Food-Focused Events in January
Text by Kathryn Brooks

Kick-off 2021 by giving your taste buds a treat. This month there are five Valley food-focused events worth leaving home for. Experience an authentic cowboy cookout, learn an Italian favorite from Chef Marcellino, enjoy 10 variations of fried chicken, take a culinary journey to the Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula or partake of traditional Jamaican fare… the choice is yours.

January 15/16, 22/23 and 29/30
Saddle up and celebrate the wild west at a Cowboy Cookout. Served up at MacDonald’s Ranch in Scottsdale, the event will be available on Fridays and Saturdays throughout January. Begin your adventure with either a one-hour guided horseback ride or a leisurely 30-minute horse or mule drawn hayride. Under a covered ramada, a sunset dinner will follow. Choose mouthwatering steak, succulent chicken breast, or a red bell pepper stuffed with wild rice, zucchini, and cheese. Your entrée selection is served with cowboy beans, coleslaw, garlic mashed potatoes, and dinner rolls. For little buckaroos there is the choice of 100-percent beef Hebrew National Hot Dog or Chicken Breast served with mac ‘n cheese and sides. Gather around the bonfire to toast S’mores and enjoy entertainment. Reservations are required.

Saturday, January 16
Each month, for one night only, FOUND:RE Phoenix’s pool and bar area will undergo a transformation bringing guests and locals unique flavors from destinations around the globe. This event, held from 6 p.m. through 10 p.m., is free to attend and the tickets are complimentary.

Sit back and relax as FOUND:RE Phoenix takes guests and locals on its January journey to the Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.  People who attend the event will experience cuisine and cocktail specials commonly found in this Mexican location by MATCH Market & Bars, as well as themed décor as the outdoor pool deck and bar are transformed into a tropical oasis.

Guests who attend will receive a FOUND:RE Passport stamp, with the opportunity to collect stamps from each destination. People who collect the most stamps during this series will have the opportunity to win additional prizes and giveaways.

Saturday, January 16
From 1 p.m. until 3 p.m., Chef Marcellino of Marcellino Ristorante on Stetson Drive in Scottsdale is gearing up for his first Learn & Lunch event in 2021. On the menu is Minestrone, the classic hearty, winter soup made with a medley of fresh vegetables that’s served with crostini and topped with grated Parmesan cheese. After the step-by-step instruction, participants will enjoy the soup. Paired with an fresh green salad organic salad and Chef’s handmade biscotti, the cost is $50 per person. Seating is limited, and reservations are required. Set yourself up by calling 480-990-9500.

Sunday, January 17
Go Caribbean at the Ocho Rios Jerk Spot in Phoenix. At the Sunday Brunch, served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., enjoy traditional Jamaican fare like Island Fried Chicken. Served with Jerk Marinade, a mixture spiked with Scotch bonnet pepper, loads of aromatic ingredients with a hint of sweetness, the dish is accompanied by waffles. There are beef, shrimp, pork, fish and other chicken selections available as well as Jamacian-inspired salads and sides. For an authentic Jamaican breakfast, order Porridge served with hominy, banana and peanuts. Music by DJ Skoolboi adds to the fun. And, of course, be sure to have Rum Punch.

Saturday, January 30
The second annual Arizona Fried Chicken and Wings Festival returns to The Pressman in the downtown Phoenix Warehouse District. Built in the 1920’s the all original, historic, 14,000 square foot red brick building is what once housed the city’s most modern printing press… hence the name. From 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., ten local fried chicken businesses will serve a variety of fried chicken dishes — everything from Korean to Nashville Hot. The indoor-outdoor event will also have cold beer, cocktails, boba tea, and desserts. General admission is $10.