Scottsdale Culinary Festival Presents ‘Friends of James Beard Dinner’ on March 13 at Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

Scottsdale Culinary Festival Presents ‘Friends of James Beard Dinner’ on March 13 at Westin Kierland Resort & Spa

As the longest-running James Beard Foundation fundraiser in the Southwest, the Friends of James Beard Dinner is the ideal appetizer for the 36th Annual Scottsdale Culinary Festival. The dinner will be held on Thursday, March 13 and tickets are priced at $225.

At the Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner, internationally renowned culinary talent join forces for one night only to craft an exceptional dinner that will keep the conversations going long into the evening. Every year, James Beard award-winning chefs prepare a multicourse, once-in-a-lifetime dinner complete with carefully selected wine pairings. The featured chefs for 2014 are:

•    Chef James Boyce (Cotton Row, Huntsville, Ala.; formerly of Mary Elaine’s in Scottsdale)

•    Chef Susur Lee (Lee Restaurants, Toronto, Ontario)

•     Chef Floyd Cardoz (North End Grill, New York City)

•     Chef Pierre Poulin (Aureole, New York  City)

•     Host Chef Michael Ginor (Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Restaurant Lola, Great Neck, N.Y.)

•     Host Chef Chris Masco (The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa)

•     Host Chef Roberto Madrid (The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa)

In partnership with the Scottsdale Culinary Festival, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa will host the prestigious event, which begins at sunset featuring a “magnificent ice sculpture, hors d’oeuvres, aperitifs and wine at the resort’s Dreamweaver’s Canyon, which overlooks a seasonal flowerbed centerpiece patterned after a Navajo blanket.”

The cocktail hour closes with a Scottish bagpiper on the 18th green. Following the spectacular introduction is the main event: a multicourse dinner featuring a live auction. This year’s wine pairings will be provided by Barnett Winery in St. Helena, Calif.

Though the majority of the April festival’s events—most famously the Great Arizona Picnic—are staged closer to downtown Scottsdale, it’s appropriate the kickoff event be presented in North Scottsdale, as the festival is presented by Airpark-based Scottsdale League for the Arts. The nonprofit (501(c)3 charitable organization raises funds for art and art education programs throughout Arizona.

Since 2002, the League has contributed more than $3.8 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, AZ 85260, by phone at 480-945-7193, or visit the www.LeagueForTheArts.org, or www.ScottsdaleFest.org.