Time to Plan for the Scottsdale Culinary Festival

Be sure to book your flights and hotels for this weekend-long food fest

Burgers are one of the many foods to sample during the Scottsdale Culinary Festival.

During the second weekend in April, 40 local restaurants, 30 craft breweries, 20 bands, and a slew of chefs and winemakers will convene on two-and-a-half acres in the desert to tantalize the taste buds of hungry and thirsty locals and out-of-towners during the Scottsdale Culinary Festival.

Last year, 30,000 food- and drink-lovers celebrated Arizona food culture, and even more are expected this year. The best part is this festival pays it forward. All net proceeds raised will support the non-profit Scottsdale League for the Arts, which promotes the arts and arts education organizations in the Phoenix area. Here is what to expect:

The Beer Garden

The Beer Garden will feature 200 specialty beers from local and national craft breweries, food from local restaurants, and beer games.

Culinary Experience Tent

Under this tent attendees can enjoy fun and educational demonstrations in cooking, mixology, and chocolate making or attend seminars on food photography or urban farming.

Live Entertainment

There are three stages set up for hosting live music throughout the event.

Family Zone

Kids just want to have fun, and they sure can with face painting, bouncy houses, carnival games, a magician, and crafts.

Local Lounge

One space will showcase everything local: wineries, spirits, and craft beer from around the state of Arizona. Guests can sample wines, spirits, and cuisine while being entertained by local musicians and artists.

Corporate Cabanas

Private cabanas are available and include all of the perks of VIP admission plus a private lounge.  

Teen Cook Off

Saturday will be the preliminary rounds of the Teen Cook Off, where local culinary students compete for great prizes and bragging rights. The final competition round is Sunday.

Courtesy of Diane Henderiks

Chef Richard Sandoval and Diane Henderiks hosted an event at last year's festival.


Last year, my friend chef Richard Sandoval and I hosted a fabulous culinary demonstration at this festival. After the demo, I spent the afternoon enjoying all this event has to offer and let me tell you, this is one of the tastiest in the nation, so mark your calendars to visit Scottsdale on April 8 and 9, 2017.