Bollywood, Cocktails and a Way to Help the Children of Tucson

This sounds like a fun and tasty event.

Angel Charity for Children has been a key player in helping raise monies for improving the lives of children in Tucson for decades. To date, they have helped over one million children have better lives.

Their upcoming event should prove to be another great evening of food and drink all in the name of making Tucson a better place for kids.

Longtime Angel Charity member Neelam Sethi and her husband Dr. Gulshan Sethi have offered to underwrite an Indian themed cocktail party at the Tucson Children’s Museum on Monday April 17th. The cocktail party will take place before the showing of Taj Express, a Bollywood dance romance film at the Fox Theater.

*Saffron Indian Bistro will provide several traditional Indian dishes.

*The Owl’s Club will serve a cocktail specially created for the evening.

*Hub Restaurant will serve a new signature ice cream “Queen Bee” created specifically in honor of the late Kelsey Luria (when sold at the restaurant a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Bald Beauty Foundation in her memory).

*There will also be a traditional Chaat cart (a popular type of Indian street food).

*Beer, wine and soda will also be available.

*Dessert will be offered following the show at the theatre, with Casino del Sol providing dessert, and New Delhi Palace providing hot Indian Chai.

The cocktail party will begin at 5:30pm, with guests being shuttled from the Fox Theatre and back by downtown Tucson’s latest transport entity WildCarts.   The show at the Fox begins at 7:30pm.

Organizers hope to raise $50,000 from this party.  An anonymous donor has already pledged matching funds up to $25,000, and a group of supporters from the Indian community has pledged $10,000.  Cost to attend the pre-show party is a minimum donation of $100 per person – made payable directly to Angel Charity.


Glorious Beef

Last night I had the pleasure of partaking in Dinner with Chefs at Casino del Sol. The setting was PY Steakhouse at the casino.

Executive Chef Ryan Clark of the Casino and Executive Chef of The Parish, Travis G. Peters prepared a four-course dinner for a packed house of diners.

This is the third in a year-long monthly dinners where guest chefs pair with Chef Clark. The focus is on beef. Each monthly dinner will serve two different cuts of beef so over a year’s time so 12 months add up to 23 cuts of beef. Each course is paired with a potent potable.

Here is last night’s menu.

PY Steakhouse Bread Service
Our Interpretation of Chef’s Beverage of Choice

Dry Aged Eye Round Carpaccio 
Red Coal Charred, Red Bull Vinaigrette, Beet Pickled Egg + Cauliflower, Baby Arugula, Barrio Crostini
2014 Pinot Noir, Sea Smoke “Southing”, Central Coast 


Marinated + Smoked Beef Belly
Dr. Pepper Marinate, Warm Kimchi Brussels, Crispy Taro Root, Broth
2013 Cabernet Franc, Consentino “The Franc”, Lodi


Peanut Butter Mousse
Dark Chocolate, Corn Flakes, Caramelized Banana + Gelato
Williams and Humbert , Dry Sack Solera 15 year Oloroso


Each course was cleverly presented and truly delectable. The smoked beef belly was utterly tender and savory.

The chefs explained how they came up with the dish and how they prepared them.

The evening was fun and relaxing, We had a great time and it seemed everyone else did.

Upcoming guest chefs include Maria Mazon of Boca Tacos yTequila, Brandon Dillon & Tyler Fenton of Reilly Craft Pizza & Drink, Devon Sanner of Carriage House and Jonathan Landeen of Jonathan’s Cork. For a complete list check out the Casino’s website.

Look Out Chicago, Here Comes Tucson!

Tucson will be well represented at the upcoming Chicago Travel and Adventure Show on January 21st and 22nd, especially when culinary-wise.

A team from VisitTucson and Chef Ryan Clark chef-ryan-clark-headshotwill represent Tucson as part of the Arizona Office of Tourism. Chef Clark is the Chef de Cuisine at PY Steakhouse at Casino del Sol.

And to showcase Tucson’s culinary diversity and Tucson’s designation as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, Chef Clark will give daily coking demonstrations using local, Arizona ingredients from such sources as:BKW Farms in Marana, Sleeping Frog Farms in Cascabel, Covilli Organics in Willcox, Fistiki Farms in Cochise, Native Seeds/Search in Tucson, Cheri’s Desert Harvest in Tucson, Fiora de Capra in Pomerene, and Queen Creek Olive Mill in Queen Creek.


Dinner with the Chefs

Tonight marks the beginning of an exciting opportunity for Tucson foodies. chef-ryan-clark-headshot

At the Casino del Sol’s, PY Steakhouse, Chef de Cuisine Ryan Clark, wilk kick off a yearlong series of wine dinners where he will partner with other local popular chefs to create a three-course wine dinner. What makes this series exciting is that throughout the year, the chefs will use various parts of cuts of beef. Two cuts per month with no repeats add up to an entire steer.

At $65 per person, these dinners are a real deal.

The list includes many of Tucson’s top chefs:

January           Brian Smith – Maynards Market & Kitchen


February         Danny Perez


March              Virginia “Ginny” Wooters – Commoner & Co.

April                 Maria Mazon – Boca Taco

May                 Brandon Dillon and Tyler Fenton – Reilly Craft pizza & Drink

June                Devon Sanner – Carriage HouseDSCN2080

July                 Jonathan Landeen – Jonathan’s Cork

August             David Soloranzo – Hacienda del Sol

September      Ramiro Scavo – Red’s Smokehouse & Tap Room

October           Paulo Im – OBON sushi

November       Kyle Nottingham – Miraval Resort & Spa

December       Kenneth Foy – Dante’s Fire

Tonight’s menu sounds delectable:

PY Steakhouse Bread Service
Our Interpretation of Chef’s Beverage of Choice

Puffed Grass Fed Beef Tendon
bone marrow panna cotta, benne seed tuile, onion ash, pickled papaya
Chandon, Rose, California

Prime Beef & Local Beer
dragoon fermented prime strip loin, smoked egg yolk, mirepoix
2014 Haraszthy Family Cellars, Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Cake
spiced pear, smoked orange sorbet, del bac merengue
2012 Sonoma-Cutrer, Late Harvest Chardonnay, Sonoma County

February’s menu sounds just as intriguing:

Tuesday, February 21st at 6:00PM 
PY Steakhouse Bread Service 

our interpretation of chef’s beverage of choice
Red Bull & Vodka

Flat Iron Salpicon Salad
Pato Confit, Carrots, Sprouts, Radish, Cabbage, Cilantro Vinaigrette
2014 kiona estate “lemberger,” red mountain

Presta Coffee Rubbed Beef Tenderloin
Beet Puree, Spicy Consume, Edamame
2014 constentino “the franc,” lodi

Chocolate Hazelnut Tartlet
gianduja financier, whipped espresso, malted-milk-meringue

nv, rare wine co. historic series, charleston serial madeira

Dinner starts at 6:00 p.m.

Call 855 765-7829 for reservations. Seating is limited.

photo credit: from BuBBy USA



Sweet Charity

Better late than never, they say.

And a sincere apology for being so late with the news

Here are the results of the SAACA Sweet Charity Dessert Challenge held at Loew’s Ventana Canyon last Friday.

We had a great time. SAACA really knows how to have fun and raise money. I’ve been to their other events (the ones involving tequila) and have always been impressed by how smoothly the event flows and the huge crowds they attract.

Sweet Charity was no different.

The venue, The Kiva Ballroom, was perfect; plenty of room for the crowds, soft carpeting, a nice sound system.  The dessert choices were plentiful and all over the place from popcorn and  cotton candy to trifles and fondue  and while I didn’t get to try everything that night, I sure had my fair share.

My fave – Casino del Sol‘s Chocolate Snack Attack – didn’t win,

dscn2497 but no matter, everyone had a great time and money was raised for SAACA’s many programs.

Best Chocolate Dessert: SpunLight Cotton Candy,Aztec Chocolate Cotton Candy


Best Sweet & Salty Dessert: SpunLight Cotton Candy Chocolate Salted Caramel Silk

Best Baked Dessert: Nothing Bundt Cakes, Bundtinidscn2495

Most Creative Cocktail: Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Short & Stout

Best Frozen Dessert: Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain, Frozen Pumpkin Pops

Best Chilled Dessert: Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain, Peppermint Panna Cotta

Best Fruit Dessert: JW Marriott Starr Pass, Yuzu Fruit Crumble

Best Sweet Cocktail: JW Marriott Starr Pass, Spice of the Night

Most Creative Dessert: Rigo’s Restaurant Ponche Calientito Cocktail

Best Presentation: Splendido at Rancho Vistoso

Sweetest of the Sweet (Grand Prize): Rigo’s Restaurant

FYI: We refrained from drinking due to the long, winding ride home, but i learned how to use Uber this week, so that’s the way to go next time.

And the Winners Are…

The World Margarita Championship is a big deal in these parts. Put on by SAACA and The Tucson Originals, this annual event (year seven i believe) brings out the creativity in local mixologists and restaurant owners. I was a judge for many years and it was lots of fun. I don’t know who the judges were this year but the drinks that won sound fabulous.


First Place –

Pastiche– Eric Brennner

Eric’s Mesquite Margarita

House made mesquite bean orgeat accented the Mezcal base


Second place

Tequila Factory – Casino del Sol Casino – Aaron DeFeo29825519440_3417efffb6_n

Sol de Tucson Margarita

A classic margarita reiterated with desert honey, hibiscus, exotic spice and calamansi


First Place – Ghini’s French Caffe – Coralie Satte


Raspberry Rose Margarita

fresh squeezed limeade,fresh raspberries, Chambourg French rose and tequila

Second Place

Brother John’s Beer, Bourbon & BBQ – John Aldecoa

BroJo’s Tropical Margarita

fresh ingredients, a special blend of spice, fruit, lime special seasonings,





Tucson is Getting Some Major Culinary Coverage

An article in the New York Times another is USAToday and now this press release-Tucson has hit the culinary map big time.



Tucson, Ariz—- Chef Ryan Clark, one of Tucson’s top chefs, has been invited to appear on NBC’s Today Show on Friday morning, September 9th in a Tailgate Battle of the Chefs.  Representing the AZ Cardinals with a Southwest Tailgate feast, Chef Clark’s menu will include signature Guacamole (from his cookbook Modern Southwest Cooking), his rendition of southwest signature Sonoran Hotdogs, as well as Pork Tacos braised in AZ craft beer.

His challenger will be a chef representing the New England Patriots and traditional northeast coast tailgate dishes.   The segment will air during the regular broadcast of the Today Show on KVOA, Channel 4 in Tucson, and KPRC, Channel 12 in the Phoenix area.

Chef Clark is currently the Executive Chef at PY Steakhouse at Casino del Sol Resort in Tucson. He is a three- time Iron Chef Tucson winner, author of Modern Southwest Cooking, and a popular guest speaker/chef instructor at various venues throughout Arizona.


Watch Ryan this Friday on the Today Show!