Oh What a Week It Was!

The work for my new book has kept me very busy so finding time to post has been tough.

But in the last week or so I’ve eaten at several places I’ve never eaten before (and some that I have) and I have to say I enjoyed every bite.

I tried to take pictures but wasn’t always successful. That only means I have to return to fill up my portfolio.

So here’s what I ate and where:

The Bubble Waffle at Teaspoon: Decidedly different and crave-worthy. (Mary Jo had the omelet). Apparently the waffle is Hong Kong street food.



No photo of the food, but the pork tenderloin sandwich at Johnny Gibson’s market: This would give any pork tenderloin sandwich in Iowa a run for its money.


A whole slew of great items at New Delhi Palace when I was on On The Menu….Live.



I was blown away at how flavorful and rich the food was there. I’ve never had lamb shops that were so tender and the sauce was a knockout.

And the pescado al a menier IMG_0238 at Inca’s Peruvian Cuisine celebrating Karyn Zoldan’s birthday. Edie Jarolim had the aji de gallina. IMG_0240

The food was perfectly cooked and again the flavors were outstanding.

Oh, I also forgot…..patos tacos IMG_0236 at Elliot’s before I was on After Hours with Frank Powers.

I finished it off with ribs from Brushfire delivered to my front door. Yum! (ps photo below is not from Brushfire. So sorry.


Hong Kong, Peru, Iowa, Mexico, India…flavors from the world over and all right here in Tucson.

Janos Wilder Brings the World to Tucson

The other day I wrote about Chef Janos Wilder traveling to Paris as part of the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation.

Well, if you can’t make it to Paris, don’t worry, you can still enjoy the great food and a little bit of glamor.

As he has for the past several summers, Janos and his team will be taking Tucsonans on the Around the Globe Culinary tour that includes classes and pop-up dinners at Carriage House and a series of menus at DOWNTOWN Kitchen + Cocktails.

The cities on this year’s tour are sister Cities of Gastronomy and are an excellent mix of flavors and tastes.


Dénia, Spain – May 30 – July 17 – Class and Dinner – May 25

Florianópolis, Brazil  –  July 18 – August 21 –Class and Dinner – July 21

Shunde, China  – August 22 – October 2 –  Class and Dinner – August 18

Zahlé, Lebanon – October 3 – November 13 -Class and Dinner September 29

Classes will be held at The Carriage House and allow guests the opportunity to learn about the culinary history of the cities and enjoy a full dinner featuring a variety of dishes offered on the tour. . Cost is $80 per person plus tax and gratuity for a five-course dinner.

Here’s the link: http://carriagehousetucson.com/events

Also, don’t forget about the Demo Classes. Check out the website for details.


Summertime and the Eating is Easy

Summer in Tucson is not for the weak at heart but it is ideal for foodies.

Kingfisher has released it Road Trip itinerary and while all the details aren’t finalized here’s the list of where you’ll be eating and who your driver (chef) will be,

We try and make a couple of times each summer. We sit in the the best bar in town and enjoy everything from apps to one of Marianne’s fab desserts.

Give it a try.

I’ll be posting other Summer Special Events as the week progresses

  • May 26-June 13 – Southwest, Chef Fred Harris


  • June 14 – June 29 –  Pacific Northwest, Chef Jeff Azersky


  • Kingfisher will be closed for vacation from June 30 through July 13


  • July 13 – July 24 – Great Plains/Midwest, Chef Jim Murphy


  • July 25 – August 3 – Back East Chef Jeff Azersky


  • August 4 – August 16 – Californa/Hawaii Chef Fred Harris


  • August 17 – September 3 –  Down South, Chef Jim Murphy

Cocktails in Paris

The UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation has brought Tucson’s culinary scene on to the world stage in a big way.

The US Commission to UNESCO recently extended an invitation to Tucson to showcase our cuisine at a special reception honoring The Old Pueblo. The reception will take place at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on June 28th.

Appropriately the chef who will be preparing the special dinner is James Beard Award winning Chef Janos Wilder, who long before it became trendy, celebrated local foods in his restaurants.

Janos wants a cocktail that says “Tucson” to be served with his dishes and so he’s shouting out to all local bartenders to use their talents to create that one-of-a-kind cocktail.

The Tucson Feeds Paris Cocktail Challenge will take place at The Carriage House on Thursday June 1st from 5pm-7pm. The cost is $25.

Six cocktails will be served (whittled down from a first round selected by judges) along with hors d’ouevres. Guests will vote for the cocktail that best represents the flavors and ingredients of Tucson.

Sponsored by the non-profit Tucson City of Gastronomy and The Carriage House this event sounds like a great time. The winning bartender will get $500 and bragging rights to showcasing Tucson in the City of Lights.

Bartenders interested can see the rules at http://carriagehousetucson.com/bartender

Deadline is May 22nd.

Seating is limited to 125 people. Make reservations at:


Bella North Italia

Last night I dreamt I was on a tour of Italy…..

No wait, that was the night before and the tour really took place at North Italia, the Fox Restaurant Concept that celebrates the food, wine and passion of Italy.

I was with fellow food writers and good foodie friends. Karyn Zoldan (of Circle of Food blog from where these photos are liberally borrowed) and Edie Jarolim, food maven from Tucson Guide. My pics got lost so I also snagged a couple from Yelp!

Our tour guide was VitoPaolo Prencipe, the Assistant GM at the North in La Encantada.

We were guided through the courses with explanations as to the differences in the different regions of Italy. From a groaning chef’s board to a lovely branzino to delish bombolini this hosted diner was fit for royalty. Potent potables were served with each course.


We began with the chef’s board and an insalata that was a combination of caprese and panzanella with burrata, basil, cucumber, red onion, herb croutons and a sherry vinaigrette.IMG_1315


The board had prosciutto di parma, , roasted pepper, house made mostarda, provolone piccante, a creamy crescenza cheese from Lomabardy, castelvetrano olives from Sicily, marcona almonds and chunks of that great bread North makes. The wine was a crisp, white Orvieti.


Three main courses were from mare é terra.

The grilled branzino, which Vito explained was an Italian sea bass, was buttery and tender with lemony touches, a bit of farro, cipollini onions, broccolini and fennel. This I would order again.


From the land came a fork tender short rib served atop the creamiest polenta imaginable.

And of course, there was pasta: big, fat tortalloni filled with burrata and served in a mild tomato sauce.


The wine was a deep red chianti classico.

Three desserts were served with amaro, one of my favorite after dinner drinks.

The hazelnut torta was divine as was the tiramisu but my fave was the bombolini. Lightly fried balls of sweet dough with a lemony crema.


North is admittedly one of my favorite restaurants in Tucson and these new additions only reinforce how much I love dining there.

Vodka in the Desert

Well, that marvelous local distillery, Three Wells Distillery, is at it again. This time instead of agave, they are putting out Tucson’s first local vodka.

Taking a softer turn, Three WellsThree Wells Vodka.png has created a different kind of vodka. And it sounds delicious.

Three Wells Vodka is triple distilled and the water uses comes from deep in the earth (480  feet to be exact). Using only 100% copper stills, the team has created a vodka that is both earthy and sweet with a grassy tone and hints of floral.

It will soon be distributed statewide thanks to Hensley Beverage Company.

I think this calls for a party.