We are still getting familiar with all the cool happenings that Tucson has to offer. One that came up on our radar was the Savor Southern Tucson Food and Wine Festival for charity, which was held last Saturday.
We really had no idea what we were getting into, it just looked like a lot of fun, food and a beautiful setting, as it was held at the Tucson Botanical Gardens. We have been to the gardens before and knew it was spectacular.
So we called UBER and set out on a fabulous 77°F day for four hours of indulgence! When the guests first arrived, we were all given complementary wine glasses, always a good sign.
There is no way to cover all that we experienced, so I am going to highlight our favs. The categories are: Bread, Sweets, Savory and Spirits!
Our first winner was Beyond Bread which is pictured above. In addition to showcasing bread letters, which were huge by the way, they sampled their creole shrimp salad and King Cake, in honor of Mardi Gras.
The creole shrimp salad was good, but look at that perfect baguette!
Toward the end of the day, I went back and sampled the King Cake and it was tasty too.
Moving right along, we went into Nothing Bundt Cakes. We may have made a technical error here! While we were tempted, we decided we should eat something closer to a lunch meal before indulging. Turns out we missed some rather impressive flavors, as others told us later.
We did loop back toward the end and we each sampled a different flavor, and wow! Not only are the cakes fantastic, but that butter cream cheese frosting was to die for!! I will have to find this store soon!
True to our first mantra of “eat lunch first” we hit a couple other stands. All the while, remember we are sipping libations! Wine, Moscow mules, margaritas and sangria for me. Any beer, whiskey and red wine for the hubby!
The Omni Chef from The Omni Tucson National Resort was our next stop. The line was longer, which we took to be sign of great things to come. We were right!
Their beef tenderloin with roasted red pepper coulis crostini. I could have had 20 of these!
This is their layered flan, several different layers. I don’t remember all of them but there is one with mint and strawberry and topped with chocolate pearls. I had two of these 🙂
They were delicious but small bites, so we needed to keep going to get our $75 dollars worth! It does get a little murky from here, so I don’t remember all the restaurants as I have now found the sangria stand! But I can tell you that all of this was delicious.
Top left; barbecue goat with spicy red pepper slaw, top right; the best barbecue pork ever! middle right: Frederico, that is what the server called him! Bottom image: a little cannoli that was really good! I say that with surprise because I am not usually a cannoli fan. I think the fact that it was just two bites and not a ton of cream filling was a huge plus for me.
We are now about 2 hours into the event and getting full! We decided to actually look around at the Botanical displays, and chat with people at the event.
A portion of the herb garden
As we were taking in the sights, we stumbled (me, literally) into the Spirits section. My hubby tasted a lot whiskey! And, we both went for the Tequila experience.
3 Amigos Tequila had three offerings complete with pairings! I have no idea which I had, but all three were awesome 🙂
We decided to take a seat and do some people watching while the glow of my tequila experience wore off! Along the way, I found another special dessert.
This was a deconstructed lemon bar. Shortbread crumbs on the bottom, lemon curd filling and lime caviar made through a molecular gastronomy process. The chef showed me how it was done and the equipment used, which was fun for this molecular biologist.
It was gooood, and I wanted another, but he ran out well before the event ended! I am not surprised.
We continued to look for a seat and took a few photos along the way.
Lots of people watching and fun conversations! Everyone was pretty chatty at this point.
Several people we met told us that this is the best food and wine event in Tucson, I think it will be hard to beat. The food, the people and the weather were all perfect!
We were also told it would take 3 to 4 hours to recover from this event. Um, ya, that was about right for me!
Who wants to go with us next year?! 🙂