Scottsdale Culinary Festival serves up week’s worth of winners

The forks and knives were clamoring during a busy week at the latest Scottsdale Culinary Festival, with more than 35,000 people attending this year’s fun food events.

Culinary festBut for a select few, they’re leaving with another tasty takeaway: bragging rights, and for some, donations made to their charity of choice.

The complete list of winners from the 2015 SCF.

Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame

Since 1992, the Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame has been tasked with identifying and awarding the state’s best chefs, restaurateurs and beverage masters.

Winners receive an Ed Mell-designed trophy, plus a $500 donation to the charitable organization of their choosing.

  • Beverage Master of the Year: Travis Nass (Last Drop at the Hermosa)
  • Chef of the Year: Gio Osso (Virtu)
  • Restaurateur of the Year: Sam Fox (Fox Restaurant Concepts)
  • Lifetime Achievement: In memoriam of Glenn Humphrey (Arizona Culinary Institute)
  • Alex Simons Lifetime Achievement Award: Judy Wolf (Young Arts Arizona)

Burger Battle

In its fourth year, the Burger Battle presented by Leinenkugel was fought in front of a large crowd at Hotel Valley Ho.

Judge’s Choice

  • 1stPlace: Hopdoddy (Primetime Burger: Akaushi Beef patty topped with Brie cheese, truffle aioli, arugula, caramelized onions and steak sauce)
  • 2ndPlace: Zinburger Wine & Burger Bar (The Mel Brooks: Snake River Farms Kobe beef patty topped with pastrami, shredded cabbage, pickle and a spicy stone ground mustard)
  • 3rdPlace:  ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho  (Gala Burger with freshly-ground chuck, ménage cheese and baco bacon – Gala apple jam)

People’s Choice

  • 1stPlace: Aioli Gourmet Burgers (Signature Italiano Slider with fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato, balsamic reduction, crispy pancetta and basil garlic aioli)
  • 2ndPlace:  ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho (Gala Burger with freshly-ground chuck, ménage cheese and bacon – Gala apple jam)
  • 3rdPlace: Bootleggers Modern American Smokehouse (Bootastic Burger with house-ground beef, smoked bacon and onion jam, artisanal American cheese, dill pickles and secret sauce on a Chompie’s rye bread bun)

Great Arizona Picnic

A lucky group of Great Arizona Picnic judges ate their way through the booths to determine the best food, dessert and booth display at the Great Arizona Picnic.

  • Best Food: Sushi Roku, Pork Belly Hanabi
  • Best Dessert: Angelo’s Italian Ice & Gelato, Tiramisu Gelato
  • Best Booth: Blasted Barley “Fun Zone”

The festival is sponsored by the Scottsdale League for the Arts, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for art and art education programs throughout Arizona.

Since 2002, the League has contributed more than $4 million to numerous organizations benefiting children, such as Ballet Arizona, Childsplay, Free Arts of Arizona, Greasepaint Youth Theatre, Jazz in Arizona, Phoenix Boys Choir and the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.

For additional information about the League or about becoming a member or volunteer, contact SLA at 7309 E. Evans Road, Scottsdale, by phone at 480-945-7193, or visit the, or

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