Announcing the 2016 Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame Nominees

2016 Arizona Culinary Hall of FameSave the date for the 25th annual Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame on Monday, March 28th. Presented by Scottsdale League for the Arts, this year’s star-studded soiree is going to be the biggest and best year yet with five newly added award categories! Local TV news personality, Jamie Cerreta, will emcee the evening’s ceremony bringing an upbeat elegance to the festivities.

The 2016 Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame promises to be a fun, food-filled cocktail party and award ceremony celebrating the best and brightest in the Valley’s food and beverage industry. Tickets to the 25th annual Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame are $25 and include small bites and one cocktail. A cash bar will be available.

The event will take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Livewire AZ, 7320 E Indian Plaza, Scottsdale, AZ, 85251. For more information, visit:

Nominees for the 2016 Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame include:

Chef of the Year

Mel Mecinas, Talavera at the Four Seasons Troon North

Joshua Hebert, POSH “Improvisational Cuisine”

Bernie Kantak, Citizen Public House and The Gladly

Christopher Nicosia, Sassi

Best Upcoming Chef

Garrison Whiting, Counter Intuitive

Taylor Sorenson, Christopher’s Restaurant and Crush Lounge

Dushyant Singh, Artizen at The Camby

Sacha Levine, Ocotillo

Restaurateur of the Year

Cakewalk Management

Fork and Dagger Development

Osio Culinary Group

Jim Riley and Tucker Woodbury

Mixologist of the Year

Ross Simon, Bitter and Twisted Cocktail Parlour

Luke Detraz, Director of Mixology, Southern Wine and Spirits

Robert Porter, Jade Bar at the Sanctuary Resort on Camelback Mountain

Brandon Casey, The Ostrich

Brewer of the Year

Anthony Canecchia, SanTan Brewery

Adam Schmeichel, Fate Brewing Company

Eric Greene, Dragoon Brewery

Preston Thoeny, Wren House Brewing

Winemaker of the Year

John McLoughlin, Cellar 433

Kent Callaghan, Callaghan Vineyards

Eric Glomski, Page Springs Cellars

Karyl Wilhem, Wilhem Family Vineyards

Food Truck of the Year

Aioli Gourmet Burger

Short Leash Hot Dogs

The Grilled Cheese Truck Phoenix

Satay Hut

Food Writer of the Year

Lauren Saria, Phoenix New Times

Christina Barrueta, Write on Rubee

Diana Brandt, Arizona Foodie

Joanie Simon,

Lifetime Achievement Award

Christopher Gross

For the next couple of weeks, the voting period will be open to a select group of chefs, mixologists, media, farmers, organization leaders and board members who will vote for this year’s inductees. The voting body includes the Scottsdale League for the Arts membership, the food and beverage community, the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Phoenix Convention and Visitors Bureau and all past recipients of the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame awards.

All winners will be announced live at the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame on Monday, March 28, 2016. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

All net proceeds raised will support the non-profit Scottsdale League for the Arts in its effort to promote arts and arts education organizations in the Phoenix metropolitan area, via annual fundraisers such as the Scottsdale Culinary Festival and The Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner. Since 2002, the League has contributed more than $4 million to numerous organizations such as Ballet Arizona, Childsplay and Free Arts of Arizona.

About the Scottsdale League for the Arts

The Scottsdale League for the Arts is a 501(c)(3), non-profit volunteer organization of accomplished men and women who support artists, arts programs and arts education through fundraising and special events. In order to offer continuous value and assistance to the arts, the League awards all net funds raised to a variety of arts focused organizations through a grants program. For more information, visit:

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