meat Mixture
2 pounds ground beef (browned and drained)
2 onions (chopped fine in processor)
½ tsp chopped garlic
1 10-ounce can tomato puree
2 cups crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Dash of cinnamon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
For Béchamel Sauce
¼ cup butter
4 cups hot milk
½ cup flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Dash of nutmeg
2 eggs, separated
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Remove ½ inch of peel lengthwise from the eggplants, leaving ½ inch
between the strips. Cut into thick slices, lengthwise, sprinkle with salt and
let stand between two heavy plates while making the meat mixture and
béchamel sauce (this allows the eggplant to sweat out any bitterness).
In a large skillet, brown beef and drain off excess oil. Place onions in
processor and chop fine. Add tomatoes in processor with puree and
seasonings. Pour tomato mixture into separate pan and sauté at low heat
for about 15 minutes. Add to browned beef and stir well. Sprinkle cheese
into mixture and stir again. Let cool.
Using paper toweling, pat the moisture off the eggplant slices and place
them on the oven broiler pan rack, brush with olive oil and brown under
the broiler. Turn, brush again and brown other side (slices should be
tender). Remove from oven.
Peel potatoes and slice about ¼-inch thick. Fry in deep fryer (or skillet
with plenty of oil) until soft.
In a large saucepan, melt the ¼ cup of butter over low heat. Add flour
slowly until it forms a smooth, golden roux. Remove from heat and gradually
stir in the 4 cups of hot milk. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring
the sauce until it is thick and smooth (patience is a virtue here). Add salt and
pepper to taste, and then the nutmeg. Next, in a medium bowl, beat the egg
whites until stiff and add the yolks and Parmesan cheese. Add a few
tablespoons of the hot sauce, then stir the entire egg mixture into the sauce,
and stirring constantly, cook over very low heat for about 2 minutes.
Grease an oven-proof baking pan (9" x 13"). Cover the bottom with
layers as follows, sprinkling each layer liberally with cheese: potatoes,
eggplant, meat sauce and potatoes.
Pour the béchamel sauce over the top of it all, sprinkle grated cheese
and parsley on top, and place in a 350° oven for 45-55 minutes, or until
top is a golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 10-15 minutes before
cutting. Serves 10-12.
great recipes of Arizona
By Ruby Tenorio
Cilantro • Tucson
A typical Colombian dish from Valle del Cauca.
Cactus Rose Steakhouse at Doubletree Hotel Reid Park • Tucson
10 sprigs of cilantro
1 whole green onion
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp minced garlic
2 free-range hens or chicken, cut in serving pieces.
3 peeled green plantains, halved lengthwise and cut into 1½" pieces
2 pounds peeled yucca, quartered lengthwise and into 2" pieces
6 medium potatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 whole yellow corn cut into four or six pieces
In a large stockpot, bring 3½ quarts of water to a boil. Add the chopped
cilantro, green onion, garlic, salt and bouillon cubes; cover and let simmer
for 15 minutes.
Add the hen or chicken, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. If using
chicken, remove the pieces from the pot; if using hens, just keep
simmering in the sancocho. Add the potatoes, plantains and yucca, and
cook for 45 minutes more.
Serve each bowl of sancocho with a teaspoon of minced cilantro in
the center. To each plate, add 1 chicken piece, a couple of yucca
pieces, a potato half, some plantain pieces, ½ cup of rice, salad or
sweet plantains.
ALOO GOBHI (potato and cauliflower)
By Chef Saurabh Sareen
Saffron • Tucson
50 grams potatoes
450 grams gobi (cauliflower florets)
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 chopped green chili
1 tsp coriander paste
1 tsp cumin paste
¼ tsp chili powder
½ tsp turmeric paste
1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Parboil the potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10
minutes. Drain well and set aside. Heat the oil in a large frying pan
and fry the cumin seeds for about 2 minutes, until they begin to
splutter. Add the green chilli and fry for a further minute. Add the
cauliflower florets and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes,
the ground spices and salt and cook for 7-10 minutes, until the
vegetables are tender. Garnish the Aloo Gobhi with coriander and
serve with tomato and onion salad and pickle.
For Biscuits
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder, sifted
¾ tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar, more for glaze
1 Tbsp lemon zest
½ tsp nutmeg
4 Tbsp (2 ounces) butter cut into small pieces
1 cup buttermilk, more for glaze
For Blueberries
4 cups blueberry puree
2 cups blueberries
Zest of 1 lemon
Touch of nutmeg
Lemon juice, sugar to taste
For Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Devon cream
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix butter with flour, salt, lemon zest, nutmeg, and sugar, add
buttermilk and let dough set for 10 minutes. Cut dough into 2-inch
circles, ½ inch wide, place on cookie sheet, add buttermilk and dust
sugar on top of each biscuit and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Heat blueberry puree gently. Add seasonings. For cream, whip heavy
cream, sugar and vanilla extract to soft peaks and mix in Devon
cream. Add blueberry per order inside each biscuit and top with
whipped cream. Yields 6 biscuits.
CHICKEN KARAAGE (Japanese fried chicken)
By Chef/Owner Jun Arai
Ginza Sushi • Tucson
1 pound boneless chicken thighs cut in bite-size pieces
1 Tbsp ground fresh ginger
⅓ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sake
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let marinate 36 to 48 hours. Coat each
piece with potato starch and deep fry.
By Owner Chris O’Hara
Chicago Fast Food • Tucson
1 Vienna hot dog
1 steamed Vienna poppy seed bun
1 bead of yellow mustard
1 Tbsp chopped onions
1 Tbsp green relish
1 Tbsp pickle spear
2 tomato wedges
2 sport peppers
sprinkle of celery salt
Boil water for Vienna hot dog then steam for ten minutes. Put hot dog in
the bun, then put 1 bead of mustard to the length of hot dog. Add relish
and onions. Place tomato wedges on the relish and a sport pepper on
onions, then place pickle spear in the middle and sprinkle with celery salt.
Arizona Gourmet Living
Winter 2010
FALL 2008