Straight from the barrel, fresh from the fields and crafted by local artisans, Arizona-grown ingredients inspire creative cuisine and vital partnerships between farmers, producers, artisans and chefs. Here are a few names you may recognize when dining in the Valley.
Tracy Dempsey Originals
Dempsey pairs sweet with savory locally produced ingredients in her baked goods, desserts and confections. Her creations are found in some of the Valley’s top restaurants—many of which she designs and executes the dessert offerings for. At The Gladly, Dempsey incorporates ingredients from AZ Bitters Lab for a peach frangipane crostada, and her sought-after bacon brittle can be found here as well as at Citizen Public House. Bread & butter pudding with apple-cranberry compote and caramel ice cream is one of four Tracy Dempsey Originals desserts at nook, and neighboring Crudo features a chocolate olive oil cake with dulce de latte mascarpone, and a fig & goat cheese crostada made with locally produced goat cheese from Fossil Creek Creamery. Tracy Dempsey Originals can also be found on menus at House of Tricks, The Revival, Karsen’s Grill, Uncle Sal’s, The Stockyards and The Blind Pig.
Twenty-five acres in Peoria are owned and operated by McClendon’s Select—a family-run organic farm. Three generations have their hands in the soil, tending to more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables, and the McClendon’s bee colony adds honey and bee pollen to the farm’s production list. The extensive list of local restaurants that serve up McClendon’s Select ingredients in their dishes stretches statewide. Valley hot spots include Rancho Pinot, St. Francis, Tarbell’s, The Henry, Downtown Public Market Cafe, FnB, Brat Haus and Parlor Pizzeria, among others. Most recently, McClendon’s partnered with Cancer Treatment Centers of America and began cultivating organic produce on 68 acres at the Phoenix medical campus to provide to the hospital’s food program.
Is Verde Valley wine in your glass?
Local wine is abundant. Southern and northern parts of the state provide similar growing conditions to popular wine-producing regions around the world, yet rocky Arizona soil adds a complexity—both in cultivation and flavor. As the vines struggle to survive, the grapes grown produce a more intense and fruit-filled flavor ideal for winemakers. Four Verde Valley wineries reside just two hours north of Phoenix: Page Springs Cellars, Oak Creek Vineyard, Javelina Leap Vineyards and Alcantara Vineyards, and are open to the public for tastings. Those short on time can find Page Springs Cellars offered at Valley restaurants, including Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, La Grande Orange, The Clever Koi and Postino, and guests at Phoenix Theatre may order a glass of Alcantara’s wine.