Desert to Dish Culinary Weekend


If I were to inquire where to get quality American produce, where would you guess I’m describing? California? New York?

How about ArizonaYes, it’s true that this desert state is making a huge impact on the farming industry.

If you’re not convinced, consider this: Arizona has an extremely long growing season, plenty of sunshine, and a complex irrigation system that are a perfect combination for growing quality fruit and vegetables. 


I had the opportunity to taste the fruits of the farmer’s labor at a very special event highlighting Arizona’s finest produce.  

The event, dubbed Desert to Dish, is a weekend-long event held at the beautiful Omni Resort & Spa at Montelucia in Scottsdale.

desert to dish

The event was planned in collaboration with the James Beard Foundation with proceeds benefiting their scholarship program. 

Six talented chefs across the country were flown in and teamed up with guests to give a one-on-one experience of sourcing ingredients and creating tasting menus.

Activities included touring local farms, interactive cooking classes, and culminated in a live culinary competition, with the final vote resting in the hands of the guests.

My team was paired with Eater Dallas’ Chef of the Year, Brian Luscher, owner of two award-winning restaurants, The Grape and Luscher’s Red Hots.

Chef Brian Luscher

The entire event was incredibly unique in its intimacy with the chefs and producers, and one that I highly recommend attending, for the food curious. 

And, if even if you’re unable to attend, a visit to the Omni Scottsdale Resort is an absolute must. 

Since I was already out West for a Grand Circle tour, I had the incredible fortune of arriving a day early to truly enjoy the resort. Ranked #6 on Travel + Leisure‘s “500 Best U.S. Hotels List” in 2014, this hotel is truly an oasis in the Phoenician desert. 

I lounged by the pool, enjoyed room service from my patio, took a relaxing yoga class, experienced the spa, and went on a guided hike of Camelback Mountain. 

Since I was there on a weekday, I hired a private guide for the hike, but the resort offers a group tour on Saturdays for just $25 per guest. The fitness enter also offers Yoga Under the stars, bicycle rentals, and daily fitness classes (both indoors and out).

However you choose to spend your time at this oasis, you would be remiss to skip a treatment at the incredible Moroccan-style Hammam, Joya Spa, so be sure to book early.

For more information about the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa, click here.



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